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Physics Ms in astrophysics after btech in comp sc

  1. Aug 12, 2010 #1
    guys to start with, i dunno why i took comp engg for my btech.... coz i was never really interested.... i was always into astronomy n astrophysics.... i wish to pursue this interest of mine n therefore wanna do an ms in astrophysics.... is it a good decision... i wanna work as well after tht... can u suggest sum good universities... ??
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2010 #2
    i have the same question... i am a B.E electronics and communication student.. can u say which universities in us offer MS astrophysics after engineering back ground?
  4. Sep 25, 2010 #3
    Do you guys have an understanding of these courses: Electromagnetism (most likely), statistical mechanics (likely), thermodynamics (most likely), quantum mechanics, and relativity? These are usually prerequisites for a MSc in Astrophysics.
  5. Sep 25, 2010 #4
    electro magnetism and a part of statistical mechanics are in our curriculum.. rest i ve not read in an in- depth level... i still have an year left so i will get to know abt that... can u pls tell some universities that allow engineers to take ms astrophysics in us?
  6. Oct 4, 2010 #5
    @vivek vk

    Even I am an electronics and communication engineering student in India, and wanted to pursue physics but ended up in engg. because I couldn't make it into a good enough physics course, though I'm in first year.

    Almost all universities take students from engg. background into their grad. school for physics.
    They are not really looking for what degree you have. They are looking for your capabilities as a future grad student and researcher.
    You need to display these capabilities, through the GRE, both the general GRE as well as the physics GRE and some undergraduate research in physics.
    Your engg. GPA too will matter. The physics GRE includes the topics of a typical undergraduate physics course.

    That would include:

    Classical mechanics (newtonian as well as a bit of lagrangian and hamiltonian mechanics)
    Quantum Mechanics
    Thermal and Staistical physics
    Mathematical methods and some special topics

    Though you may have covered EM and stat. mech. in your engg course, (It's there in my course too, just like any other electronics and comm. engg. course), they are insufficient for the phy. GRE or even as a preparation for grad school.

    Engg. courses, simply touch the very broad points of the subject. For instance, EM in my college is for around quarter of a semester and it's nothing more than a nice collection of formulae.

    As you said, you have just a year left, you have to do what a physics undergraduate does in 4 years, in just a single year.
    You essentially need to focus all your attention on classical mechanics, electrodynamics, and Quantum mechanics.

    You can be a strong position, if you can study the following books, cover to back.

    1.) An Introduction to Mechanics -- by David Kleppner and Robert Kolenkow

    2.) Introduction to Electrodynamics -- by David J. Griffiths

    3.) Introduction to Quantum Mechanics -- by David J. Griffiths

    For selected topics in modern physics you may refer to Concepts of Modern Physics - Arthur Beiser

    And I guess the mathematical methods are more or less the same in an engg. course and the undergrad. phy. course. So you can review the math you learned in the past three years as an engg. undergrad.

    Good luck!!
  7. Oct 5, 2010 #6
    thank u so much for your sugessions.. and one more thing... can engg stdents get admissions in top univ lik harvard/mit/caltech too? or do they consider only physics under graduate?
  8. Oct 6, 2010 #7

    You can get admission into a physics grad. programme as an engg. undergraduate student almost "EVERYWHERE" including the top schools you mentioned. A quite prominent physicist R. Shankar is a physics prof. at Yale university (One of the Ivy League univ.'s). He did his undergraduation in electrical engg. from IIT madras. SO he's one example. I know a bunch of people from engg. backgrounds who are out there in physics.

    The idea is this: The university doesn't really care what undergrad. degree you have. All they care about is how much of physics and math you know. To demonstrate that, you need to score well in physics GRE, get good marks in whatever phy. and math courses are offered at your engg. school, take physics or math electives, if they are offered at your engg. college, and most importantly, do a bunch of summer programmes under physics professors at places like IISC- Bangalore, or TIFR Mumbai etc.

    All this shows that you know enough to join grad. school in physics and you are sincere.

    Anyway, getting good scores in physics GRE itself will require you to know most of undergraduate physics quite well. So the physics GRE is itself enough to demonstrate that you are eligible.

    But to get into top schools, you need to show more, i.e. the stuff that I wrote above, summer research, and probably one or two publications. And all of this applied equally for even the B.Sc. guys.

    So your undergraduate degree has almost no role to play no matter what university you apply to.

    I guess I cleared things up a bit.
    Ask more if you want.
  9. Oct 7, 2010 #8
    I don't know of any terminal astrophysics masters degrees (although I'd be glad if someone out there pointed me to any that exist). Most people that do astrophysics, end up getting a Ph.D. in it.

    Also, you need to find out if you are merely "interested" or if you are "totally insanely obsessed". There is a difference.
  10. Oct 8, 2010 #9
    Yes if you have the physics background. However, if you have a engineering bachelors, you have to convince the admissions people that you have done the necessary physics coursework.

    If you are interested in astrophysics, don't worry too much about getting into "top schools" since the difference between "top" and "middle" isn't that great and everything depends on your advisor. Also a lot of the big names in astrophysics aren't necessarily big names in general. For example, if you want to study observational astronomy, you really would want to go to University of Hawaii or University of Arizona rather than MIT, which isn't that good in observational astronomy.
  11. Oct 11, 2010 #10

    i want to do research about stellar astrophysics especially about quasars, pulsars and black holes... can u suggest me good schools for that?
  12. Oct 11, 2010 #11

    thank u so much for ur suggessions... and one more thing..i am planning for a publication of my own in few months.. but that is in my engineering field rather than physics.. do they accept these?
  13. Oct 11, 2010 #12
    @vivek vk

    I really doubt if a publication in an engg. field will matter much when you are applying for grad. in "physics".

    I can't say much on this, as I am yet to reach at that stage. You could maybe ask someone who is in grad. school in U.S. or post this as a ques. here on these forums itself.
  14. Oct 11, 2010 #13
    Are you interested in theory or observation part of that? And those (quasars, BH) would be more in the area of extra-galactic astronomy. I think deciding on if you want to work in theory or observation will really help on choosing a program.

    About the original question, you really do need a good background in physics. Not only is it important for getting accepted into a good program (which you will need to show them you do have sufficient background and experiences in research) , but you will also need it in order to do well once you are in the program.
  15. Oct 11, 2010 #14
    Question: why would an engineering publication not matter? I was under the impression that if you published, it was meant to show that you cared about putting in the hours to do research and that you already had a taste of what research is like, making you a good candidate for acceptance to graduate school. Taking that into consideration, I would've thought that a publication in anything related to physics (math, engineering, etc.) would be acceptable to show your competence in research.

    I could be wrong though. [shrug]
  16. Oct 13, 2010 #15
    i am interested in both but when it comes between theory and observation i ll choose theory...

    @metal rose
    ok bro i ll check into it

  17. Jul 31, 2012 #16
    What is the main difference between astronautical engg. and astrophysics ? Is it about being a theory scientist and a real engg. ?
    Also i want to know which is best institute for Astronautical engg. in US for MS and what shall i expect to pay ?
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