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Schools University Acceleration

  1. Apr 19, 2010 #1
    At the university of waterloo is it allowed to skip undergrad courses and go straight into graduate work? I am 16 and have taught myself a great deal of the information already and have no interest in sitting through courses again.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2010 #2
    I have no idea... if any universities will let you straight into graduate school. You'd have take the GRE's first anyways.

    That said, there are lots of classes to take in college, and if you are going to make a career out of your field of study, going over material multiple times is not lost time.
  4. Apr 19, 2010 #3

    This person spent four years as an undergraduate at MIT. There are countless other people like him; I simply remember him off the top of my head.

    If you are that outstanding in your subject, the department should be thrilled to welcome you into advanced courses as an undergraduate.

    Case closed. :D
  5. Apr 19, 2010 #4
    My bad -- I interpreted what the OP was asking to be "can I skip getting an undergrad degree and go straight into grad school". You can of course take graduate classes as an undergrad in about any university that has a graduate program. Likewise you can of course get your GED and go straight into college at a younger age.

    For taking grad classes that you don't have the typically prerequisites for, you will just have to get an ok from the department chair or the teacher teaching the class (depending on the specific universities policies). So Groat, I'd recommend that you go talk with them, they will let you know what to do.
  6. Apr 19, 2010 #5
    Oh, I interpreted the OP the same way--my post wasn't meant to counter anything you wrote. :D

    I was just trying to show by example that even if you are simply brilliant in your field there is more than enough worthwhile stuff to do as an undergraduate so that there is no need to skip it.
  7. Apr 19, 2010 #6


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    Some schools allow you to challenge a course, which usually involves taking a test equivalent to the final exam. Some schools will grant you credit for that class if you pay tuition. But even if they don't, passing the exam qualifies as a prerequisite.
  8. Apr 19, 2010 #7
    Totally agree.
  9. Apr 20, 2010 #8


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    You may want to take a few undergraduate classes first, before you dismiss them as material that you already know. My advice would be to take your time. There's no advantage to finishing quickly. By the time you're a senior undergraduate, you may have the opportunity to sit in on a few graduate classes.
  10. Apr 21, 2010 #9
    Excellent, thanks. Is this advice applicable in Canada as well?
  11. Apr 21, 2010 #10
    As far as I know, as long as you have the department's consent, you can take any course you wish in pure mathematics (this is definitely NOT the case for every department however).

    What you can do is ask them to allow you to enroll in one or two 3rd or 4th year class (4th year classes are usually cross-listed with grad classes) in your first term, and to allow you to take more if you do well in them.

    However, I highly doubt they'll give you a degree unless you complete all the requirements. So you'll still need to complete them, although you might be able to convince the department to cross-off some requirements as long as you have taken some more advanced classes.

    By the way, I'm curious, how much have you exactly self-taught yourself? Can you make a brief list?
  12. Apr 23, 2010 #11
    In the fields of mathematics I have taught myself a great deal of Calculus, I am very skilled in Complex Analysis, Catastrophe theory, Differential equations, differential geometry, Functions of all sorts, Harmonic Analysis, Operator theory, and I love series.

    I know computational theory, cellular automata, and I have fiddled with combinatorics and have a working knowledge, but nothing impressive.
    I possess a familiarity with computer science, mostly software and programming languages. I can't afford hardware to study it closely.

    I hope this list will help, there are a few more things but they are trivial.
  13. Apr 23, 2010 #12
    They might ask you to take some placement exams, I forgot what they called, but some universities do have that. I would go check with the department head.

    But the main concern is that they probably want some physical prerequisite
  14. Apr 25, 2010 #13
    I was thinking that too, luckily my interests lie more in pure mathematics or theoretical sciences. Unless I grossly misunderstand the material not a lot of lab experience will be needed
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