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In summary: If you don't know where you are going, then another year or two of school is not going to help you figure that out. You need to make a decision and start taking steps in that direction.

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octopus26 said:Point is that my interests have changed.

How would you respond to "if your interests have changed, why have you not taken any courses in mathematics beyond the minimum?"

How about "If you have taken only the mathematics a typical sophomore math major takes, why do you think you will be prepared for graduate-level work?"

octopus26 said:and am having a very tough time deciding what it is I want to do.

Fair enough. But "perpetual student" eventually comes to an end, and if you are unsure of what you want to do post-college after almost 6 years on campus, another year or two is unlikely to make it clearer.

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So, I have been taking at least 17 credits a semester for 2 years now which means, although I wanted to take more math classes, my time was simply taken up by required courses.

And trust me, I would like to stop being a student soon. Honestly, at the end of the day, I really want to do a masters program that keeps my options open to a varied career and that also satisfies my love for science.

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Your plan is

- Hope that despite your less competitive background you are accepted.
- Hope that despite your underprepared background that you will succeed
- Hope that when you start taking classes you discover actually like math

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Vanadium 50 said:

Your plan is

That seems like a lot of hope.

- Hope that despite your less competitive background you are accepted.
- Hope that despite your underprepared background that you will succeed
- Hope that when you start taking classes you discover actually like math

So @Vanadium 50 , what would you advise the OP do then? After all, you did state the following earlier:

...if you are unsure of what you want to do post-college after almost 6 years on campus, another year or two is unlikely to make it clearer.

So it seems to me that you're concluding that it is too late for the OP to consider an applied math masters.

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If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.

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Are you burned out on school in general or just physics? If you're burned out on school in general, I don't think getting into any graduate program, physics or math, is a good idea. Also, I'm not sure why you think physics doesn't open the door to many of the same career options that applied math does.octopus26 said:

I'm not sure exactly what's required for applied math these days, but for a regular math degree, students typically take real analysis and abstract and linear algebra. And (in the US) the main difference between the lower-division and upper-division courses is that the focus changes to writing proofs. After that, one takes electives, and I'd guess this is where the pure math and applied math paths diverge. Do you know how to write proofs? That could turn out to be a pretty big stumbling block to overcome in advanced math courses.

So on paper, it seems you'd be underprepared, but then again, you should've seen quite a bit of math in your physics courses. You may also have an advantage over many math students if you've managed to develop a good intuition for what the math actually means. That could help ease the task of learning topics on the fly to fill in the holes in your knowledge.

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It is hard for me to tell exactly. Physics is still very exciting to me and I am still very motivated to find a career in which I can use my physics knowledge.vela said:Are you burned out on school in general or just physics? If you're burned out on school in general, I don't think getting into any graduate program, physics or math, is a good idea. Also, I'm not sure why you think physics doesn't open the door to many of the same career options that applied math does.

I'm not sure exactly what's required for applied math these days, but for a regular math degree, students typically take real analysis and abstract and linear algebra. And (in the US) the main difference between the lower-division and upper-division courses is that the focus changes to writing proofs. After that, one takes electives, and I'd guess this is where the pure math and applied math paths diverge. Do you know how to write proofs? That could turn out to be a pretty big stumbling block to overcome in advanced math courses.

So on paper, it seems you'd be underprepared, but then again, you should've seen quite a bit of math in your physics courses. You may also have an advantage over many math students if you've managed to develop a good intuition for what the math actually means. That could help ease the task of learning topics on the fly to fill in the holes in your knowledge.

The reason I say that is because it seems like a masters in physics is not very sought after in the job market. I have found very few jobs that ask for physicists and if they do they ask for PhDs.

Well I have been thinking the past few days that applied math is probably not the right path for me given my background... now I am thinking about a masters in applied physics. My oldest brother has his degree in applied physics and immediately got a very cool job that involves doing lots of physics. Am I naive to think that just because the word applied is placed in front means that it is suddenly more employable?

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