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Cambridge Part III

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Has anyone done this before? If so, what were your reasons for considering it? What did you think about it? I'm hoping to find out more about what areas of math I want to focus in grad school, but I've also heard that it doesn't help all that much (although it was fun anyway). How does the admissions process work? Are there interviews like for undergraduate applications?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
bump? Has anyone tried doing this? I think it would be nice to look at for people who are interested in spending a year abroad or spending a gap year in another way before starting grad school.
 
  • #3
pasmith
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Part III is a Master's level course which, for undergraduates at Cambridge, is the fourth year of a MMath degree (although, for historical reasons, you get a BA as well) or, for graduate students from anywhere else, is a one-year course leading to the degree of Master of Advanced Study (MASt).

Having done it myself, I would suggest that you should only consider Part III if you are a Cambridge undergraduate and want a Master's level degree or if you have ambitions to do a PhD in mathematics or theoretical physics at Cambridge and don't already have a Master's.

Otherwise you do not want to do Part III. It is extremely tough. I would not describe it as suitable for "spending a gap year before starting grad school". It is grad school.
 
  • #4
Thanks for the response! Yes, I definitely expect it to be intense. Maybe I should have phrased it as "before starting to do research". One of my reasons for considering it is that I want to better understand what areas of math I'm interested in studying later and look at how things are studied in different places. What sort of experience is assumed for Part III? Also, is there an interview required for outside students applying?
 
  • #5
IGU
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Having done it myself, I would suggest that you should only consider Part III if you are a Cambridge undergraduate and want a Master's level degree or if you have ambitions to do a PhD in mathematics or theoretical physics at Cambridge and don't already have a Master's.
How about if you are comfortable with the content of Parts IA-II but don't yet want to specialize? Comfortable with the content being defined as being able to do most of the relevant example sheets for a good selection of classes for each year (about eight or nine).

Otherwise you do not want to do Part III. It is extremely tough.
That would be rather the idea.
 
  • #6
pasmith
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Thanks for the response! Yes, I definitely expect it to be intense. Maybe I should have phrased it as "before starting to do research". One of my reasons for considering it is that I want to better understand what areas of math I'm interested in studying later and look at how things are studied in different places. What sort of experience is assumed for Part III? Also, is there an interview required for outside students applying?
There is an unofficial guide (PDF) by http://www.dpmms.cam.ac.uk/people/t.w.k_ouml_rner/ [Broken] which answers such questions as what experience is assumed, how to prepare, and what they're looking for in your application and references. On page 17 is the statement "We do not interview, but make our decisions based on your application and your referees’ letters."

How about if you are comfortable with the content of Parts IA-II but don't yet want to specialize? Comfortable with the content being defined as being able to do most of the relevant example sheets for a good selection of classes for each year (about eight or nine).
From the above guide:

Prof. Körner said:
(p. 13): If you are only interested in doing another year of mathematics you may well find the course too intense and too specialised.

...

(p. 21): You should also note that it seems very likely (but this represents the view of the present writer rather than a certain fact) that, if you do Part III, you will not be eligible for further funding to do an MSc after Part III.
The choice is, of course, entirely yours.
 
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  • #7
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I know several people who did it before coming to the USA for PHD. Most have very good things to say. The problem is it is really expensive for international students.
 

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