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JasonJo

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I'm about to graduate in May with a degree in Applied Math and Pure Math. I have taken a bunch of upper division math courses and I attended an REU and am currently doing an undergraduate honors thesis on an open problem in dynamics. I feel like I have a good math background, especially pure math. I have excellent grades and I got 2 really good letters of recommendation and 1 good one from a professor that I took 3 courses with, however I did terribly on the GRE Math subject exam (35% percentile).

Anyway, 1-2 years ago, it was my goal to get into a good grad school that was strong in geometry and mathematical physics. I think I have a good chance of getting into a couple of schools that are a bit more flexible in terms of math and physics and in fact is their main strength (Duke looks to have a very impressive mathematical physics faculty, even with the departure of David Morrison to UCSB). But, lately I have been really considering whether or not I want to go to grad school.

Here are the basic facts, and I really want to hear everyone's opinion on whether or not I should go:

1 - I have no desire to be a part of any academic profession. I do not want to be a professor or any of that. So getting a PhD would be just to get it.

2 - I am extremely uncomfortable with what I have been hearing about the amount of work that is required. As an undergrad, I took a lot of independent studies and seminars that required a ton of studying outside of class. I studied probably 20-30 hours a week, depending on the week. I have been taking 5-6 math courses a semester for the last 2 years, so I'm used to being saturated with math. But I have been hearing of 10-12 hour work days in graduate school. This sounds obscene to me.

3 - What the hell do I gain from a PhD over the "pat on the back" aspect of getting a PhD? I don't want to become a professor, I am not getting into a school that is "prestigious," so any type of field like quant finance is out of the picture (for the most part since I hear they really have a predilection for Ivy League, top 10 PhD students).

What is the workload like at grad school? Does it get any better after you pass the qualifying exams? Is there any point to go to grad school for my PhD (specifically PhD) if I have no desire to become a professor?

I'm sorry for the long post, but I appreciate any insight you guys are willing to share.