1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Courses More Math Courses vs a potential lower GPA!

  1. Oct 12, 2009 #1

    Right now i am on my fourth semester (sophomore) studying Mathematics at a rather small University. The math department here is not that rich couse-wise. In other words there are not a whole lot of Math courses one could take here. From the upper level math courses the only ones that they offer here are:

    Intro to Real Analysis (first part: starting with basic concepts on sets, field of R, sequences, functions, continuity, an elementary topology of sets, and up to differentiation),
    Abstract Algebra,
    Linear Algebra,
    Intro to Topology,
    Foundations of Applied Math
    Probability and Statistics.
    (And i am also planning to do independent study in at least 2 more upper divison math courses)

    Because of this, i am planning to go on an exchange program for a semester to Canada (next Fall). I was planning to take up to 4 upper division math courses in there. But, i fret that if i do so i might end up not having a rather impressive GPA. For what's worth, the gpa that i will get there will not be counted towards the overall gpa that i will be having here at my current university.

    The courses that i am thinking of taking(depending at which university i will end up going) will roughly be:
    Real Analysis
    Approximation of functions by algebraic and trigonometric polynomials (Taylor and Fourier series); Weierstrass approximation theorem; Riemann integral of functions on Rn, the Riemann-Stieltjes integral on R; improper integrals; Fourier transforms.
    Linear Algebra II
    Finite dimensional real vector spaces and inner product spaces; matrix and linear transformation; eigenvalues and eigenvectors; the characteristic equation and roots of polynomials; diagonalization; complex vector spaces and inner product spaces; selected applications; use of a computer algebra system and selected applications.
    Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Geometry I
    Abstract Algebra
    Further topics in group theory: normal subgroups and factor groups, homomorphisms and isomorphism theorems, structure of finite abelian groups. Rings and ideals; polynomial rings; quotient rings. Division rings and fields; field extensions; finite fields; constructability.
    Complex Analysis

    Or some slight variations of those

    So my question is, for grad school, which would weight more: having less courses in math and an impressive gpa, or more courses and not so impressive? ( with impressive i mean 3.9 or 4.0, and not so impressive i mean a 3.0 only during that semester)

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2009 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Which do you think indicates you've learned more? That's what they will be most impressed by.
  4. Oct 12, 2009 #3
    Well certainly getting more math courses in a semester is an indication that i will have learned a broader range of math topics, but i wouldn't know what to say about the depth of it!
    I think having such a load, would prevent one(the average student) from going deeper in each topic, because one would need to kind of rush in order to keep up with all of them, wheras if you have only say 2 or at max 3 upper division courses, than you can kind of set your own pace and allot more time to study a particular topic!

    What would your thoughts be pertaining to this issue?
  5. Oct 12, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    From reading Krantz's survival guide for maths majors in the US, if you take also graduate courses and ace them then that will impress them more than taking more UG courses.
    The courses you listed as far as I can tell, from the short description, are still UG courses.
  6. Oct 12, 2009 #5

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    That depends on if you get a A or B in the extra course or a C or D.
  7. Oct 12, 2009 #6
    Well, this is something that i cannot know for sure, especially since i am not familiar with the way these math courses will be taught at the university i am planning to go and also don't know how hard the professors will be on grading.
    However, if the above mentioned issues are somewhat compareable to the ones at the university i am currently at, then i don't think i would fall below a B (now i have A's in all my courses).

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook