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Physics for Astronomy?

  1. Jan 20, 2014 #1
    I have been considering astronomy as a career choice. I read on yahoo answers that a PhD is the one way to go in terms of this option. There isn't much career options for just the BA. Also, it was recommended that I obtain my BA in physics for my PhD in astro, as I would be robbed of education linked to the field.. Are there any thoughts or recommendations for what to pursue in terms of astronomy?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2014 #2
    Physics might be a better option in my opinion to start off with. Because if you can't do astronomy, there's lots to fall back on.

    For me i did math B.S. then decided i wanted to do physics, so im working on my physics masters, which i feel will really help when for when i try to go into a astro phd. and im doing astro research.
  4. Jan 21, 2014 #3
    thanks very helpful
  5. Jan 21, 2014 #4
    The best option for undergraduate education would be to find a school that is strong in both physics and astronomy and double major in those fields. It is true that if you HAD to just choose one, you would choose physics, but if you can do both then it will be more beneficial. Alternatively you can check to see if a given physics department has faculty doing research in astronomy, since that is pretty common too. Just make sure you will be able to get some exposure to research in astronomy as an undergraduate, as that will make you more prepared and informed for the graduate school process.
  6. Jan 21, 2014 #5


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    Almost all astronomy grad programs require the physics GRE, which requires a physics major to do well on (and even then most people don't do very well on it). Astronomy is a sub-field of physics; if you want to study astronomy, you need a lot of physics, even at the graduate level. A double major would be best, but don't worry about it if the school you go to doesn't offer astronomy as a major. Many do not, despite having astronomers on staff and offering astronomy classes.
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