Careers in Astronomy. A Future in Astronomy. So you want to be an astronomer, but what do you need to do now to get there? Get involved in research and attend research group meetings Study for and plan on taking the Physics GRE – multiple times! Take all of the Physics classes you can at BYU!
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Careers in Astronomy
A career in astronomy requires at least a masters, but really a PhD to have the best chance
Plan on graduate school now
Start thinking about when you will take the general and physics GRE
Take both exams even if not planning on graduate school
Learn about summer internships you can apply for and start applying
Usually due around Jan-Feb
Talk to Taran Esplin or Derek Felli about their internships
Get started with a research group now
Opens the possibility of applying for money this summer to do research
Start working on your senior thesis
Join astronomy research e-mail list
Attend astronomy research group meeting
Thursday at 11 am in N-485 (astronomy library)
Start getting ideas for what you want to do for your senior thesis
Start talking to Professors about their work
Get involved with research now
Take 127 as soon as you can to get a good background in Astronomy and decide if this is a major you really want to pursue
Take 227 and 228 the Fall and Winter semester as soon as you have finished Physics 121 and Math 112
Consider taking 329 in the winter concurrent with 228
Telescope/research class – prepare you to join a research group
Interested in planetarium or using telescopes?
Take 313R any winter semester
Future requirement for Astronomy TAs
Take 427 & 428 Fall and Winter your junior or senior year
Also consider taking Physics 529 Fall of senior year
Interested in planetary geology?
Take geology 109 in the Winter (Radebaugh and Christiansen)
Consider doing senior thesis with Dr. Radebaugh
Special interest like astrobiology or interstellar chemistry?
Start talking to advisors now to determine what chem or bio classes you may want to take
or vice versa what physics class for non-majors
Remember that Astronomy is really applied Physics
If you want to be an astronomer, take all the physics that you can and work as a TA in the physics labs to prepare yourself for taking the Physics GRE!
This means that even though BYU only requires you to take two of the following four physics courses to graduate with your Astronomy degree, you should really plan on taking all four if you want to go to graduate school and do research in Astronomy!
(Physics 360, 442, 452, 471)
Don’t need to be an Astronomy major, just have a love for astronomy and enjoy it as a hobby
Benefits of Joining the club
Monthly public star parties
Training to use planetarium and deck telescopes – astronomy TA
Leadership looks good on grad school application or CV