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Programs Chances of getting into a regular pure math PhD program

  1. Oct 17, 2010 #1
    Hi everyone. I want to get into an okay PhD program for pure math (analysis or algebra). I don't care if it is a lowly university, just so it is accredited. What are my chances of getting into such a program with funding? To how many universities should I apply? My background is as follows: BS Math Ed 2.9 GPA (not great I know). MS pure math 3.5 GPA. (I went ahead and got my MS to make up for my lackluster undergrad performance). Both of my degrees came from Middle Tennessee State University. I have no research experience, unfortunately. I will take the GRE subject test in one month. I took the GRE general and got a 780 subject, 480 verbal, 4.0 essay. I've researched this topic but all anyone wants to talk about is the prestigious schools. I don't care for those schools. I just want to get in anywhere I can. Thanks.

    PS: I slacked in my undergrad days. No excuses. I was a fool. But I learned alot. My professors were hard but most were good (with a few lemons along the way). MTSU is underrated. My background, if you are interested, is
    Calc 1: B then Calc 2: B+ then Calc 3: B- then DE: C ; then Foundations: C; then Geometry B; then Statistics C; then Abstract Algebra 1: B; then Linear B; now, for grad, we have
    Theory of Calc: B; then Analysis: A; then general topology B; then algebraic topology A; then Advanced DE: A; then Abstract Alg 2: A; then Complex Analysis: A-; then Advanced Linear A-, then Graph Theory B-, then Numerical Analysis B-, then Set Theory B, then med stats A.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2010 #2
    You've got high chances of getting into Harvard grad. school for mathematics. Really any ivy league college. Apply to harvard, MIT, princeton and chicago, and stanford, and you'll get into at least 60% of these. Why not go to prestigious schools? You're simply exceptional at math from the courses you've noted. One problem is that you haven't done enough deeply into one area but you seem to have done a broad spectra of math. Grad schools like this. What I'd encourage you to do to get your chances higher is to try taking more advanced math courses in an area of math you like. If it's algebra and analysis, I'd recommend the following: Take math courses in PDE's, Advanced Fourier Analysis, Several complex variables, Functional analysis, and Operator Theory. For algebra, take courses in commutative ring theory, category theory and homological algebra. That'll make you a shoo-in at the top grad. schools. Though get good marks in these courses! If you can get A's in these courses, there's surely no grad. school in the world who wouldn't take you. Harvard is the benchmark. Look at what topics Harvard covers in their grad. classes and try to mimick those. You certainly can't be rejected if you can do as well as Harvard's grad. students. Remember you'll only get a job in a place that's at the same level or lower compared to the grad. school you go to to get a PhD. So if you don't want your career to be doomed, go to Harvard.
  4. Oct 19, 2010 #3
    Am I the only one baffled by Anon's posts..? Without research, I don't know about getting into Harvard for math..
  5. Oct 19, 2010 #4
    What? You're the same person who started (and now apparently deleted) the thread a few weeks ago wondering if YOU had a chance at getting into Harvard. Your credentials were (claimed to be) much better than this. Are you mocking him or something in this post? Or is this you admitting that everything in your last thread was a lie like many had suspected?

    On the subject of the thread: your undergad GPA is the biggest factor against you but having shown that it wasn't due to incompetence (via your MS), you should be able to get in somewhere. Without knowing the strength of your LOR's among other things, I can't say much else, but make sure you apply to several safeties.
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