An astrophysicist studies the nature of the known universe as can be determined by physics and physical sciences. There are few astrophysicists because of the long years needed to enter the prevention and the scarcity of astrophysics jobs. But, a career in astrophysics carries prestige and offers a unique opportunity to discover new aspects of space.
- Skill level:
Take the highest science and physics courses offered in high school to prepare yourself for university science courses. Achieve high SAT scores and apply to colleges.
Attend a university with an astronomy or physics department. Take as many physics and higher math courses as are offered. Take any astronomy if available. Think about what specialty you might be interested in after school is finished and seek out courses and research projects in that specialty.
Find a professor who is conducting research in physics and partner with the professor to get some practical experience. Get a letter of recommendation in order to get into a graduate astronomy or physics program.
Complete a thesis if required by your undergraduate program and take the GRE. Get into a graduate school offering the astrophysics specialty of your choice, such as radio astronomy. Choose your graduate school carefully both by the types of specialties available and the prestige and accreditation of the school.
Get into a Ph.D. program in order to be qualified to conduct the type of high level research science that astrophysicists crave. Finish your Ph.D. and begin your post-doctoral research job. Improve space science knowledge with your independent and group research.