So I will be applying for math grad schools this upcoming Fall, and I made a list of factors that are important to me in choosing a grad school, and I tried to grade it on a 1-5 scale, 5 being ideal.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

I created the following rubric for myself:

- Location

- Weather

- "Prestige"/Rankings

- Strength in Geometry and Topology

- Strength in Mathematical Physics

- Realistic chances of admission (i.e. I have a better chance of admission to UC-San Diego than I do to Berkeley)

- Size of the Department

- Guranteed Support for all admitted students?

I know certain schools are almost great in everything, like Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton and certain other schools ave particular strengths, like Urbana has a good algebra program, etc. But I wanted to go to school for mathematical physics, specifically in the quantum, string or relativity aspects. Now some schools that are highly ranked have little math-physics, even the highly ranked ones like Chicago. They have people who research the mathematical groundwork, but they don't actually seem to delve into it.

My questions for you guys:

1) What do you think of my list? Is there anything you would add or subtract?

2) With the whole "Prestige" angle I am very concerned with. Like I said, some schools are very good in certain areas and they aren't top ranked overall. I believe Rutgers has a very highly regarded discrete math program, but I also noticed their mathematical physics faculty is outstanding, yet I never hear it mentioned from any of my professors.

Seriously, check it out: http://www.math.rutgers.edu/grad/interests.html [Broken]

they have an amazing group for strings and quantum theory mathematics.

Let's say I get into a good program that isn't as strong in mathematical physics and I also get into Rutgers, which should I pick? Do I go with the top 10 school or the school that has my research interests? I ask this because it seems that prestige and schooling have a big say on your future career as a mathematician. For example Stanford is a great program for both topology and geometry, but they only have 2 or 3 faculty members doing mathematical physics, and Stanford is Stanford, but I believe Rutgers has a better math-physics department due to the fact that Stanfords is almost nonexistant.

3) How many schools should you apply to? I hear from some professors, apply to 2-3 dream schools, 2-3 reaches and 2-3 safety schools others say 2 dreams and 2 schools you can get into. I guess it all depends on what your application is going to look like. I have a really high GPA, a lot of research experience and I can probably get 2 really good letters of reccomendation. My GRE scores are TBD, but I'm studying pretty hard for them right now.

Oh and I come from a well known mathematics school.

Thanks

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# Choosing grad schools

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