Preparing for a Master's in Math; prereqs, financial advice

  • Thread starter srfriggen
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Hello all,

Background: I have a BA in Economics from Villanova University, class of '04. I took a theory-based path so I didn't take many math classes (calc I and a couple of statistics courses).

I've been preparing for acceptance into a Master's program in math based on the advice of several heads of several math departments, as well as graduate advisors.

Bottom line... for consideration I needed to complete at least 4 courses; calc I (differential calc), calc II (integral), calc III (multivariable), and linear algebra.

I am finishing up multivariable and linear algebra in a couple weeks, which I am confident I will receive A's in, and I have received A's in calc I and calc II.

One program I have looked into that seems promising is the program at City College of the City University of New York (CUNY). They would accept me to their master's program based on the four classes I have completed. I would have a 1 year period where I would have to take 1 full year of advanced calculus (theory based), and any other undergraduate courses I feel I may need before I can start gaining credit toward my MA.

One question I have is, what are some other courses one would recommend I take, regardless of which direction I take in math? (I will most likely focus on a path in applied math and some mathematical physics courses, but wish to have exposure to pure math as well).

There is a class "Bridge to Advanced Math" that I am thinking of taking. Listed below is the description...

"This course explores the logical and foundational structures of mathematics, with an emphasis on understanding and writing proofs. Topics include set theory, logic, mathematical induction, relations and orders, functions, Cantor's theory of countability, and development of the real number system. "


To me that seems like a "must take" class, as I have almost no experience writing proofs (I do understand them alright).

Any other "must have" classes before I apply for the MA (or to take during the 1 year conditional period?).


Also, I right now work a full time job, and it would be difficult to give up the income I am making now to go back to school full time. Of course loans are an option. What are some thoughts about working while going for an MA in math? One of my professors, a young man with a phd from carnegie mellon, advised me that he could not imagine working and going to grad school for math at the same time. he told me he was doing 40-50 hours of math per week while in grad school.

Thoughts about going to school part time while keeping my job? Although ultimately I would like to leave this job to pursue something math-related. This isn't just a hobby. Perhaps some people with experience in my situation can give me some advice?

Thank you for reading.
 

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