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I am preparing for graduate school

  1. Oct 21, 2012 #1
    Hello my name is Andrew. I am new to this forum, but have skimmed over academic advise in the past (much appreciated). I have a list of the major courses that i have taken as well as what research i have been involved in, among other things below. My main interests as of this moment not in any order: Theoretical astrophysics, Applied physics, and condensed matter physics. My question is other than the classes i have yet to take and the GRE, do i possess the necessary background for graduate study in these areas? If not, what would additional courses would you recommend. If so, what else could i do to improve my background still? My other question is if there is any relevance for how graduate schools view the undergraduate university you attended. I am aware that different schools have different criterion, but my question centers more with upper tier schools. I am also interested to know if there are any industrial applications in astrophysics, in case i wanted to pursue a position in applied physics with a focus in astrophysics. The university i am attending is Western Kentucky University, which is known more for its photojournalism than its physics. It has a decent program, however.

    Current Physics GPA: 3.72
    Current math GPA: 3.81

    Courses taken pertaining to major:

    Astrophysics (introduction to various topics such as ISM, Quasars, cosmology, etc.)
    Classical mechanics I
    Classical mechanics II
    intermediate Electrodynamics I
    Statistical mechanics
    introduction to modern Physics(Introduces QM, alpha,gamma, beta decay, etc.)
    Data acquisition using Labview (utilization of the Labview program for modeling systems in order to extract data and learn the methods of analyzing data)

    Classes yet to take: intermediate Electrodynamics II
    Quantum Mechanics
    Computational physics (If they offer it, the professor who usually teaches it left the university and they haven't offer it in a while)

    Mathematics taken: Calc1-3, ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, linear algebra, complex variables, numerical analysis I (There are two semesters), and differential geometry I (there are two semesters, first semester covered absolute plane geometry, parallel postulate, as well as an axiomatic treatment of Hyperbolic plane geometry).

    I have also taken the first semester of computer science. (mainly utilization of python).

    Research: 1 year under my department head, working on a model for quasars and analyzing it, in attempt to understand many things, such as why there is a flux variability for different time scales, as well why black holes emit jet of radiation from both sides, and why are they not continuous? etc..This is still under progress.

    I have yet to do an internship, but i plan on doing one this summer.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  2. jcsd
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