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What math-y masters programs should I look at?

  1. Oct 21, 2009 #1
    I have a slightly unorthodox background and I'm trying to figure out what I should be applying to for fall 2010.

    I graduated with a BS in finance in 2007 and have been working on Wall Street for 2 years (3 by next fall). I'm not entirely sure what I want to do long term but I do but it's going to involve math. While I'm interested in the subjects masters programs in economics and statistics seem to be pretty fluffy and methods-oriented. You may or may not write a thesis depending on the rigor of the program. They seem to be resume boosters and cash cows for school. If I want to blow money and sell out I'd be better off getting an MBA. I've already sat through a few years of garbage business classes so I'm not feeling that.

    This leaves pure/applied math and research economics or select interdisciplinary programs at particular schools that I've never heard of. There's no way I could go straight into a math PhD and an econ PhD might be a stretch given my background so I'm really looking for masters programs that are not necessarily terminal. I don't want anything less that 3 semesters because I'd barely be situated before having to leave school again which makes stepping out of the workforce silly. I need a solid program to build my skills and give me more than a long shot on PhD. I'm not opposed to looking outside of the US either.

    Right now my baseline plan is to enroll in the masters program in pure math at City College of New York (CUNY) full time. From what I understand it's long since past it's prime when Bertrand Russell was there in the 1940s but it's functional and inexpensive. My concern is that in NYC tuition isn't the primary expense, it's housing. If I'm going to blow $1000/mo on rent it only makes sense to do it at place that can be used as a "launchpad". I'm not convinced City College can deliver there (but I know nothing about how the math world works). I'm aware there's NYU, but that's easily the most overpriced school in the country.

    Can anyone provide some insight beyond a top 25 list?

    Math background:
    3 semesters of calculus
    1 linear algebra (passed on a pass/fail basis) :(
    1 semester of stats
    1 semester of econometrics (Gaussian proofs galore)
    2 semesters of analysis/advanced calculus (currently doing this part time)
    Possibly one semester of differential equations this coming spring.

    I took the GRE on a lark in 2008 and got a 700-something on the quantitative portion which was 85th percentile. It's good but not mind-blowing. I hadn't done any math in over two years at that point.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2009 #2
    generally the requirement for enrolling in Masters for Pure Mathematics is:

    2 courses in analysis
    2 in abstract algebra
    1 in topology

    I'm not sure how fruitful differential equation is for Pure Mathematics. You should take abstract or topology instead.

    similar for Advanced Calculus. Isn't it supposed to be an "applied" course?
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