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Introducing a New Expert Content Section: Careers!

The Physics/Engineering Struggle for Masters Degree

cosmicspidermancosmicspiderman Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
Hi everyone, I'm just posting to see what everyone's opinions are on something. It's a question regarding what I should major in for a masters degree...

I'm currently an undergrad major in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, however I'm also minoring in Physics. (Quick note: by "minoring in Physics" I mean I'm taking literally every physics class that a Physics major would take minus a couple labs. Couldn't double major in 4 years due to additional gen eds from the college of arts and sciences) I'd like to go into fields like orbital mechanics, astrodynamics, celestial mechanics, etcetera, and will be taking classes soon in orbital mechanics, quantum mechanics, and the like.

My dilemma is this: should I go for a masters degree in Astronautical Engineering or in Astronomy/Astrophysics? I seem to be most interested in the overlap between these two degrees and I'm not sure which one would provide more in-depth information on the fields I listed above. I realize that these fields aren't exactly the most popular in terms of job availability, but I don't care too much about that at the moment. I'd just like to follow my passion; plus I'm currently an intern at NASA in propulsion but there's a lot of potential for switching over into different areas including the aforementioned fields.

TL;DR
I'm interested in orbital mechanics, astrodynamics, celestial mechanics, etcetera. Should I go for a masters in Astronautical Engineering or Astronomy/Astrophysics?

Replies to: The Physics/Engineering Struggle for Masters Degree

  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering Posts: 7,298 Forum Champion
    If you are currently interning at NASA, I might suggest trying to speak with someone in a group there dealing with the areas that interest you (like orbital/celestial mechanics) and ask them what they think would be more beneficial for you in those areas.
  • cosmicspidermancosmicspiderman Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Right now, that's the plan haha. I'm trying to get in contact with a few people but so far I'm not having any luck. It sucks when people are actually busy. Any advice in the meantime?
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering Posts: 7,298 Forum Champion
    I'm not familiar enough with those subjects to have a complete answer for you, I'm afraid. I have a degree in aerospace engineering but I was on the aeronautics side. Generally, though, it seems like taking the astronautics route would set you up more to help navigate objects through the cosmos, while astrophysics would be more about studying things that are already moving about the cosmos.
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Registered User Posts: 8,604 Senior Member
    It sounds like you are doing some intense coursework and landed a great internship. Have you done any campus research? That might help you decide. Usually grad school involves a lot of research.
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