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Would it be possible for me to major in Astronomy advice please.

  1. Dec 8, 2011 #1
    I'm a freshman in university, just finishing up my first semester (I've got 3 finals left and then I'm done). I just turned 18 last week, too. I'm in arts at the moment, but I've been thinking that I want to switch to sciences and aim for a degree in astronomy...the problems I face, however:
    - I'm not all that good at math. I got 91% in IB math 12 as a final grade, and so I've had experience with calc, but don't be fooled...I'm really not all that great, it does NOT come naturally to me. I can understand math, but doing it on my own brings anxiety and I just forget how to do it. Calculus is just the worse for me.
    - I have never taken a physics course. There's an intro to astronomy course at my uni, but the pre-req is physics 11. (I could always take phys 11 in the summer or something, but I'm just worried I'll fail at that since I'm not great at math.)
    -The highest science course I took was IB biology 12 with 89% as a final grade
    (IB is like AP, for those who are confused)

    I've always been interested in the sciences, particularly this area, but my relationship with math has honestly kept me from going anywhere near the sciences. I just feel like if I tried, math would keep me from even passing. That's a crappy feeling.

    My main question: Is it too late because I've no physics background?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2011 #2
    When you get out of college (university) you will have to get a job. How many jobs outside of academia (where you will most certainly have to have a SOLID understanding of math an numerical computing) do you think there are that hire astronomers?

    Minor in astrology, major in something viable and sell-able. Don't waste money in college getting a degree you can't use.

    This is just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt.
  4. Dec 8, 2011 #3
    I was going to ask the same thing. What the heck do you want astronomy for anyways? seems more like hobby material to me. I'm actually going to go ahead and say that your university doesn't even offer a degree in astronomy. You'd have to get a physics degree and minor in it... maybe. And if you've never taken a physics course then you're probably not going to want to go down that road.
  5. Dec 8, 2011 #4
    That should say astronomy.

    Anyways, I'd said you should just switch to physics and take astronomy electives.
  6. Dec 9, 2011 #5
    From what I've seen, most schools that actually have an astronomy degree program, it's really just a physics undergrad with some astronomy courses thrown in.

    I've been in a similar boat. I loved physics and astronomy when I was in college, although I was a different major (radio, tv, film with focus on audio engineering). I didn't pursue it for various reasons and graduated with my initial intended degree. Long story short - I'm currently enrolled in Math courses to prepare to pursue it now.

    Research and figure out what you might want to do career wise. Maybe take some math courses at a community college that will transfer to see how you like and get you up to speed.
  7. Dec 9, 2011 #6
    That should say anyway.

    If you haven't taken a physics class, then how do you know if you'll do good or not? Physics isn't math.

    Same can be said for astronomy, if you haven't taken an astronomy course, then how do you know you like astronomy?

    Good luck.
  8. Dec 9, 2011 #7
    My intention wasn't to be smug however your correction conveys that attitude.

    Anyway, I agree with what you're saying but what I was trying to say is that if he/she does choose to enter the sciences with a specification in astronomy they should just do a physics degree with astronomy electives.
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