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Schools with astronomy, observatory, and planetary science

  1. Dec 7, 2015 #1
    Hi! So I've begun the process of looking at colleges now and I really would like to go to a school in the US or Canada with an astronomy major, an observatory of its own, and some sort of planetary science program. I've made a list of the schools that I've been able to find with those things:

    Wesleyan University (in CT)
    Williams College (in MA)
    UC Berkeley (in CA)
    Boston University (in MA)
    University of Southern California (in CA)

    So as you can see it's a very short list, so I could use some help expanding it. If anyone knows of any other colleges that offer those three things, could you tell me please? That'd be great that'd be a lot of help! Thank you so much
     
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  3. Dec 7, 2015 #2

    jtbell

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    The University of Arizona (in Tucson) has Steward Observatory on campus, access to the facilities on nearby Kitt Peak (a short drive out of town) and is very well known for astronomy and planetary science.

    https://www.as.arizona.edu/facilities

    U of A also has the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory which is involved with e.g. the recent Mars lander missions.

    https://www.lpl.arizona.edu/
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
  4. Dec 7, 2015 #3

    eri

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    What do you plan to do with that? If you want to work in astronomy, you'll need to major in physics and then go to grad school for a PhD in astronomy or physics. So you're not just looking for astronomy, but physics as well.

    As for planetary science, try UC Boulder or U Arizona. For small schools with access to observatories, try the Five Colleges (Smith, Mt. Holyoke, UMass Amherst, Amherst, Hampshire) or those that are part of a consortium.
     
  5. Dec 7, 2015 #4
    Well yeah I know, but most every school has a physics major so that doesn't require very much searching. Thanks for the info!!
     
  6. Dec 7, 2015 #5
    That's awesome! Thank you so much!
     
  7. Dec 7, 2015 #6

    jtbell

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    I just remembered U of A also has the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory which I added to my post.
     
  8. Dec 7, 2015 #7

    Student100

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  9. Dec 8, 2015 #8
    Check out Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. http://www.http://physics.appstate.edu/ [Broken]

    It's observatory is ranked #20 in the nation (for colleges). I'm not sure about planetary sciences, but they do offer Physics Degrees with concentrations in Astrophysics and Astronomy. There are a handful of world renowned professors working in the physics and astronomy departments. One of which is a program director in NSF's Stellar Astronomy and Astrophysics program (Dr. Michael Briley, who is also the department head of physics), another developed the anti-dust coating for the solar panels on the Mars Rovers (Dr. Sid Clements), another is a pioneer in the field of electron microscopy (Dr Phillip E. Russell). It's not uncommon for students to receive grants and intern for NASA. Last time I checked, AppState had 5 full-time Astronomers/Astrophysicists, which is unheard of with a department that size.

    It may not be your top option after looking around, but it should definitely be on your short list. Message me if you have any questions about AppState (I'm a Senior here).

    ETA: I'm not sure what type of grades you have or what type of student you are, and I'm sure that AppState isn't even on your radar, but AppState is quickly becoming a more and more prestigious school in NC and it's becoming more widely known for some of it's degrees around the country. It's actually the 2nd hardest school to get into for in-state students, behind Duke (of course) but ahead of UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State! Plus it's the cheapest tuition in the state, and you'd be in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains! Do yourself a favor and give it an honest look!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  10. Dec 8, 2015 #9

    micromass

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    As an undergrad, why do you care about having an observatory on campus? Chances are big you won't see the inside of the observatory at all.
     
  11. Dec 8, 2015 #10

    eri

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    Actually, observatories on campus are usually there for the undergrads. Very few observatories on campus are actually used for real research; schools that do a lot of astronomy research have time on major telescopes at observatories and/or in space instead.
     
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