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Difficult choice regarding Abstract Algebra

  1. Aug 15, 2009 #1
    Hi all.

    I am currently a Junior attending SUNY-Stony Brook as a math major.
    This coming fall semester I have a very good opportunity before me: I can either take the undergrad abstract algebra course (textbook: Contemporary Abstract Algebra by Gallian), or I can take the graduate abstract algebra course (text book: Abstract Algebra by Dummit and Foote).

    I feel like I am fairly competent with linear algebra, but from talking to people I don't really feel like that is going to help.

    I have no previous abstract algebra knowledge.

    What should I do? I want to get into some good graduate school after I finish my undergrad, and taking a graduate course will really help in that endeavor (if I do well in it, of course).

    I am really nervous about this. Any advice would be greatly apprecaited.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2009 #2
    In my opinion, you should take the undergraduate algebra course. Some reasons follow:

    * The graduate course probably will require an undergraduate course in the subject as a prerequisite.

    * Even if you can get the instructor's permission to take the graduate course, you still may run into problems. Graduate courses cover material faster and it probably will be assumed that you're already familiar with the basics.

    * Finally, will the graduate course satisfy the requirements of your major?

    I took a graduate course in algebra as an undergrad, but only after first taking the undergraduate course. Perhaps you could take the undergraduate course this year, and then the graduate course next year?
     
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