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Seeking some info on MIT math graduate school

  1. Jan 1, 2007 #1
    Google is quite useless in seeking such information so let me try it here, in case anyone knows any others who got into MIT math graduate school etc

    The sort of information I'm seeking here is
    1)expected GPA
    2)expected GRE(subject)

    Also, do you have to be one of those gifted genius who has medals in International maths olympiad and stuff to reserve your place at MIT?

    I'm talking about graduate programme here.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 1, 2007 #2
    Not sure if this is insightful or not, but here are some Penn State Math Grad Applicants Statistics for 2005:

    1) Average GPA: 3.75
    2) Average GRE Subject: 814/84 (Score/Percentile)

    Penn State is certainly no MIT (if I recall correctly, MIT was "ranked" 1, and PSU in the upper 20's in the US News Report)

    Source: http://www.math.psu.edu/grad/phd/faq.php [Broken]

    I would contact grad students at MIT and ask them, and maybe contact the department as well.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  4. Jan 1, 2007 #3
    thanks for that info

    Thanks for that info
    I'm waiting for their reply at the moment, I think they are still on holidays

    I'm quite surprised that penn state university requires rather high scores, I guess I'm not very wrong in presuming that MIT probably requires say 3.9+gpa and 900+ gre?

    anyone else with some useful info?
  5. Jan 1, 2007 #4
    That is not what PSU requires, it is what their successful applicants had. So there were probably some below and some above.
  6. Jan 1, 2007 #5


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    Note that those are average scores. Graduate programs usually have more wiggle room than undergrad admissions to admit students with lower scores but who seem highly motivated and likely to succeed in spite of those scores (for example, someone with glowing recommendations from their mentor for an undergraduate research project). I can't speak for MIT, but many schools won't publish an absolute cut-off like that because they don't want to be bound to it if they see some diamond-in-the-rough come along who they want to take a chance on.
  7. Jan 1, 2007 #6
    Not to mention it would lead to a decrease in incoming application fees.
  8. Jan 1, 2007 #7


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    schools, like MIT are so strong and have such a demanding program they are looking for students who are better than the normal measures will indicate.

    I.e. a 4.0 and a perfect GRE will not guarantee success at MIT. This standardized tests are just too trivial to measure that level of ability.

    Outstanding letters and attendance and success at an excellent school, maybe good showing on the Putnam exam, would be nice.

    One of my friends went there long ago, I will ask him what they look for. Your professors also will tell you whether they want to advise you to apply to MIT.

    You can get some information on what it is like there by perusing their website for information on their course loads, course content, and their prelim requirements, I would think.
  9. Jan 1, 2007 #8


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    departments do not wish to att6ract applications from unviable candidates mere;ly to get applications fees.

    indeed some departments even review applications "informally" from students from poor countries to give them an diea of their chances before submitting fees officially.

    fees accrue to the administration, not the department. they cover university paperwork costs, and eman nothing to the professors. of course this remark may have been a cynical joke.
  10. Jan 1, 2007 #9


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    heres a better idea: just email a professor there and ask, preferably one whose page says he/she is the rgad coordinator.

    or try michael artin, arthur mattuck, steven kleiman or david vogan. those are very nice people, even if very busy, and i'll bet one of them or more will reply.
  11. Jan 1, 2007 #10
    i see

    Thank you for your replies.

    mathwonk said "maybe good showing on the Putnam exam, would be nice."

    Unfortunately I'm not US resident and such competition is not very active in this country. To be honest that sort of thing is what I think will hurt my chances mostly because I came into maths/physics quite late stage of my study(2nd year of my undergraduate) and participating and doing well in such competition has never been in my resume. It almost offends me to note people who enter these top schools with wonderful lists of awards in such competitions because that gives me indication that those schools only want gifted geniuses(unlike what they say on websites how 'many' different factors apply). In that regard when Morovia says "they want diamond-in-the-rough" I take it as just an optimistic view of harsh reality.

    The very fact that nobody even knows anyone who 'actually' got into MIT tells me that this place is probably beyond reach for ordinary people.
  12. Jan 1, 2007 #11
    thank you for your suggestion of contacting listed people, however I noticed that all of them have somewhat different research interest to mine so I'm thinking of contacting department secretary first to guide me to correct person.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
  13. Jan 2, 2007 #12
    Honestly, programs like MIT are beyond the reach of ordinary people, if they weren't, anyone could get into them.

    Ordinary people have ordinary intelligence, drive, and connections in varying proportions. For example, someone might have great connections with people in a position to get them into a top school; this can make up for a lack of drive. Someone else might have high intelligence and drive, and that can make up for not knowing the right people. The people who make into programs like MIT are usually above average in at least 2 out of 3 of those categories. The people who actually make it through such programs are almost always above average in 2 of those categories, I'm sure you can guess which 2 :rofl:.

    BTW, there is nothing wrong with being ordinary, I consider myself and just about everyone I know to be ordinary.
  14. Jan 2, 2007 #13
    I thought Princeton and Harvard is beyond reach for ordinary people and I guess I should add MIT to the list. This makes me wonder, what schools 'are' reachable? Say, Stanford, Caltech etc? or they too are up there?
  15. Jan 2, 2007 #14
    Look for the 20-25 top schools in the field your interested in, if the school is there, it should be added to your list.

    Edit: and yeah btw Stanford and cal-tech are way up there.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
  16. Jan 2, 2007 #15
    you are saying top 20-25 schools are unreachable? are you saying this on your behalf or mine?
  17. Jan 3, 2007 #16
    I would say the top 20-25 schools are probably unreachable for myself, personally I am looking at the 30-60 range (but the school I attend is not too great).

    Ask your professors and the departments at the schools you are looking at, and they should know if you have a shot or not.

    The top schools for math (MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, Berkeley, Chicago, Cal Tech, NYU, etc.) are really so far up that you would need an outstanding resume to get accepted to any of them.
  18. Jan 3, 2007 #17

    I'm not saying "unreachable", I'm just saying they are beyond normal and are extremely picky.
  19. Jan 3, 2007 #18


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    sometimes if you start at an average school and really are way beyond what they can service, they will send you upstairs.

    we had a kid once who transferred successfully to berkeley, and he was really very strong, even though we could also have advised him.

    Even at an average state school, some of the professors have taught at yale, harvard, MIT, etc..... and almost all have graduated from such schools themselves.
  20. Jan 4, 2007 #19
    You might be right about a few of those schools, but I can tell you right now you're wrong about Berkeley. They let in plenty of people who haven't taken a bunch of graduate courses, or come from schools that nobody's heard of. If you want to be one of those people, you better do well on the GRE though.

    Somebody mentioned having never met anyone who went to MIT. I know at least three people who got into MIT last year. Two were very good, and one wasn't so great. It really seems like a crap shoot as far as acceptence goes. One of my friends didn't get into U of Washington, but did get in to Berkeley.
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