some relevant background: I intend to pursue a masters degree in math starting in the fall of next year, 2013. I attained a degree in economics back in 2004, but a couple years ago I started taking some undergrad courses part-time (one or two courses per semester) to prep me for a masters in math. I've taken diff calc, integral calc, multivariable calc, a course in reading and writing proofs with an emphasis on set theory, and linear algebra. Although the head of the department at Stony Brook seems to think I'd be able to complete the requirements for the masters degree with the background I have, I would feel more comfortable entering the program with some more background. In the fall then spring I intend to take 2 courses in Analysis (Introduction to Analysis then Analysis in Several Dimensions), an Abstract Algebra course, and a course labeled Topology and Geometry. I really didn't get too much out of the linear algebra course that I took. I don't want to blame too much on the professor, but he made us buy his book (which was this terrible paperback from 1980) and it was mainly a course in "matrix algebra". I learned many operations, we spent tons of time using gauss jordan etc, but very little time on theory or proofs. He never even taught us WHY gauss jordan elimination works, I had to figure that out on my own, i.e. how each step can be represented by an elimination matrix which when all multiplied together form the inverse matrix. I have the chance now to take a more sophisticated linear algebra course and I'm trying to decide if it would be worth it. I know that is very subjective, but that's why I'm here... for advice based on personal experience. Will it help me in my future studies (focusing on pure math)to have a deeper understanding of linear algebra or is it something one can pick up as they go along. opinions welcome. thank you.