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Schools for Astrophysics/ Astronomy

  1. Sep 26, 2012 #1
    I am a sophomore in high school and am looking to go into physics and ideally astrophysics. I am in honors precalc/trig right now and will be taking AP Calc next year, and probably multivariable calc my senior year. I'm in chemistry this year and physics next year. I will probably take a college physics course my senior year. I have been getting 95%+ in all my math and science classes. I am looking for some of the better undergrad schools for physics. I plan on going for a PhD in astrophysics after that.

    Anything else I should do to prepare for?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2012 #2


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    How about your local state university? Many of them have excellent physics programs and astronomy research.
  4. Sep 27, 2012 #3
    There's "best" in the nation (say, Cornell, etc.) and then there's best for YOU. I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but I would kill myself at Cornell or MIT. I found that my local state university (UNLV) actually has kick-*** physics faculty who work with NASA and a really great program overall. I would say make a list of places you wouldn't mind living (if you can do out of state), and then look at all the universities and colleges there. Pay particular attention to research you might be able to get in on. If you're really interested in, say, GRB or dark matter research, make sure you see something about that on their website. There are many universities that have an astronomy/astrophysics friendly atmosphere, and many that just don't focus on it and don't even have so much as an observatory.

    That said, even if you go to a university that doesn't do research in astrophysics, you'll likely be doing REUs during the summers that will get you some more wiggle room. Grad school is where the fun is at, anyway.

    Good luck!
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