1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min 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!

Pursuing Mathematics at the post graduate level from a non maths background

  1. Dec 26, 2008 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I have recently been thinking about pursuing a mathematics degree at the Postgraduate level but unfortunately I feel I lack both the credentials and proper training/background and I was seeking some advice on how I might acquire it.

    My undergraduate degree is in Computer Science (from a not so good institution where I feel the 3.7+ GPA is meaningless) and recently I have been pursuing a part time MSc. degree in bioinformatics which is nearing completion however it really is not to my liking.

    Is it possible to transition out of this area into mathematics in some manner? I have considered taking perhaps a year to prepare the GRE subject test in mathematics but it does not seem representative of problem solving that is done as an undergraduate in preparation (or not) for graduate education.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 26, 2008 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2015 Award

    Well, you're correct in recognizing that you don't have adequate preparation. You have essentially two choices - one is to convince a graduate school to take you on now, and then let you spend the first year or two catching up. The other is to learn the material before you apply.

    The advantage of the first path is that usually they will waive your tuition and possibly pay you a stipend. The disadvantage is that there are few such positions, you will have to convince the school to take you (and by extension, not take someone else) and this probably means you would be aiming at a less selective program. The advantage of the second path is that it opens up more options, but the price is that it comes out of your pocket.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Dec 26, 2008 #3
    Well the issue with the second approach is- how do you convince ppl. you do know it if you do the preparations yourself? It seems also another issue with this would be getting recommendations. No one could attest to what or what you do not know or what your current skill level is. I think I will forever regret dropping out of my school of choice when I first graduated from HS (University of Chicago). Is it at all possible to convince some institution to take you on as a upper division undergraduate student or some such even if you have already completed two degrees?
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2008
  5. Dec 26, 2008 #4

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2015 Award

    In many cases, you cannot get another degree - UC, for example, does not allow this. But this does not preclude you from taking the same courses as a graduate-school bound math major would.
     
  6. Dec 26, 2008 #5
    well you could always just not report that you have another degree, clep out of all the classes that you can ( which is a lot ), and worm your way out of the rest of the liberal arts requirements.
     
  7. Dec 26, 2008 #6
    Well that might be quite difficult at this point. I am quite a bit older now and I dont think I was in good academic standing when I left after as one of my instructors put it at the time deliberately "sabotaging my academic career". So I highly doubt that door is stlil open.

    I am curious if I would be essentially forced to do the work on my own, somehow convince some school to accept me at the masters level and work the problem from there.
     
  8. Dec 26, 2008 #7

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2015 Award

    Ice, I wouldn't suggest that someone hoping for a career as a scholar will build it on a foundation of falsehood.

    Excoriate, I think it will be much more difficult to do this on your own than through a university. There are reasons there are universities, and not just libraries.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Pursuing Mathematics at the post graduate level from a non maths background
Loading...