What are my odds of getting into these math masters?

In summary: If you're applying to PhD programs, your chances are definitely better if you have a better GRE score and research experience, but your chances are still pretty good even if you don't have those things.
  • #1
jdinatale
155
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I am a senior math major and my goal is to get into a top 20 PhD program. Right now I do not feel competitive enough to get into those schools, so I am pursuing a masters degree first.

I'm applying to these schools:

-University of Washington

-Texas A&M - College Station

-University of California - Irvine

-UNC - Chapel Hill

-Georgia Tech

-Purdue

-University of Southern California

-Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

I picked those schools because they are ranked in the top 30-50 and do not require the math subject test. I'm not prepared to take that test right now and do well on it. And coming from such a small program, I don't think I'm prepared anyways to succeed in a top 20 school.

Here are my stats:

School: Unranked, unknown state university

GPA: 3.86

Classes:

-20 college math classes total (from Calculus II and beyond)

-2 semesters of algebra, 2 semester of analysis, 2 semesters of geometry, 3 independent studies, complex, actuarial science, combinatorics, differential equations, graph theory.

Letters:

-1 would be a very strong one from a professor I've taken several classes with and did research with

-1 would be from a professor I've had several classes with including an independent study

-1 would be from my REU advisor.

Research:

-REU

-Two papers in the process of being published, one from REU, one from summer research with a professor

Talks:

-Gave talks at two conferences at separate universities

-Gave special sessions talk at the AMS/MAA joint meeting in San Diego

GRE scores: Unknown, but assume at least good, if not excellent

Extracurricular:

-Math club president

-Pi Mu Epsilon vice president

-Putnam team member for 2 years (scored a 0...)

-Honors program

-Eagle Scout (2009 Eagle Scout of the Year)

Those are my stats. How would you rate my chances if you could quantify it?
 
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  • #2
I have similar stats, including a publication, and no GRE subject. My undergrad was from a small and new program. Last year I applied to PhD programs at Duke, UT Austin, Vanderbilt, and Arizona. I got turned down outright at Duke, and wait-listed everywhere else, but didn't end up getting in anywhere. I got into the masters program at my undergrad school and I'm applying to PhD programs again this year. I've been focussing on building relationships and improving my CV and cover letter, in addition to putting up a website with some applications I've written and pretty pictures of stuff I've been working on. I feel a lot better this year, and I won't be applying anywhere that I haven't been invited to by a faculty member.

See if you can still get into an REU this summer at one of the schools, that should help a lot- they expect you to be familiar with the research going on and have an idea who you want to work with. If you've communicated with a professor, that helps. If they're interested in working with you, you're in. Without any contacts, you're probably not.
 
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  • #3
I just noticed that your question was specifically about masters programs, which I have less experience applying to (...despite the fact that I'm in one).
 

1. What is the acceptance rate for this math masters program?

The acceptance rate for a math masters program can vary depending on the specific program and institution. It is best to research the program you are interested in to determine their acceptance rate.

2. What are the minimum requirements for acceptance into this math masters program?

The minimum requirements for acceptance into a math masters program typically include a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as mathematics or engineering, a strong GPA, and satisfactory scores on the GRE or other standardized tests. Some programs may also require letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

3. How competitive is this math masters program?

The competitiveness of a math masters program can vary, but generally these programs are competitive and have a limited number of spots available. It is important to have strong academic credentials and a well-written application to increase your chances of being accepted.

4. Are there any specific courses or experiences that can increase my chances of being accepted?

Having a background in advanced mathematics courses, such as calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations, can increase your chances of being accepted into a math masters program. Additionally, research experience, internships, and strong letters of recommendation can also improve your application.

5. What can I do if I am not accepted into this math masters program?

If you are not accepted into a math masters program, you can consider applying to other programs or taking additional courses to strengthen your application. You can also reach out to the program for feedback on your application and areas you can improve upon for future applications.

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