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Unsure about grad school

  1. May 18, 2007 #1
    I'm not sure about grad school.

    I've sacrificed a measurable amount of my life to pursue mathematics. I am confident enough in myself to say that I would be able to get into a handful of top 20 and maybe even a top 10 graduate school.

    But I'm not sure if I want to pursue mathematics anymore. That being said, for my senior year I am taking a course in measure theory, topology and geometry, mathematical physics and will be doing an honors thesis in dynamical systems. I will be attending an REU this summer as well.

    I am really lost about grad school. I view mathematics as more of a isolationist profession than most other professions. I don't know if i am willing to dedicate another 5-6 years to studying mathematics for a Ph.D. I don't know if i am willing to incurr 50 grand in debt to get a masters in financial mathematics, and even then, do i really want that job?

    I'm not sure what to do anymore. I'm so lost. I might not want to pursue mathematics, but i am about to fly out to another part of the country to study mathematics for 8 weeks?

    I don't think I can be a mathematician. Let me correct myself, I don't feel like I can deal with the everyday life of being a mathematician. I think I have other interests. But I want to keep grad school as a backup option.

    I just don't know what to do.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2007 #2
    I'm not really qualified to give any advice here, but I just wanted to point out that (last time I checked) grad school in math doesn't actually cost anything. In physics, MS students are appointed as teaching assistants for their two years (research assistants for the summer in betweeen), which means that they get full tuition scholarships, and get paid on top of that. Same with PhD students, except they get paid as research assistants their last three years to proceed towards their dissertation. I'm pretty sure it works the same way in math, though I could be wrong.
  4. May 18, 2007 #3
    it seems like for financial mathematics, you do end up having to pay out of your own pocket.
  5. May 18, 2007 #4
    anyone who is actually in grad school have any input about the isolationist aspect of being a mathematician?
  6. May 19, 2007 #5
    I know a guy getting a masters in finance, with some emphasis on the mathematics. He snagged a TA in the physics department to pay for it. Maybe you can do the same with math.
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