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Planning On Going to Grad School for Math - Have some questions

  1. Apr 5, 2010 #1
    Sorry for so many questions, but here they are:

    I am currently an undergraduate majoring in Applied Math, and I am finishing my junior year so I figure that I better start looking at graduate schools.

    Right now, I am working towards my B.S. in Applied math, but over the past year, many of the subjects in theoretical math have interest me more than subjects in applied math. So, am I still able to attend Graduate School in Pure Math rather than Applied Math?

    Secondly, I haven't taken the GREs (General or subject) yet. Hopefully I will be able to take the General GRE this summer. When are the Math GREs offered? The General GREs are offered very often right? How far in advanced should I take the GREs if I plan on applying for Grad school for Fall 2011? Also, how much do the GREs generally cost to take? (If someone has a link to a site to help prepare for the GREs, please post it)

    Next question, do I have to decide on the precise material that I would like to end up studying prior to grad school? I know what interests me, but I don't know what I would want to study.

    Do People generally pursue their masters, and than PhD in graduate school? My professor gave me the impression that most people that want a PhD go straight for a PhD. I've always assumed that they had to pursue their masters and then PhD.

    Generally, when are the deadlines for applying for graduate school, and what materials are needed for the application.

    How do I know what Graduate Schools to apply to? Should I just talk with my adviser?

    Thanks in advanced
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2010 #2
    The name of the degree is not what matters - it is the classes you take. My school, for example, does not offer a degree in pure math. But we do have degrees in applied math and discrete math. All this really means is that a couple of classes typically not required in a pure math program (object oriented programming and numerical analysis) are required, but we offer all of the same courses that would be in a pure math program. Yet, our applied math graduates go to grad school for pure math all the time (including at top programs). So, the name of the degree does not matter!

    The general GRE is offered all the time. You need to be vigilant with the subject GRE though - it is only offered 3 times per year. The GRE website has more information.

    Most programs state explicitly on their website that it is fine if you don't know what you would like to study in grad school.

    It depends on the country as to whether you get your masters beforehand. In the US and Canada, PhD programs require only a BS and you take coursework that would be equivalent to a masters degree in the first couple years. It is completely normal to go to a PhD from a BS, and in fact many schools do not accept graduate credit from other institutions and so getting a masters degree from another school is a complete waste of time! However, outside the US and Canada the situation is generally as you described, where people apply to PhD programs after getting a Masters degree.

    Deadlines for graduate school are usually from mid-December to mid-January.

    Your adviser would best know what graduate schools are suitable for you to apply to.
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