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Space Studies Degree questions.

  1. Sep 5, 2009 #1

    MacLaddy

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    Hello all...

    I have recently been considering returning to school via an online capacity, and I have stumbled across a school named "American Public University." http://www.apu.apus.edu/index.htm This school offers a BA degree in "Space Studies," and it's entirely online.

    To me this sounds great. I love the space sciences, astronomy, physics, etc. This school is highly accredited, and seems to be a civilian twin to the "American Military University." http://www.amu.apus.edu/index.htm

    My question is this: What kind of work can I do with this BA degree in Space Studies? I intend to pursue my Masters in the same field following the BA, but I need to know if I can get a job with the BA (or even with my masters)? What would I put on my resume? It mentions some Aeronautical Engineering, as well as some Astronomy, physics, as well as others; but it is very interdisciplinary. Does anyone think I could get an engineering position in some capacity, or even an entry level position at some respected organization?

    This is the link to the BA, and then the Masters courses.

    http://www.apu.apus.edu/Academics/Degree-Programs/program.htm?progid=4593&program_type=Bachelors
    http://www.apu.apus.edu/Academics/Degree-Programs/program.htm?progid=4765&program_type=Masters [Broken]

    Big decision. Any information you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mac
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2009 #2
    I looked at the course requirements. I'm not sure what some of the classes entail (e.g. Intro Space Studies, Space Flight, and Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids). To me it seems too interdisciplinary to be of any use. Not only that, but I'm not sure how rigorous these classes are. If you're interested in engineering, I'd recommend an engineering degree. If you're into astronomy, I'd recommend a physics BS.
     
  4. Sep 5, 2009 #3

    eri

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    I agree with arunma (as usual) - this doesn't look like a very rigorous program, the class titles are pretty vague (most of those intro classes would be covered in a single intro class my my university) and they've only got one professor (who has an online degree as well). That course background wouldn't qualify you to get into a masters program in astronomy or physics - there's really no physics there, and astronomy is mostly physics - I can't speak for engineering, but I imagine it would be the same.
     
  5. Sep 6, 2009 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    And his PhD is in management, not the field he is teaching.
     
  6. Sep 8, 2009 #5

    MacLaddy

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    In defense of the school, they do have several professors. That one was just the overall Dean of Space Studies. However, I do agree with you both. I thought the course looked a little weak, and I would be worried about getting a job with that degree, or going on to a masters.

    To quote arunma: "If you're interested in engineering, I'd recommend an engineering degree. If you're into astronomy, I'd recommend a physics BS."
    But I wanna do BOTH!!! I love Physics / Astronomy, but I have no faith in myself that I am either smart enough to finish the class, or to acquire a good job afterwards. However, I am a tinkerer. Constantly building things and figuring out how things work, so engineering seems to be my niche... I figured with the physics in engineering that perhaps somehow I could combine them.

    Very confused, but I do appreciate your help and your comments. I think I have dismissed the possibility of that class because of everyones useful advice.

    The search continues for an online degree that is well rounded, and respected.

    Mac
     
  7. Sep 8, 2009 #6

    D H

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    From your last post, it seems like you should look into aerospace engineering as a possibility.

    What kind of degree program are you looking for? Bachelors or masters?
     
  8. Sep 8, 2009 #7

    MacLaddy

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    I am looking at a bachelors program, preferrably one that is online. When I have completed that I believe I will go on pursue my masters degree, which Villanova and other schools have several masters programs that I could choose from online. I have found some associate degrees online, but I don't believe that is enough education to start with. However, I don't really have a clue how the whole school system works, as this is all new to me.

    Aerospace Engineering sounds great. Unfortunately, I don't have a clue what it is, but it sounds good.
     
  9. Sep 8, 2009 #8

    f95toli

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    You will never find a good online program for engineering or physics.
    Online courses can be great for some short part-time courses; but it is impossible to create a good full-time program; you simply need to be able to interact with teachers and other students. Not to mention the fact that any rigorous program will involve quite a few experiments/demonstration which for obvious reasons can't be done online.
     
  10. Sep 8, 2009 #9

    D H

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    I disagree. Fifteen+ years ago I took several remote learning graduate level math classes from UMass at Amherst. This predates online learning, which has to be better than the technology we used. The school express-mailed video tapes of the lectures to the remote students and the remote students mailed homework and tests back. Tests were open book of course, which means that they were tough. The quality of the courses was as good as graduate-level courses I took in person at Johns Hopkins and George Washington.
     
  11. Sep 8, 2009 #10

    MacLaddy

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    Well, I hope there is a quality online education for me, as it's really my only choice. I live in a city where there is either the major university, (not an option) a community college that only offers associate degrees in engineering, or several different small schools with business degrees like Phoenix. Mainly, I like to stay mobile. I don't want to be stuck here for the next 5+ years.

    If anyone has any experience with receiving a bachelors degree in Mechanical, or Electrical Engineering online, please let me know.

    I still have not decided for sure what I would like to do, but that is mainly because I don't know all of my options yet. I think I would like to pursue my BA in Electrical/Electronic Engineering (not sure of the difference), or Mechanical Engineering. Then go on to get a masters in Physics/Astronomy.

    Is this possible?
     
  12. Sep 8, 2009 #11

    f95toli

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    But you are still talking about individual courses (some of which -as I wrote above- might work well as online courses). not a full BS program which is what the OP was asking about.

    To to OP: Is there any reason why you simply can't move to another city? That is what most people do when they go to university.
     
  13. Sep 8, 2009 #12
    If you want to do both, you could look for a school that has an engineering physics BS degree. Unless you're sure about grad school, I wouldn't recommend a pure physics degree, since it's not quite as employable as engineering. Alternatively, you could just get an engineering degree and take three or four advanced undergrad physics classes (like mechanics, E&M, and stat mech or quantum). That would be enough to get you into a physics or astronomy graduate program if you decide to go later.

    I think the key here is not to specialize early on. Specialization should only happen in grad school. At the undergrad level you need to get a rigorous and broad-based education. That's why I'd recommend against the space-science degree. As Eri correctly said, this won't get you into grad school in physics or astronomy. But if you have a physics degree, you can get a PhD in space physics or astrophysics, and I think this is more the career you want to be in.
     
  14. Sep 9, 2009 #13

    MacLaddy

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    Great advice from everyone. Thank you all.

    Now it's time to ponder, and wonder "Should I just bag it all and go to the University of Idaho for four years and get my BA in Electrical Engineering?"

    I better go consult my magic 8 ball.

    Mac
     
  15. Sep 9, 2009 #14
    Very rigorous distance graduate program in Engineering from Columbia.
    http://www.cvn.columbia.edu/

    I understand it is both very expensive and very intense.
     
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