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Picking a Canadian (Math/Physics) Graduate Schools. Advice (esp. from alumni) Welcome

  1. Sep 14, 2011 #1
    Hi guys,

    It seems like a lifetime ago that I started my undergraduate journey (which actually began here: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=222143 if anyone's interested). I'm just now beginning my 4th year of an Honours B.Sc. in mathematics with a minor in physics, and I'm beginning to very seriously consider which graduate schools I want to attend. I have an interest in algebra (I'm doing my Honours thesis in Stein's Third Law Quasigroups or some other related combinatorial design), but I've not yet decided precisely what I want to do for a PhD.

    Below is a list of Universities I'm considering applying to:

    Dalhousie (local, definitely applying)
    Western Ontario (no application fee as far as I can tell, definitely applying)
    McMaster
    Waterloo
    Guelph
    Ottawa/Carleton (a shared math institue. Unlikely.)
    Queens (unlikely)
    Toronto (very unlikely)

    I have top-notch grades (above 4.2 where the absolute A+ average ceiling is 4.3), experience marking and running tutorials. My arts electives include two semesters of English, three semesters of French and three semesters of history. I have half of a minor in computer science and practical experience in Java, C++, HTML, Javascript, CSS, MYSQL, and YAML (specifically in making dynamic Web pages which can store, display and calculate information while interacting with databases in a service-oriented architecture). I'm currently pursuing a semi-graduate-level course in quantum mechanics with a *very* good physics teacher who works for my school and Dalhousie. I've done specialized coursework in group theory, topology and complex analysis; in the winter I'll also be taking a course in graph theory.

    Does anyone have any advice about the general admissions process to Canadian graduate schools? Does anyone have any specific experience with the math/physics departments at any of the schools listed?

    I'm going to begin querying graduate students and teachers at the above institutions for more personal information about the campuses, programs offered, etc. What sorts of questions should I ask? What kinds of experience and interest should I include in my application?

    A possible scenario of mine is to go to Dalhousie to pursue a Master's degree before relocating halfway across the country to one of the other schools listed, as a move right out of the gate would be fairly expensive and could potentially cost more than a difference in awards monies could make up. How adviseable is this, versus remaining at the same institution to get both degrees?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  2. jcsd
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