vesperlynd wrote:It sound like you and I are in the same position. I was told that as long as you explain that you have non-astronomy interests (condensed matter in your case), the physics departments will understand why you are applying to them, and won't transfer your application to the astronomy departments.
As far as coursework, the schools will definitely let you take some classes in astronomy. Don't worry about not coming in with any coursework; it can be made up in grad school.
larry burns wrote:I probably should've asked this before, but since I'm interested in applying to some Astronomy depts (separate from physics), will my application be hurt considering that i havent taken any astro classes or done research projects in it? I have a physics degree but did my research projects in materials sci/condensed matter. Should I mention this in my SOP?
One possible negative of this approach is related to funding. Astronomy departments
are usually significantly smaller than Physics departments, and usually attempt to
match admissions to available RA/TA positions much more closely. In addition, they
will give priority to their own students for such positions. Thus, you may find yourself
as a (physics) TA for longer than if you had been accepted directly into the astronomy
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