1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Difference in BS and MS Applied Math

  1. Oct 17, 2013 #1
    Hello everyone. I'm majoring in applied math and physics and was considering going for a MS in math and later if I can a PhD in physics. I'm not sure if I should pursue a MS in applied or pure math because I will be getting a BS in applied math. I'm not sure what would be the difference between a MS and a BS in applied math. I know more work is required in the classes but other than that does anyone know the difference? Should I pursue a MS in pure math instead? Classes I've taken for the BS are matrix algebra, Fourier series, differential equations, probability, statistics, complex variables, modern algebra, intro to analysis, vector analysis, and or course Cal I - III. Thank you for your help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2013 #2
    I have applied for my MS in applied mathematics... I've got a heavy background in applied math and not a ton of pure (only the generic core requirements like analysis and such). Whether it's "more" work than your BS, I don't think anyone can really say without the specifics of your program. I would imagine a course-work only MS in applied math is more of what you've done, but up the stepping stones to the next level. A major research paper, or I gather a full blown thesis, would definitely be more rigorous and demanding; at least it appears that way with friends I have doing math PhD stream right now (in pure maths).

    If you want to do an MS in pure math, I would firstly make sure that you know what you want to do in the end... getting a MS in pure math definitely has an opportunity cost if you're not planning to do a PhD. Also your courses look pretty light for the material. At my school, the graduate department recommends at least 2 classes (introductory and next level) real analysis, a course in complex analysis, 2 years of theoretical linear algebra, and 2 years of "foundations", or essentially classes that cover the specifics of logic and set theory and all the goodies that come with it. Then of course, fourth year courses in special topics of pure maths.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook