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Math Grad School Question

  1. Oct 21, 2010 #1
    I just had a quick hypothetical question. If you're a math and physics major, does the fact that you're a physics major help at all when applying to math grad school? In other words, say you've taken several math graduate classes and several physics graduate classes as well. Would the physics graduate classes even help your application, or would it have been better to take more math graduate classes?
    In general, would anything on your application related to physics help (physics research, physics internships, physics classes, etc.)? Because if not, then it would seem like a waste of time to even do anything physics related if the unwavering goal is to go to grad. math school.

    For physics grad school, I would expect a major in math and math graduate classes to help your graduate school application. I'm just not sure if this is also true when applying to math grad school.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2010 #2


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    It won't hurt and depending on what you intend to work on it might help a lot. Say you are interested in complex algebraic geometry, mathematical physics etc. then knowing physics will be a big plus. In general it will help just as much as having studied a lot of computer science or anything mathematical. The point is that you need to put together an application where all the physics you did is well integrated with your future plans. If you can't do that, then it probably won't give you any extra help compared to just any random minor.

    In my math PhD. program we actually have two graduate students doing mathematical physics with a physics Ph.D. already on their belt. Similarly, one student doing mathematical physics transferred to MIT to their physics Ph.D. program. What I'm trying to say is that if you're interested in that kind of stuff, then it's most certainly a plus.
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