Choosing Astronomy/Astrophysics schools for Masters/PhD

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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:14 am

Choosing Astronomy/Astrophysics schools for Masters/PhD

Post by thunderflash » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:17 am

Hey everyone!

I'm going to start my final year in my undergrad program where I am double majoring in Physics and Astronomy. I believe I need to start looking for unis to apply for my masters/PhD and I also have applied for my GRE which I will be sitting in a couple of months. As of now, I am thinking of applying to universities in the US and maybe University of Toronto in Canada. Are there any US universities that are specfically known for astronomy/astrophysics programs? I also read that it is better to apply for a PhD program rather than a Masters in the US, is this true? I would appreciate any help as I am not well versed in this topic as of yet.

Thanks a lot!

Posts: 114
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:47 pm

Re: Choosing Astronomy/Astrophysics schools for Masters/PhD

Post by astroprof » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:34 pm

A search of "experimental" programs in "Astronomy" and "Astrophysics" on returned 164 results. These entries included both Astronomy Departments and Physics Departments with astronomy research programs. In general, gradschoolshopper (which is sponsored by the American Institute of Physics) is a good place to start your search for appropriate physics/astronomy graduate schools in the USA, regardless of specialty area. The entry for each school includes information about research opportunities and admissions statistics. While not all US schools are listed, the majority of physics departments choose to provide this information every year.

Graduate students in the US are usually admitted directly to a PhD program, but many students earn a Masters degree along the way. Funding (including stipend, tuition and fee remission, health insurance, etc) is usually reserved for PhD students. There are a handful of Masters-only programs that will provide funding for Masters students, but that is not the norm in the US. Thus, if you are thinking about attending a US graduate school, you should plan to apply directly to their PhD program.

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