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Foreign Language: A requirement for Mathematics Ph.Ds?

  1. Apr 20, 2009 #1
    Though still an undergrad in my early stages, I've been looking at graduate school programs and requirements just for kicks. In a significant amount of universities learning or knowing a foreign language (French, German, and/or Russian seem to be the most common choices) is a requirement.

    So I was wondering, seeing as how I can get started on learning a language while still in my undergrad years, which language(s) would be the most useful to learn for a Ph.D in Mathematics?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2009 #2
    I don't think you really need to be fluent in a language, I always heard you just had to translate a page of a document using a dictionary, or something similar to that.
  4. Apr 20, 2009 #3


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    It's not generally required for the work - it's a general entry requirement for some universities. It promotes well rounded students = keep out the uncouth scientists and engineers who might use the wrong fork at a formal dinner.
    Generally you only need minimal high school (the which way to the post office stuff) french/spanish/german
  5. Apr 20, 2009 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    My PhD foreign language exam went something like this. "I see you took German in college. Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" "Si, Senor." "Close enough. Next!"
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