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What is on a college transcript.

  1. Mar 11, 2013 #1
    I recently applied to graduate school for mathematics and was denied because I don't meet all the class requirements and was told that it will be best to go to school for a year as a non degree student to make up these deficiencies. The story is that I changed my major from biology to mathematics as a senior and have crammed the math program in two years. My classes this spring are: Calculus 3, Abstract Algebra, Differential Equations, History of Mathematics, Math Modeling, and my Senior Thesis. The website to the school I am applying to reads: "In addition to meeting the School of Graduate Studies admission requirements, all applicants should have satisfactorily completed a complete sequence in calculus, introductory courses in linear algebra, abstract algebra and real analysis and at least six semester hours in other upper-level mathematics courses". The other math courses I have taken are Calculus 1&2, Discrete, Foundations, Linear Algebra, and Real Analysis. So my question is this, does my college transcript only show my classes through last fall? Or do they at least show the classes I'm enrolled in this spring too?
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Any transcript would shown only the classes you already had, not the ones you're currently enrolled in.
  4. Mar 11, 2013 #3


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    The program application didn't ask what you're currently enrolled in?
  5. Mar 11, 2013 #4
    So should I tell the school that in two months I will have all the required courses necessary?
  6. Mar 11, 2013 #5


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  7. Mar 11, 2013 #6
    This makes me feel a lot better. This is the first time I have ever posted on these forums. I have seen quick precise replies before and tonight was no different. Thank you.
  8. Mar 11, 2013 #7
    Although maybe a little off topic here. Why would the school assume I'm getting a mathematics degree and not have those classes?
  9. Mar 11, 2013 #8
    It appears as though you don't meet the requirements as you lack real analysis and perhaps enough upper level course credits
  10. Mar 11, 2013 #9
    I forgot to state I was in real analysis. I have already taken it.
  11. Mar 11, 2013 #10

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    The school is right. If you are just taking Calc 3 now, you are not prepared for grad school. I don't know what was covered in "real analysis", but if you could take it before Calc 3, it's not the class they are looking for.

    You also have the problem that your professors cannot write a strong letter discussing your mathematical abilities, because you are still taking introductory classes.
  12. Mar 11, 2013 #11


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    I don't know whether I missed this, or if this is way too obvious that people are missing it. Why don't you look at the transcript itself?! Couldn't you ask for your own copy of your official transcript and verify what's on it?

    What am I missing here?

  13. Mar 11, 2013 #12
    I crammed a math degree in two years. Real analysis was very hard without having taken the calculus sequence but I managed it (I was taking it along with Cal 2). I will be graduating in May with all the required math classes needed for graduate school. What difference does it make if I'm taking calculus my last semester? I had to since I switched majors as a senior.
  14. Mar 11, 2013 #13
    Perhaps a better breakdown of my classes is needed.
    Fall 2011: Discrete
    Spring 2012: Cal 1, Linear, Foundations
    Fall 2012: Cal 2, Real analysis, combinatorics
    Spring 2013: Cal 3, abstract algebra, differential equations, math modeling, history of math, and math thesis.
    I would have graduated last spring with a degree in biology, but changed to math.
  15. Mar 12, 2013 #14


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    You may have the very minimum, but compared to everyone else applying, you clearly are lacking. I wouldn't consider history of math or math modeling (since at a lot of school it isn't a very technical course.)

    To give you an example of what most math majors would have, here is what I completed (Given I focused on Stats...)

    Calc II, III, Discrete Math, Linear Algebra I and II, Real Analysis I and II, Stat theory I and II, Time Series, Regression, Comp Stats, Abstract Algebra I and II, PDE, Numerical Analysis I and II, Combinatorics, Inversed-Ill Posed Problems, Complex Analysis, and that's all that comes to mind. (Along with a thesis.)

    I believe you are terribly under prepared for an attempt at graduate school, and it would behoove you to take more advance classes.
  16. Mar 12, 2013 #15
    I think at the very least, you are lacking courses in multivariable analysis, number theory, probability theory, topology in order to be a strong candidate. You also only have one course in real analysis and linear algebra. There should be higher level proof-based courses for you to take.

    You should also take courses about Galois theory, differential topology and ring- & module theory to prepare yourself for the rigor of grad school.
  17. Mar 12, 2013 #16
    I would take a look at the degree requirements at other universities. It doesn't really matter what your own school thinks is enough math, it matters what the department thinks where you are applying to for grad school. If all their other applicants are better prepared, you are in for a very rough ride.

    What you have listed seems extremely sparse to be considered a real undergraduate coverage of mathematics. Obviously it depends on whether you plan to go into discrete, applied or pure mathematics in grad school but I would say you are underprepared for any of them.
  18. Mar 12, 2013 #17
    Thank you all for the discouraging yet truthful responses. I guess I will have to build up my math resume.
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