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Math Graduate Programs

  1. Jun 5, 2006 #1
    I graduate next year with a degree in mathematics(emphasis on pure math) and I will be applying to a few math PHD programs sometime later this year. I want to study pure mathematics(not applied). Also I'm in the states and plan to stay in the states for graduate school. I spoke with my advisor, and based on my grades(almost a 4.0), the courses I've taken, and the school where I'm doing my undergraduate degree, he said I had a decent chance of getting into schools such as university of missouri, kansas, and other state schools. He recommended I apply to 5-6 schools total. One really good school that I probably won't get into, 3-4 good state schools I have a decent chance of getting into, and 1-2 schools I can definitely get into.

    I'm looking for schools that have a large faculty and where the faculty research interests are varied. If anyone can recommend any it would be extremely helpful. I'm considering other factors also such as location and financial support but I definitely want to focus on schools where the research interests are varied. As of now, my favorite courses have been Advanced Calculus and Complex Analysis, but I think it's way to soon for me to say "this is what I want to do research in". I simply don't know enough at this point to say for certain I won't enjoy something else more in the future.

    Here's the courses I will have taken by the time I graduate if it helps give an idea of what schools I'd have a shot at:
    Linear Algebra - 2 Semesters
    Calculus - 3 Semesters
    Advanced Calculus - 3 Semesters
    Ordinary Differential Equations - 1 Semester
    Elementary Statistics - 1 Semester
    Statistical Theory - 2 Semesters
    Algebra - 1 Semester
    Topology - 1 Semester
    Partial Differential Equations - 1 Semester
    Functional Analysis - 1 Semester
    Combinatorics/Graph Theory - 1 Semester
    Complex Analysis - 1 Semester
    Proof writing/logic course - 1 semester
    Discrete Mathematics - 1 semester
    (And like 5 other math courses, all prior to calculus, so I did not list these)

    Also, is there any credibility to the rankings on this website?

    Any recommendations would be extremely helpful:smile: .
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2006 #2


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    this is out of date, but this was the ams rankings of math depts in 1997-98:


    good schools include: michigan, berkeley (but big and not so personal), north carolina, univ of washington, gosh really there are a lot of them, including us at UGA.

    look at the websites to see what the various schools offer as specialties. If you come to UGA I will help you get settled and find what you want.

    But if you go elsewhere, make the same overture to someone at that place, and they will probably do the same. We all need good students.

    good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
  4. Jun 6, 2006 #3


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    There's a sticky thread at the top of this subforum that lists (among other things) the top 100-odd math grad programs, as ranked by the NRC (around 2000?).

    Edit : Go to post #4 : https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=76031
  5. Jun 6, 2006 #4

    Thanks for the recommendations.

    Coincidently two of the professors who I plan to ask for recommendations went to north carolina and university of washington so I can ask them questions about these schools.

    Also thank you for offering to help me get settled and find what I want if I end up going to UGA. I'll make sure to look you up if I end up going there.The math department website at UGA is very well organized and informative. I like that they have algebra, analysis, and number theory groups. The location is good because it is close to where I live now so that I could come home for the holidays, and living expenses in Athens don't seem outrageous at all. I'm thinking maybe this will be one of the schools I will apply to. I still have a few months left to decide so I will slowly narrow my choices down.

    Thanks again for the reply, that link has been extremely useful.:smile:

    Gokul43201: Thanks!:smile:
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
  6. Jun 6, 2006 #5
    whoa whoa, with an almost 4.0 you're counselor reccomended only missouri, kansas???? not even 1 top 30/40 graduate program????????????????? can anyone else corroborate this?
  7. Jun 7, 2006 #6
    He also took into consideration where I'm studying now. There are people with high gpa's from schools ranked higher than mine. Now the GRE and recommendations matter also, but there is no guarantee that I will ace the GRE and get exceptional recommendations. I'm hoping to do good, hopefully close to perfect on the GRE, and I expect decent, not sensational, letters of recommendation. I never visited my professors much since I usually figured stuff out on my own from reading the book so I suspect the letters will be average, probably stuff like, "good student, always did well"(I don't know what they write, wild guess heh).

    From what I have heard when it comes time to find a job, your ability to do good research matters more than anything. Now the point of graduate school is to get you to do good research, and of course certain schools are better at that than at others. So what school you go to does matter, but it isn't what matters the most, how hard you work matters the most(or at least I tell myself that).

    I'm assuming you are a math major so I hope that helps:smile:
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2006
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