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I am a fourth year undergraduate who will be graduating this year and doing a master's in mathematics (in Canada), or possibly taking a fifth year to improve my math credentials. I am curious as to what my chances of getting into a top US school for Mathematical Physics (at a mathematics department) are. MIT really seems like the best place to go, and Berkeley too would be great for me. Let me give you some information:

I go to a top Canadian school and am in the joint mathematics & physics program. The advanced (3rd year or above) math courses I will have taken by the time I apply will include Topology, Complex Analysis I, Real Analysis I, and the graduate Mathematical Quantum Mechanics, Mathematical General Relativity, Mathematical Quantum Field Theory. For physics, it will include E&M, Quantum I, Quantum II, Classical Mechanics, GR I, GR II, Fluid Dynamics. My GPA will be somewhere between 3.75 and 3.9 (with the higher weight coming from the last 2 years) by the time I apply. I haven't taken the Math GRE yet but I would guess my scores will be reasonably high (if you can tell me what scores I need to get, given the rest of the info, that would be helpful). As for research experience, I held the equivalent of an REU the summer after 2nd year, in mathematics. The summer which just passed I did not receive an REU but I worked under a professor in the physics department doing computational work, which I am continuing this semester (and we are hoping to publish a paper out of it). The references from these two professors should be fairly good, and I am working on finding another. I think that I will be able to write a strong personal statement because I am very passionate about mathematical physics and also have a strong sense of what sort of topics I enjoy (and I am a reasonably good writer when I write things that aren't message board posts).

Another question: would it be more beneficial, for the goal of getting into a PhD program in the states, to do a fifth year and raise my marks, or to simply move straight on to a master's in math (which I am fairly certain I can get into here)? How about the issue of my somewhat lacking math background?

I go to a top Canadian school and am in the joint mathematics & physics program. The advanced (3rd year or above) math courses I will have taken by the time I apply will include Topology, Complex Analysis I, Real Analysis I, and the graduate Mathematical Quantum Mechanics, Mathematical General Relativity, Mathematical Quantum Field Theory. For physics, it will include E&M, Quantum I, Quantum II, Classical Mechanics, GR I, GR II, Fluid Dynamics. My GPA will be somewhere between 3.75 and 3.9 (with the higher weight coming from the last 2 years) by the time I apply. I haven't taken the Math GRE yet but I would guess my scores will be reasonably high (if you can tell me what scores I need to get, given the rest of the info, that would be helpful). As for research experience, I held the equivalent of an REU the summer after 2nd year, in mathematics. The summer which just passed I did not receive an REU but I worked under a professor in the physics department doing computational work, which I am continuing this semester (and we are hoping to publish a paper out of it). The references from these two professors should be fairly good, and I am working on finding another. I think that I will be able to write a strong personal statement because I am very passionate about mathematical physics and also have a strong sense of what sort of topics I enjoy (and I am a reasonably good writer when I write things that aren't message board posts).

Another question: would it be more beneficial, for the goal of getting into a PhD program in the states, to do a fifth year and raise my marks, or to simply move straight on to a master's in math (which I am fairly certain I can get into here)? How about the issue of my somewhat lacking math background?

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