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Programs Physics PhD with a b.sc from a different field? (Australia)

  1. Mar 23, 2012 #1
    Hi, I have a B.sc with first class honours, with a major in biochemistry and I want to do a phd in astrophysics. I have two years of undergrad physics and a good knowledge of vector calculus, DEs, linear algebra, etc. What are my chances of getting into a program? I know in america you guys have a standardised exam for grad school entry, but we don't have that here. Does it depend on finding a phd supervisor willing to take me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2012 #2


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    I don't know too much about the Australian system, but I'd guess that you still need a full degree in physics to be considered as a candidate for graduate school in physics. Many programs will consider candidates from similar fields, but this generally means subjects like engineering physics or physical chemistry. Biochemistry is unlikely to cut it, I'm afraid.

    One of the first questions I would have is how do you know you want to do a PhD in astrophysics when you haven't even completed a senior undergraduate course in physics?
  4. Mar 24, 2012 #3


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    I don't know if you have a good chance because many PhD programs here usually require honors of a high calibre (first class or upper second class) to get into the respective PhD programs.

    Also since we have a good astrophysics community, and since it is limited, I imagine that the people with all the pre-requisites will be way in front of the queue than people with your kind of background.

    I would of course send a letter to the relevant person in that particular department of the university, but I do know it's pretty standard for PhD degrees to have a good honors degree in the field of study you wish to apply for.

    If I were you, I would send an email to ANU since they have a good astrophysics program there and just ask the right person what your chances are. I would however go to the respective website and check because they would probably have answered this question already.
  5. Mar 24, 2012 #4
    You might be best to aim for something like astrobiology, for example the Australian centre for astrobiology at UNSW (http://www.aca.absociety.org/aca/ [Broken]). You might also contact groups that are interested in molecular astronomy (e.g., http://www.postgraduate-research.physics.unsw.edu.au/astrophysics.html [Broken]) or more chemistry related astronomy (e.g., http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/~smaddiso/research/).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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