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Not sure which class to take

  • Thread starter pantechc70
  • Start date
  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

So for my first semester of college ( I am a Physics Major. ) I have most of my classes picked out. The last one I need is either Introduction to Physics which isn't required for my major nor is it a pre-requisite for anything I need, but I feel it would be useful for preparing for my Physics Major. I would also like to take Introduction to Astronomy which is a pre-requisite for a class I would like to take ( Observational Astronomy, which does count as an elective for my major.) What is making this a tough decision is that I would like to go into Astrophysics after Undergraduate school. So to any who read this, which do you think would be the best course for me to take?

Thank you.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
fss
1,179
0
It probably doesn't matter. Astronomy is not Astrophysics. What classes are you taking now? If you are in your first semester and have already declared a physics major, why would you even need to take "Introduction to Physics" assuming you're taking an introductory, survey-level, calculus-based physics course that does count for your major?

I'd probably just get general education requirements out of the way if youre institution has any. Otherwise take something relevant that you'll get credit for in your major.
 
  • #3
I have not started yet ( I have been accepted ), but I did not take pre-calculus in highschool. So I am having to take it my first semester then calculus I my second. Until I finish pre-calculus I cannot take any of my physics courses ( That count towards my major.) Since they all require Calculus I as a co-requisite/pre-requisite. The college I am attending does have General Education requirements which if I finished them early would benefit me. I am aware that Astrophysics and Astronomy are not the same; I only considered it because I would like to have a solid background in astronomy.
 
  • #4
eri
1,034
20
Introduction to physics is probably a useless course for you; sounds like it's intended for non-majors. You should start with calculus-based physics instead. Intro to astronomy, on the other hand, while still being an intro level course, is a useful one for you. Take that instead. There's no real distinction between astronomy and astrophysics any more - all astronomers have a strong physics background.
 
  • #5
Thank you for your reply Eri. I was thinking the Intro to Astronomy would be the most beneficial.
 
  • #6
13
0
I would take the Intro to Astronomy. The following course, Observational Astronomy, will probably be quite useful if its anything like the one I took. It wasn't the actual material that was most useful (although interesting) so much as the hands on work, projects, and presentations involved. I found I learned alot more from this class than from several labs combined. Also we had a logbook to record literally anything to do with the class, notes, work with the telescopes, assignments, research, projects, etc, all properly sourced, cited, dated. An excellent class to teach how to do many things that would be considered useful in grad school which one may not find in other classes.
 
  • #7
What you have described Jery is exactly what the syllabus says the Observational Astronomy class entails. So the one you took is most likely very similar to it.
 

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