To create a successful career in astrophysics, you'll also need to hone your scientific skills. Take AP classes in biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics. In high school, make sure you perform well in your science classes so that you can qualify for AP science classes in high school. If you're a high school student who wants to become an astronomer, the best advice is to study hard.
It's important to take a lot of academic classes in high school if you want a career in any of the sciences, so make sure you study four years of science, mathematics, English, and social studies. You should read magazines such as Sky and Telescope or Astronomy and follow the new developments in astronomy that appear in the news. Any reading or research you do at the beginning can only help you later. Astronomy books are found in the 520s and physics books in the 530s, according to the library's Dewey decimal system.
Specifically, a student planning to go to graduate school in astronomy should have had physics courses that covered electricity and magnetism, atomic and nuclear physics, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and quantum theory. The American Institute of Physics (AIP) maintains an interactive tool called GradSchoolShopper to help you find a suitable graduate program in physics, astronomy, or a related field. Although most colleges require at least one year of high school science and two years of high school mathematics, this minimum background is insufficient for students planning to major in science. Becoming a successful astrophysicist is inextricably linked to success as a student, starting with high school and continuing through college, graduate and graduate work.
The strength of a school's astrophysics program is closely tied to the quality of its mathematics and physics programs, so the rankings of all three are listed below. Chemistry and physics courses are also highly recommended in high school as proper preparation for the first year of college.