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Masters in Astronomy

  1. Oct 17, 2006 #1


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    I am planning to puruse the Distance Education Astronomy course (MSc in Astronomy) offered by Swinburne University of Australia (SAO). I already have a Master's degree in Chemistry (post graduate thesis being part of this) and a Bachelor's degree in Electronics from a reputed Indian University. Given this background, after completing the MSc Astronomy through SAO, can I apply for a PhD in Astronomy to universities in the US ? The concerns I have are

    1. SAO says its Master's degree is by coursework rather than by research. So by having this degree, do I satisfy the requirements for applying for a PhD in Astronomy ?

    2. This is a distance education degree. Will this be a valid pre-requisite for a PhD ?

    Any responses will be highly appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2006 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Technically, to apply for a Ph.D. program in Astronomy/Astrophysics, you only need a Bachelor's degree in a related field (astro, physics, math, perhaps chemistry or engineering). A Master's degree in astro has very little use, as far as I know. Your other Master's degrees may be a sufficient prerequesite, though some schools will be impossible to get into without research experience. How much physics have you had?
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2006
  4. Oct 18, 2006 #3


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    I did a few Physics subjects before embarking on the core courses in Chemistry and Engg. These subjects include

    "Mechanics and Optics" (Classical Mechanics mostly) ,
    "Electricity & Magnetism" (Maxwell's laws, Electrostatics),
    "Modern Physics" (Relativity, Quantum Mechanics),
    "Thermodynamics" (Laws of Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics).

    Also the Chemistry core subjects included

    "Quantum Chemistry" (Electronic Structure, Schrodinger's Equation, Potential Walls) and "Chemical Thermodynamics", which seemed more of Physics than Chemistry. Mathematics subjects included Differential Equations, Complex Variables to name a few. I have managed decent grades in almost all of these subjects and a decent CGPA.

    My ambition is to pursue a degree in Astronomy. My concern is, how can I use my educational backgorund to secure a course in Astronomy ?

  5. May 29, 2008 #4
    Astronomy Course

    I suggest you take a look here:

    Go to James Cook University and add /astronomy to the URL. I can't post the URL here because the editor won't let me (until I have posted more than 5 replies on this website).
  6. Jun 2, 2009 #5
    From the little I have read about the Swinburne course, I think it is more for people outside academia and research. It is for people who want further Astronomy education but do not have a physics background. Although I am no authority, I would doubt that anyone would use it to go on to a research PhD.
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