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Stereotypical What are my chances Question

  1. Aug 13, 2011 #1
    Stereotypical "What are my chances" Question

    I'm a third year math major, and just trying to focus my life right now, hahaha.

    I know you guys get these all the time, but I'm just trying to figure some future stuff out on my day off from work.

    I'm looking forward to a life time of studying math, because the real world sucks, and there's nothing better than learning as much as possible. For Canadian schools I am looking at McGill, Toronto, and Waterloo for my Master's or PhD. I am also looking at schools in Britain and the US. My cGPA jumps between 3.9 and 4.0, and by graduation I will have had 3 NSERC USRA's held (one in Astrophysics research, and two in Pure Mathematics). I am, however, taking a fifth year as a special student status to take a small mix of undergraduate, graduate, and electives I missed out on, and to travel with friends the other half.

    Will it hurt me if I go Master's then PhD?

    Do I stand a chance getting into schools outside of Canada?

    I'm just having a little bit of anxiety, and just need some way to rest it.

    Thank you very much for your time, and any advice is appreciated.

    Also, I've enjoyed most topics I have had exposure to so far, but I am really intrigued by both Algebraic Topology and Non-commutative geometry (I haven't had a full frontal course in either, yet).
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2011 #2
    Re: Stereotypical "What are my chances" Question

    If you go to Europe, then you need to have a masters before you can start with the PhD. So it won't hurt you.

    You certainly have a shot of getting into schools outside Canada. Be sure to pick schools that are decent in algebraic topology and geometry. And be sure to pick your courses very well. For example, advanced graph theory will probably do you no good, so there's no need in picking that.

    Noncommutative topics and algebraic geometry are some of the hottest topics of today. So you'll certainly find a place for you.

    Why not come study in Belgium?? :tongue2: It's a beautiful country and I'm sure they'll let you in with you GPA. :biggrin:
  4. Aug 14, 2011 #3
    Re: Stereotypical "What are my chances" Question

    Keep in mind that doing research - if that's what you end up doing - at the university is very much like the real world. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that doing science is like working in the ivory tower, completely isolated from all the political drama. This is untrue. Researchers have to work hard to get funds to actually do research. And this, like many other things, is all politics and business as usual.

    Depends. In Europe it's the norm (though there are exceptions). In the USA not so much. Most importantly, however, do you feel like spending at least two more years of your life on getting to know more about the field? If you do, then go Master's and take as many extra classes as you find interesting (given your general interest: a lot). If you want to get on with it and want to work at some university as quickly as possible, go PhD.

    If you can deal with people without making them think you're too weird. Yes. It's a bit more complicated than applying to schools in your own country, though.

    Oh, and ignore micromass. You should come to the Netherlands! ;)
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
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