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Math Ph.D. Programs (Looking for a Good Fit)

  1. Sep 9, 2010 #1
    Hi, I am applying to graduate schools this fall, and I could really use some guidance in finding a program that would be a good fit. The way I see it, there are two things I must consider: Applying to programs that may accept me, and applying to programs I would want to attend. :)

    I attended Community College a couple years out of HS, then dropped out. I got married, had children, returned to school to earn a B.S. in Math. So, I spent a total of about 6 or 7 years as an undergrad over a decade, I'm now 29 years old.

    I have a 3.7 GPA (All A's in Math, except B's in the calculus courses I took at the community college just out of HS.), scored 20 on the putnam, received top graduate award (small unknown dept, about 12 students graduated), and I would have 4 very good and personal recommendations. I got a 90% on the practice math GRE, and I'm unsure how that will translate to the real thing; though I will continue to study until November. I have no research experience.

    So, maybe that will help determine what grad schools I could get into. But I also have to consider my family. I know that earning a Ph.D. requires sacrifice, but if it means I can't play with my kids, or spend time with my wife; unfortanutely it's just not going to happen. I figure I can dedicate about 55-60 hours a week to this, minus the time spent being a TA, bringing it to 35-40 hours. Is that a reasonable amount of time to spend on my graduate work? I sure hope so. I'm figuring if I go to a lower ranked school, there would be less demand on my time. A good trade off, in my opinion, if it's necessary at all.

    So, based on cost of living and the stipend amount, here are the schools I'm looking at so far. In brackets, I've included the rank based on 1993 NRC study.

    University of Oregon (44)
    Oregon State (86)
    Dartmouth (49)
    Arizona State(81)
    University of Washington(26)
    Cornell (15)
    Texas/Austin (23)
    Michigan (9)
    Purdue (25)
    Miami (99)
    Missouri Rolla(125)
    University of Idaho (Not Listed)

    In advance, I appreciate your responses.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2010 #2
    First of all college rankings, especially for graduate schools, are highly subjective and should have only minimal influence on your decision. Second, rankings from 1993 are 17 years old.

    E-mail professors and grad students and talk to them about your situation to see what can be done to accomodate it.
  4. Sep 10, 2010 #3
    Thanks, I hadn't thought of that. That will be very helpful. Maybe I'll also include the details in my personal statement. Now, I just need to know what kinds of schools may accept me.

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