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Is Ph.D. Graduate School possible for me?

  1. Nov 7, 2008 #1
    I am trying to get some feedback on my possibilities of attending Graduate School for a Ph.D in Pure Mathematics. Specifically, if it is possible... which universities can I expect to receive acceptance from. Which types? In specific, my highest goal is UVA, (University of Virginia). I have yet to fill in my more realistic options because I am not very familiar with University acceptance.

    My record is as follows. I hope this is enough information.


    Undergraduate in Mathematics/Concentration in Teaching. Did not include Topology,Algebra, or Analysis.

    GPA 3.25, including 3 F's in English, Pre-Calculus, and Intro to Programming. All repeated and passed, in specific... an A in Pre-Calculus.


    General GRE:
    Math - 760
    English - 530
    Essay - 5


    Graduate Degree at the same university I attended for B.S.

    Intro Algebra - A
    Intro Analysis 1 - B
    Intro Topology - A
    Methods of Appd. Mathematics 1- B

    Intro Analysis 2 - A
    Complex Analysis Apps. - A
    Methods of Appd. Mathematics 2- A
    Independant Study-Topology - A

    Real Analysis 1 - A
    Algebra 1 - A
    Advanced Linear Algebra - A

    Real Analysis 2 - A
    Algebra 2 - A
    Independant Study- TBA A


    Subject GRE:

    I will take it after preparation during the summer after my first Graduate M.S. year.


    I will also have good recommendations from professors.

    I will not have very much research.

    I will have taught lower-level classes at my University for 2 years of my M.S. study.


    Thank you

    EDIT: I want to study mathematics because I love it and it's fun.

    EDIT2: I want to let Universities know that I will (if they request) retake their Analysis, Topology, Algebra courses and add a couple years onto my graduation time. I assume that this is usually not what they want though. Since my B.S. and M.S. might be relatively "light" I want to do all that I can in order to get accepted somewhere.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2008 #2
    Hey you should definitely give it a shot. I think the graduate courses are great. Definitely apply!
  4. Nov 8, 2008 #3
    Though I never got any Fs, I actually had a slightly lower GPA than you, about 3.1. I also only had a 42%-ile on the physics GRE. I ended up getting into a PhD program at a good graduate school, i.e. most of the people here had >3.5, and scored way better on the GRE, and one of my friends here even went to an ivy league school. Not sure why they picked me, but I ended up passing the PhD qualifier and have a 3.46 so far. I guess it goes to show that you can have not the best grades and still be successful as a PhD student.

    Of course, there are a couple other things I should mention. Almost all of my bad grades were from my first couple of years. I ended up doing far better my last two years, getting A's and B's in all of my classes (except for graduate-level cosmology), and I had a lot of research experience too. Since you did an MS, you've got the research down. And it looks like your grades are excellent. I don't see why you couldn't get into a PhD program.
  5. Nov 8, 2008 #4
    Probably wouldn't get into an Ivy league (still worth a shot though!), but there is definitely a place out there for you on a PhD program. You seem self motivated and you certainly have all the right courses. One of my colleagues on the physics PhD was a chemistry major and was on a Basoon scholarship, so he didn't have the 'right' background, but ended up doing really well.

    I always say that its not the grades you get, but what you do with them. I've never really been an 'A-grade' student, but I'm determined and hard working and finally passed my PhD defense last week. If you put your mind to it...
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