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I want to be an astrophysicist, should I major in that or just in physics?

  1. Feb 28, 2012 #1
    First off, I have this huge bug with math. When I understand it the problems take me a few seconds to do, when I don't, its like world war 3.

    So why did I pick physics of all things? Because I love space, I would love nothing more then to study the planets.

    But to do this it will require a lot of hard work, so I have some questions for you guys.

    1) Currently i'm going to a junior college, but plan to transfer to university next year, when I transfer should I stick with Physics or change to Astrophysics? I'd be attending OU or UT, OU has an astrophysics program while UT doesn't, but UT does have a physics program

    2) What would be my starting pay, rough estimate?

    3) Any tips to help with self discipline and actually learning math instead of just slouching through it like I do now.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2012 #2


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    Major in physics and take classes in astronomy, math, and computer science. You'll need a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, or physics to do much of anything in the field, and almost all of those grad schools require a strong physics background and physics GRE scores. Starting pay, and jobs in general, depend on the highest degree you earn and where you get a job. A physics major can pay pretty well, but there aren't many jobs in astronomy that don't require a PhD. Starting salary with a PhD usually means a postdoc position, and those don't tend to pay very well. Of course, seeing as how you just spend 6+ years living off 20k a year as a grad student, making 40k or 50k seems like a lot of money.
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