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Statistics vs. Astronomy for Physics Major

  1. Jan 19, 2015 #1
    I am currently signing up for classes next semester. I am already taking Linear Algebra, Physics 2 + Lab, and a required writing course. As my fourth choice I can either take Astronomy + Lab or Introduction to Probability and Statistics. The pros of statistics are that there is no lab, which tends to be time-consuming. However, the astronomy course seems fun and is required if I choose to be an astrophysics major (vs. just physics), though I'm still not sure that I want to overspecialize during undergraduate since I'm not dead-set on astrophysics.

    I could also take five courses, but I worry that that would be too much...

    I tentatively am planning on physics + math and hope to become a theoretical physicist, though lab in college has proven to be a lot more fun that high school labs--data is beautiful!

    Any advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2015 #2
    Are there other astrophysics-geared classes that you'd need to take after the astronomy class? If so, you might want to take it right off the bat so you can get the next classes out of the way in the coming years. Otherwise, I'd say take statistics, because having two lab classes at the same time sounds quite horrible.
  4. Jan 20, 2015 #3
    The astro-physics major is the entire regular physics major + four astronomy courses, each which build upon one another. However, I certainly would not be behind if I began next year. I guess my main question is whether statistics is even a very useful math class for physics?
  5. Jan 24, 2015 #4
    If you want to do experimental physics, statistics are absolutely essential. However, the mathematical approach to statistics might not help so much if you cover the things you need to know for experimental data analysis in lab courses and any data analysis based courses.
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