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Admissions Workload Vs. GPA In Grad Admissions (Math)

  1. May 23, 2010 #1
    Hi everyone!

    I'm currently a second year at UC Irvine. I'm working on majors in Computer Science and Engineering and Mathematics with a minor in Philosophy if time permits. I want to study Logic somewhere in the UC system or perhaps out of state if it seems worth it.

    So I've been planning around a four year plan, mainly because I don't want to put myself further in debt but also because I feel that spreading out my classes to another year wouldn't provide enough of a challenge for me. Because of this, I take up to twice as many classes as my classmates do but I also tend to have a lower GPA.

    I'm a pretty stubborn dude. I skipped my "Introduction to Proofs" class and went straight into four upper division math classes the first quarter of my sophomore year. I didn't do so well but I kept pushing on and my grades are improving slowly but surely. I am one of the youngest in my classes, and I will be going into an introductory graduate class next quarter.

    At the rate things are going, I'll have a 3.2 overall and math GPA by the beginning of my third year, and it's still possible for me to meet UCLA's minimum requirement of a 3.5 Math GPA by the time I apply.

    Other admission factors aside, am I relying too much on my workload to make up for my GPA? Math divisions probably care more about the ability to understand and focus on material than to be able to tackle a broad range of subjects, but I know nothing about graduate admissions. Also, how much does improvement matter? Being able to show improvement in GPA seemed to matter a lot in undergraduate admissions. Should I expect the same thing now?

    I know this is probably not the best place to ask these questions, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Any feedback is welcome. Thanks guys. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2010 #2
    idk this to me just seems like you're dead set on being known as "that" kid. you know "that" kid who took ALL these classes in one semester, or the youngest kid to do whatever.

    I think more than simply admissions, you should figure out if you're actually getting anything out of these classes.

    you're just explaining about how you like to challenge yourself to the point where you're mediocre at everything.
  4. May 23, 2010 #3
    I see your point. Unfortunately it feels like it's too late to change that image. I'm not trying to be the youngest, but it's the only way my schedule will work itself out to graduate in time.

    I get a lot out of these classes, and I understand the concepts well, but the difference between something like an A- and B+ can come from something as small as time mismanagement for a week. I know I'm falling into a "jack of all trades" image here but I just wanna make sure I have a backup in case math doesn't work out for me.
  5. May 23, 2010 #4
    "Because of this, I take up to twice as many classes as my classmates do but I also tend to have a lower GPA."

    "I'm working on majors in Computer Science and Engineering and Mathematics with a minor in Philosophy if time permits."

    Just a thought - you don't have to do all these majors, and you don't need to take all these classes in order to know a good amount about the disciplines.

    As an intellectual, you have two goals: a) learning enough around different disciplines to see how they interact, etc, and b) actually making a contribution to the disciplines.

    You seem to think to fulfill (a) you have to take courses in all you're interested in. Not true. I know a *lot* of material outside of what I took courses in. Usually when I enrolled in a course, I did it properly so that it's on my record, and also so that I know I understand the skills really well and can use them in whatever projects I work on later. This means (b) can happen.

    You seem to be doing a great job of (a) but as you get older, your desire for (b) to work out [i.e. leave an impact on things of interest] will grow. You should nurture both sides, and not feel bad if you can't take every course you're interested in, because chances are only the "essential" points of those courses will ever end up being useful to you and/or remembered by you anyway!
  6. May 24, 2010 #5
    I agree with deRahm. I was disappointed too when I realized I couldn't take all the classes I wanted. I dropped classical physics II (electro/mag) for thermodynamics. I simply plan to read up on the classes I don't have time for during the year. Simply because you don't take the course, doesn't mean you can't learn on your own about it. That's what summer is for :)
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