UNC or UC Irvine for Astrophysics?

darcfish
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:35 am

UNC or UC Irvine for Astrophysics?

Postby darcfish » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:31 am

Hello All! My undergraduate major is astronomy and I got offers from UNC Chapel Hill and UC Irvine. I wanna do something like observational astronomy or computational astrophysics and I am not interested in theoretical physics at all. UCI is in a really good place but the weather in UNC is also kinda comfortable. Actually I still don't know which specific field to focus on so it's a little difficult for me to compare the two schools. I emailed a prof in UCI and he is like super nice and has a really good reputation among the graduate students. But he works mainly on the numerical simulation on cosmology and dark matter, kinda related to theoretical physics. He told me that he would take in graduate students this year(but we haven't talked about the funding yet). As for UNC, I emailed some professors in astronomy field but got no reply until admitted. There is supercomputer in UNC but I haven't got in touch with any professors working on that. Desperate for advice!!
I think I should also mention that there is a chance for me to get admitted to UW Madison cause I am on the waitlist and my professor just emailed me about that. If admitted, it would be another hard choice for me. Winter in madison is like killing me while the department is a really good one (but I heard that they have the problem of lack of funding :roll: ).
Thanks for any advice!!

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: UNC or UC Irvine for Astrophysics?

Postby Catria » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:53 am

If cost of living vs. salary is a concern, UNC has the advantage in this regard. $24k yearly ($1,990/month) in Chapel Hill will beat out $22k (or even $32k) yearly in Irvine.

Plus I knew about Wisconsin's funding issues and hence did not apply there. Seems like Gov. Walker favors plasma and CM/AMO to a lesser extent, over astro and HEP; professors at my undergraduate institution often tell students that they should avoid Wisconsin unless they are 100% certain they want to do plasma. (A little exaggerating, I know, but Walker is just clueless about science policy and higher education :oops: )

darcfish
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:35 am

Re: UNC or UC Irvine for Astrophysics?

Postby darcfish » Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:17 pm

Catria wrote:If cost of living vs. salary is a concern, UNC has the advantage in this regard. $24k yearly ($1,990/month) in Chapel Hill will beat out $22k (or even $32k) yearly in Irvine.

Plus I knew about Wisconsin's funding issues and hence did not apply there. Seems like Gov. Walker favors plasma and CM/AMO to a lesser extent, over astro and HEP; professors at my undergraduate institution often tell students that they should avoid Wisconsin unless they are 100% certain they want to do plasma. (A little exaggerating, I know, but Walker is just clueless about science policy and higher education :oops: )


Thanks for the reply! Life in UNC can be much cheaper than in Irvine but it won't be my first concern as long as I can make a living by myself. I was just really concerned about the science stuff cause actually I was quite unfamiliar with these two schools before applying for them. I wanna know the real status of these two schools, which is hard to tell by just collecting information in their websites. And as an international, I have few people around me who are familiar with the graduate school stuff. I have to say that I am a little bit leaning to UCI now but I really wanna make sure that I don't miss anything that could affect my judgement. It's a really tough choice.

One of my friends applied to UWM last year and got admitted into the astronomy department. However, because of the funding problem, he chose to go to another place. It seems that their funding problem is probably more severe than I think. :| Anyway, I am still on the waitlist and therefore less concerned.




Return to “School Selection”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest