Dear Second-Year Students,

Congratulations on surviving your first year of graduate school! Now you get to do it all again, but with a twist: the second-year project. The second-year project is your chance to explore a possible thesis topic without irrevocably committing to it. After presenting your project near the end of the Spring semester, we encourage you to continue with your second-year advisor if the two of you feel good about your progress. If not, you can switch to a different project, or even switch to a different advisor. If you do not have a second-year project lined up at this time, please come see me!

In Fall 2013, the Astronomy Department offers the following courses that you might be interested in:

ASTR606 Stellar Structure and Evolution
ASTR620 Galaxies
ASTR699 Master's Degree Research (you should take this for 2 credits unless that would push you over 8 total credits for the semester)

In addition to our courses, you can find other possible electives from the course offerings of other departments; Aerospace Engineering, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Computer Science, Geology, and Physics are good places to look. Two classes, the Second-Year Project, and a TA-ship is a reasonably full load. You may want to consider adding an additional course if you have a fellowship or are extremely gung-ho! Note that when you take more than 8 credits in a semester, your student fees increase, and above 10 credits tuition increases, so talk with your advisor. Please talk to me about other electives and/or if you are considering an extra course.

In the Spring, check to see if you have a total of 24 credits of 600-level courses in your first 1.5 years. Most of you should have 24 credits; if so, sign up for 2 credits of ASTR898 in addition to the 6 credits from your two normal classes. With 23 credits, sign up for 1 credit of ASTR898 and 1 of ASTR699. For 22 or fewer, sign up for 2 credits of ASTR699. In all cases, the section number would be the one identified with your advisor; see this page for the list of numbers.

Cole Miller
Graduate Director

Send me to:

Cole's home page

astro home page