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A Career in Astronomy and Access to Astronomy Classes

17 Nov 2015, 11:15 UTC
A Career in Astronomy and Access to Astronomy Classes
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Question: Hello. I am a college student, and I am extremely interested in astronomy. I am taking math and chemistry but my school doesn’t offer astronomy classes. Can I still get a career in astronomy with a degree in chemistry or would it be best to try and transfer to a school that offers astronomy?
Also, I’m worried I won’t be smart enough to succeed in astronomy. I was a valedictorian in high school, but I’m still worried to take the risk of transferring schools for an astronomy program and then not be able to complete it. Any advice? Thank you. – Kristin

Answer: Most astronomers are actually trained as physicists or chemists who later specialize in the astrophysical application of physics or chemistry. I would not worry too much about the lack of access to astronomy classes at your undergraduate school. It is more important to take as much physics and math, and chemistry if your ultimate goal is to study interstellar chemistry, that you possibly can so that you can have a good grounding in these subjects, which are fundamental to astrophysical research. Also, having a good background in physics, chemistry, and math allows for you ...

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