CME for Grad School but undergrad Astro..

Btwestyo
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:13 am

CME for Grad School but undergrad Astro..

Postby Btwestyo » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:44 pm

Hey, I am currently a 3rd year undergraduate majoring in Physics (emphasis with Astro) but I recently decided I want to apply for condensed matter experiment for grad school. I recently got interested in condensed matter because I want to help improve energy efficiencies in the world and it seems as though the best route via physics is through a knowledge of semi-conductors. Naturally, that area of physics is solid-state/condensed matter physics. So that probably leads me towards the DOE or industry sector where they work on (photovoltaics, thermo electrics, nanotech, etc).

Will I be less competitive getting into grad school if I am an astro major and that I do my senior thesis with an astro theory advisor? This summer I plan to publish 1st or 2nd author in astro but I don't know if that will be of any help for CME. I have not taken any solid state physics electives and at this point I'm note even sure if I'd like it or be any good at it. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

SSM
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:57 pm

Re: CME for Grad School but undergrad Astro..

Postby SSM » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:54 pm

I think doing astronomy research would put you at a bigger disadvantage than if you did solid state research, but you're certainly better off doing astronomy than nothing (seems sort of obvious to me). Your chances at getting into grad school are influenced so much by your PGRE score and GPA that I think you'd be fine if these were up to par. I know that a lot of students (like me) have never taken a solid state physics course, yet I'm still interested in studying it.

That being said, I would really look carefully in any way that you can to see if you like solid state, it isn't for everyone.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: CME for Grad School but undergrad Astro..

Postby bfollinprm » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:50 pm

Btwestyo wrote:Hey, I am currently a 3rd year undergraduate majoring in Physics (emphasis with Astro) but I recently decided I want to apply for condensed matter experiment for grad school. I recently got interested in condensed matter because I want to help improve energy efficiencies in the world and it seems as though the best route via physics is through a knowledge of semi-conductors. Naturally, that area of physics is solid-state/condensed matter physics. So that probably leads me towards the DOE or industry sector where they work on (photovoltaics, thermo electrics, nanotech, etc).

Will I be less competitive getting into grad school if I am an astro major and that I do my senior thesis with an astro theory advisor? This summer I plan to publish 1st or 2nd author in astro but I don't know if that will be of any help for CME. I have not taken any solid state physics electives and at this point I'm note even sure if I'd like it or be any good at it. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


It really depends on what you do your astro theory thesis on. It will all help you, but a thesis that focuses on analysis/simulation tools is more likely to teach you tools that will stay useful when you switch fields. A thesis on the non-gaussianic properties of the cosmic microwave background will show that you have the right kind of maturity to do research, but not much else that will interest a Condensed Matter researcher.

Btwestyo
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:13 am

Re: CME for Grad School but undergrad Astro..

Postby Btwestyo » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:00 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
Btwestyo wrote:
It really depends on what you do your astro theory thesis on. It will all help you, but a thesis that focuses on analysis/simulation tools is more likely to teach you tools that will stay useful when you switch fields. A thesis on the non-gaussianic properties of the cosmic microwave background will show that you have the right kind of maturity to do research, but not much else that will interest a Condensed Matter researcher.


Good point. So now I have another dilemma. I'm considering either material sciences or electrical engineering programs because it seems like if I want to help innovate new technologies, those fields seem a lot more practical than saying a PhD in physics which is more theoretical. If I want to be on the frontier of either lasers, semiconductors, optoelectronics, would you recommend that I go into engineering/material science instead of physics? Thanks.




Return to “Research”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest