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Help! Math Grad School Advice

  1. Jun 28, 2009 #1


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    I am going into my last year at a small private college, which means that my pool for math classes is limited. I have been trying to establish a good base with classes such as Linear Algebra, Diff EQ, Topology, Number Theory, Probability, Modeling, Analysis, Abstract, NonEuclidean, a year long theses project, among a few others, and whatever I can take this coming year.

    General GRE: Verbal-620 and Quant-780
    GPA: 3.6 (higher in math)

    Does anyone have any suggestions for mathematics graduate schools which would be within my reach?

    Also do you have any suggestions of what I should aim for with the Math Subject Test?

    Thank you.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2009 #2
    When I was an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, I considered going to grad school in math. They told me that if you have coursework in Algebra, Analysis, and Topology, as well as a good GPA and GRE score, you have a good chance of getting in. And they've got one of the better math departments in the nation. I don't know what a "good" GRE score is in math (in physics we consider 50%-ile to be very good for Americans), but I think you meet their GPA standards. That would be my recommendation.

    Sorry I can't recommend any other schools, but I didn't take do that extensive of a math grad school search.
  4. Jun 29, 2009 #3
    It depends on the school. Your grades and course load look good. Hopefully you can get very good letters, if so, then you have a good shot at a good school.

    For Math GRE, if you are applying to the UC's, like UCLA, UCSD, UC Berkeley, etc. I think they really want to be an 80+% score, they say so on their websites and I believe this to be true after having applied to those schools. Some schools don't place such a heavy emphasis on the Math GRE.

    The best advice is try to ace it. Simply put, a good score helps a bad score really hurts in my opinion. You still have a lot of time, review for it a little bit everyday from now until the test in October or December. Don't take it lightly, I truly believe if I had gotten a high GRE Math score, in the 80% range I would have gotten into even more PhD programs, but I am extremely happy where I ended up.

    Also make sure your letters of recommendation are very good, that is crucial. They have to say something personal or in depth about you as a mathematician. If you can get good letters and a good GRE Math score, apply to some of the better schools, I don't know exactly which, that is your call to make.

    Just don't pick a school because of the name!!!!!!!!!!!! Some schools are better than the bigger, brand name schools at certain things. If you are interested in differential geometry, then schools like UPENN and Stony Brook are way better than Caltech or Michigan. Also research the potential advisers there, see what they are currently doing, what their students are currently doing. I got into a few top 25 PhD programs that I turned down because they didn't really have what I was looking for. I wasted their time and my money applying there.

    Best of luck.
  5. Jul 1, 2009 #4
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