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Thread: College advice.

  1. #1 College advice. 
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    I know this probably isn't the place for it so before I get flames I would just like to apologize. Also pardon the punctuation or grammar mistakes, I am writing this very quickly.

    In short, I want to someday go to graduate school and get a PhD in Astronomy but some questions have been acting as I suppose self-built barriers.

    For one: I am almost 24, and got started late in the game. When I was in high school, I did not seem to care about my future or the nature of anything. Now it's all I'm concerned about, but before of my slacking off I'm only in Community college working on an associates in general studies.

    Two: The only local colleges nearby do not offer major in Astronomy. The closest thing I could obtain would be a Major in Geosciences, minoring in physics or astronomy.

    I have three questions.

    1.) Am I too old to obtain a PhD, or am I foolish for thinking age is a determining factor this early?

    2.) Is astronomy possibly too difficult an option for someone who got started this late in the game?

    3.) Barring a no on the last two, is a Major in Geosciences a good idea for someone working toward an astronomy degree, or would looking for a college further away be my only option?


    Again, sorry for coming here of all places for advice, but I assumed the people on this forum might have a good idea as to what I need to do. Thank you.


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  3. #2 Re: College advice. 
    . DrRocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mnemosyne
    .

    I have three questions.

    1.) Am I too old to obtain a PhD, or am I foolish for thinking age is a determining factor this early?

    2.) Is astronomy possibly too difficult an option for someone who got started this late in the game?

    3.) Barring a no on the last two, is a Major in Geosciences a good idea for someone working toward an astronomy degree, or would looking for a college further away be my only option?

    1. There are no age limits. A good friend recently received a PH.D. in mathematics with a strong thesis in topology. He was nearly 60.

    2. a) Getting started late is not a barrier to a degree. But astronomy is not an easy field and being poorly prepared is a barrier.
    b) Getting started late may well be a barrier to employment later. New hot shot Ph,D.s tend to be pretty young and post doc pay is lousy.

    3) A major in Physics would be more appropriate. Many good schools have a combined aAstronomy & Physics Department.


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  4. #3 Re: College advice. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Quote Originally Posted by Mnemosyne
    .

    I have three questions.

    1.) Am I too old to obtain a PhD, or am I foolish for thinking age is a determining factor this early?

    2.) Is astronomy possibly too difficult an option for someone who got started this late in the game?

    3.) Barring a no on the last two, is a Major in Geosciences a good idea for someone working toward an astronomy degree, or would looking for a college further away be my only option?

    1. There are no age limits. A good friend recently received a PH.D. in mathematics with a strong thesis in topology. He was nearly 60.

    2. a) Getting started late is not a barrier to a degree. But astronomy is not an easy field and being poorly prepared is a barrier.
    b) Getting started late may well be a barrier to employment later. New hot shot Ph,D.s tend to be pretty young and post doc pay is lousy.

    3) A major in Physics would be more appropriate. Many good schools have a combined aAstronomy & Physics Department.

    Thanks a lot for the heads up DrRocket. I know Astronomy is a difficult field and I'm trying to prepare myself as much as possible before I begin most of the more difficult courses. I've already taken a good deal of Math classes, and start Calculus next semester. The only books I really read in my spare time are Science related (mostly physics).

    I LOVE math though, and excel at any mathematics course I take, so if all else fails maybe I'll just teach math :P.

    I'll look into schools that aren't necessarily close to home, as the ones near here lack in physics/astronomy programs . I was just looking to save as much money as possible - but in the end that's not the most important thing to me.

    Thanks again for the input!
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