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Undergrad research for astronomy grad school

  1. Aug 27, 2011 #1
    hi - does it matter if you do research or not in astronomy as an undergrad? is it ok to just do undergrad physics research for astronomy grad school? does it look any better to do astronomy research versus physics research as an undergrad, or any physics will do? i'm asking as a matter of practicality because physics is the undergrad major for many grad students in astronomy and obviously there are many more opportunities for undergrad research in physics versus astronomy, due to the former being more prevalent than the latter. thank you for your time
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2011 #2
    I'm not from the US and not familiar with the system there. But I think the reason why research experience is seen as something valuable for undergrads is because they have hands-on experience of what research is like, and that they have at least some realistic viewpoint of it. I don't think anyone expects that in undergrad research you gain deep and valuable insights into the field that will benefit the later research group you work in during PhD research and lead it to great achievements.
    Based on this I am pretty sure that physics research experience is just as valuable as astronomy research experience. Matching the type of research (lab work, computer analysis, or analytical calculations) may be slightly more important, but if I understand it correctly then in the US you are applying for "grad schools", not for "PhD positions", so at the time of application you don't even know what kind of work you'll be doing later - making this potential point irrelevant.
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