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Having a BS physics, want to do a BS math

  1. Mar 16, 2012 #1
    Hi, everyone~

    I have a bachelor degree in physics (in a top China university), and I am doing a master in theoretical physics (in a top UK university) now. However, I am becoming increasingly interested in pure mathematics, and I am seriously considering being a mathematician.

    I tried to apply for several math master programs this year but failed at all of them : ( I guess that is because my background is not strong enough.

    Therefore I am thinking of doing a math bachelor degree. I plan to apply for US colleges mainly. Information for my situation is rare. So may I ask if you know anything about similar cases?

    For instance,

    1) Do I still need recommendations/grades from high school ?
    2) I have some academic publications (on Physical Review D), how much do they help?
    3) Will it be harder to get financial aid?

    Any comments are much appreiciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2012 #2


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    Hey Stan Marsh.

    I would recommend you look for a masters in mathematics over a bachelors degree. If you have the calculus sequence, linear alegbra, some complex calculus then you could go for some kind of graduate diploma program before going for a fully blown masters.

    This is how it works in the Australian system and I'm sure there must be some kind of equivalent in the states.

    Personally I think you should be able to get straight into a masters program, but you will probably have to pay for it upfront. In terms of financial aid, I don't know anything about that for the US system.

    The fact that you have a BS in physics will mean that they won't care about your HS marks at all.

    Also you need to clarify what kind of program you are looking to do: is it pure math, applied math, or statistics?
  4. Mar 17, 2012 #3
    Hi, Chiro,

    Thank you for your reply. I guess I may have the chance to go into the no funding master programs. The programs I applied to are all funded ones. However the money may be a problem. But anyway thank you for point out this.

    Btw, I am looking to do pure math programs.
  5. Mar 17, 2012 #4


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    As far as I am aware in the states, a lot of the graduate programs are funded PhD ones for things like mathematics and physics and they are very competitive and require really solid undergraduate degrees in the respective field with solid foundational coursework usually at an advanced level.

    You might be interested in PM'ing homeomorphic: he was doing an engineering degree and AFAIK he is doing a pure math graduate program currently. He sounds like someone that could you give some specific advice that might turn out to be very useful.
  6. Mar 17, 2012 #5
    You should also look into Europe. I think it should be possible for one to get into an MSc program in mathematics there with your background. Contact universities you're interested in and then apply. The tuition fees in Germany and France are minimal. In some parts of Germany (especially the east), there aren't any tuition fees at all.

    Physiker_192 here has pointed out that one can find employment that would be enough to cover living expenses (10 euros per hour, for sixteen hours per week). Anything ranging from waiting tables to writing code for grad students. (the latter is what physiker mentioned)
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