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Want to study astronomy

  1. Feb 12, 2009 #1
    Basically I've changed my mind about doing engineering and have decided to pursue my true passion, astronomy. My question is, do I major in astrophysics or astronomy? Im not sure if "astronomy" is a major. Also, will I be stuck teaching after all is done?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2009 #2
    If you want to go to grad school for astronomy then getting a undergrad degree in just plain old physics is just fine and perhaps more practical if for whatever reason you don't end up in grad school. This is what I am planning to do.
  4. Feb 13, 2009 #3


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    I agree that as far as undergraduate degrees go, less specialization is better. There are some schools that offer astrophysics and/or astronomy degrees, but there usually isn't that much difference between those and a "standard" physics degree where you take a few electives in astronomy-related topics, and either path should qualify you for graduate school.
  5. Feb 13, 2009 #4
    are astrophysics and astronomy majors basically the same? do you for the most part take the same classes in both of these?
  6. Feb 13, 2009 #5


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    They are basically physics degrees. Wether they call the extra couple of astro courses astronomy or astrophysics mostly depends on the age of the course/institute.
    If they have been teaching it since Newton were a lad they will call it astronomy, if they are trying to make their physics course sound cool they will call it astrophysics.

    Astronomy and astrophysics are different but this doesn't relate to the course content
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