Astrophysics BS versus physics BS

I’m unsure of which major I should choose. I think a physics degree has more job opporunities, but I’m really into astrophysics. Overall, I enjoy the whole subject of physics though. Some people recommend going into graduate school for astrophysics instead, but at this moment I’m unsure if I will go to graduate school, I’d like too but it’d too ealy to predict if I will or won’t be able to.
So I’m unsure of what degree would be the best choice for undergraduate.

I think the name of your degree should be “physics” for the sake of employers, but arrange to (nevertheless) take as many astrophysics courses as you can.

@jjwinkle gives you good advice. Usually there are a number of elective courses in a physics degree so you can choose them to fulfill your interest about astrophysics. I would note, however, that a degree in Astrophysics is not the same as a degree in Astronomy. There is more physics involved and in the degree we have at Illinois Tech, it is fundamentally a physics degree with a specialization in astronomy. Comparing the courses between the Physics and the Astrophysics curricula reveals that they are quite similar.

Thank you :slight_smile: And yeah, I’m aware that a physics and astrophysics degree is very similar to each other.

Realistically, a typical astrophysics degree is just a physics degree with 4-5 elective courses specializing in astronomy/astrophysics/cosmology. The same education can be had at basically any school with solid programs in both physics and astronomy. The biggest distinction is the name on the degree, and honestly that isn’t even too great of a difference here. I guess a general physics degree may have more overall utility in the job market, so if graduate study in physics/astrophysics is still an uncertainty, it may be better to go for the degree in physics with a minor in astronomy, as opposed to the degree in astrophysics. I doubt that your chances of getting into an astrophysics graduate program would differ either way.

Thank you :slight_smile: I don’t know too much about getting a minor, or how much extra work that requires. I’ll look into it :slight_smile: