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Other Need some advice about grad school applications

  1. Dec 19, 2017 #1

    I'm currently a math major, but I'm realizing it's probably not for me. Last semester I didn't get credit for either of my math classes (I got an A- in all my other classes though), so I'm at a loss as to do what to do right now.

    I'm concurrently minoring in statistics, and I always do fine in those, so I'm thinking about just applying to grad schools in statistics. Are my not-so-great math grades going to screw me over? (In particular, I got a D in Real Analysis and a C- in Complex Analysis when I had never even made a C before in my life)
    It's hard, because I started off college with straight A's, I was on the dean's list, and I was in the top 15% of my class, but my current status doesn't reflect that.

    My grades were low because I was depressed (I had legitimate reasons, but I'd rather not go into it right now). I don't know what to do, honestly. My GPA isn't horrible (3.46), but I really don't want to retake those classes, but I know that stat grad schools value my math classes.

    I also don't even know who to ask for recommendations from. The people I want recommendations from are postdocs/professors that have left the institution, and I've taken the real analysis prof. 3 times, I did fine in the other two classes, but I got reamed this time around. In theory, he should vouch for me as a student, but I don't have a feeling that he's on my side. I told him that I wanted to go to graduate school in math, but I don't think that's really a good idea at this point.

    What advice can you give a student like me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 20, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    You need to talk to an academic advisor and broaden your thinking about what you want to do. Maybe taking time off is a,good option. Maybe looking into computer science is another.

    It’s important that you find the exact reason that you suddenly failed these couple of courses. Is it lack of knowledge, lack of desire, or is it something that you’re just not interested in?

    All of us go through this crisis and eventually come out okay. You must realistically evaluate why you had problems and what’s the best course of action. An academic advisor should be able to help here.

    Also don’t discount the one Prof because you did poorly in his/her course but did fine in others. He/she too may be wondering what happened and may even have some insight for you if you speak to him/her about it. Later you can decide whether to ask the prof for a letter of recommendation.

    So much of the world is about connecting with people. Students don’t seem to get this and have an us versus them attitude or that profs are out to get them when in fact they’ve not been too friendly with the prof to begin with. Many students ask for stuff but seldom return the favor to a prof too.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  4. Dec 20, 2017 #3


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    Gold Member

    Though you saying you don't want to retake Real Analysis or Complex Analysis, I would strongly recommend to retake at least one of them and try to take a better grade, at the end if you succeed that will boost your confidence and happiness , it will make you believe that you can emerge as winner at the very end. But in order for this to happen you must have a fighter spirit in you, the will to fight and change the course of events.

    I am just saying this cause I had a similar problem in my undergrad studies 20 years ago. I had score 5/10 in two basic courses (calculus 2 and discrete math). I decided to retake Calculus 2 and I got 10/10 at the end and then retook Discrete math as well and manage to get a 8/10.
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