Need an advice on where to apply

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
coffeecrank
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:35 pm

Need an advice on where to apply

Postby coffeecrank » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:58 pm

Hey guys!

I really need some advice on where to apply and what are my chances.

First, a little about my background. I'm an international student, graduated in 2008 (bachelor's in Business Administration, top university in my country). Had random jobs (not math or business-related). But my passion's always been mathematics, so now I want to get a master's in applied math. Of course, I'd prefer PhD, but, being realistic, I never took any courses harder than Calc I.

Anyway, I've been studying for GRE subject for 3 months, literally learning everything for the first time. By the end of October I was pretty strong on Calc, my linear algebra and diff. equations were a bit rough though, and I didn't have time to cover topology and abstract algebra at all. I took TOEFL, GRE general and GRE subject. Here are my scores so far:

TOEFL - 106/120
GRE general - 61% verbal (my personal nightmare), 83% quant. (86% raw), 11% essay
GRE subject (took on Nov. 10th) - I doubt I'll get 60%. If I do, I'd be surprised.

So, with that in mind, what do you think of my chances of getting into a good school? Of course, I put away my dreams of Harvard/MIT/any Ivy League for a while, but what about, say, top 20-30? Or am I being too optimistic? What do you think?

P.S. We don't have a GPA grading system, but my math grades were excellent, and my average grade is approximately 3.3.

virgo
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: Need an advice on where to apply

Postby virgo » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:13 pm

Sorry, but you probably have no chance at top 20-30 if you've never even taken a proof course. The math subject gre might have helped you had you done REALLY well but top 20 still would have been a long shot especially for pure math.

topsecret
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Need an advice on where to apply

Postby topsecret » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:43 pm

This is just my opinion, but it sounds like with your lack of mathematics courses you might not be ready for graduate school in applied math. Most schools will expect you to have taken differential, integral, and multivariable calculus, ordinary differential equations, linear algebra, and at least one proof based course in the areas of real analysis and abstract algebra. Even for applied math you will still need to understand proofs. I don't know if this is possible, and I don't mean to discourage you, but you might want to spend 1 or 2 years taking additional undergraduate classes before you apply.

If you choose to apply to schools this year, I would carefully read each school's webpage to see if they might accept someone with your background, and I would email someone at the school and explain your situation and see how they respond. I would also apply to a lot of safety schools.

rmg512
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: Need an advice on where to apply

Postby rmg512 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:37 pm

I concur. You need a whole lot more math to really stand a chance for admittance at even a low tier school. If you can get a second BA/BS in Math, do so, and take a few proof based courses, particularly abstract algebra and real analysis. Otherwise, it sounds unlikely you'll get into anywhere.

coffeecrank
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:35 pm

Re: Need an advice on where to apply

Postby coffeecrank » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:37 pm

Yeah, half a year ago I've been thinking about the same, so I wrote to a couple of professors in top schools offering master's. They told me it's okay, since I'm not applying to PhD, and they can accept me, but I'll just have to take the required courses in like half a year before starting my degree. Spending another 4 years on BA would be unreasonable, imo. I can do that in a year easily, and I don't want to waste money and time.

topsecret
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Need an advice on where to apply

Postby topsecret » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:51 am

If you are set on applying this year then make sure you apply to schools that have an attitude similar to the professors you spoke to. It is true that Master's programs are less competitive but they also don't usually provide funding.

Application to Ph.D. programs at top 30 schools are extremely competitive. Masters might be less so, but my guess is still difficult. I would just be sure to apply to a lot of low ranking schools. If you are aiming for a job in industry, the ranking of the school you go to doesn't matter as much as if you are aiming to become a researcher in academia (although it still helps to go to a school with a good reputation).

coffeecrank
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:35 pm

Re: Need an advice on where to apply

Postby coffeecrank » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:22 am

topsecret wrote:If you are set on applying this year then make sure you apply to schools that have an attitude similar to the professors you spoke to. It is true that Master's programs are less competitive but they also don't usually provide funding.

Application to Ph.D. programs at top 30 schools are extremely competitive. Masters might be less so, but my guess is still difficult. I would just be sure to apply to a lot of low ranking schools. If you are aiming for a job in industry, the ranking of the school you go to doesn't matter as much as if you are aiming to become a researcher in academia (although it still helps to go to a school with a good reputation).

Thanks, I'll do just that. =) I've looked up top 50 schools, and I should say, even top 40-50 sounds good to me. Besides, I'm planning to get a PhD anyway, I just need some basis for that. For PhD I'll be more picky.

Financing is not an issue, so I guess it all depends on my grades/scores now...




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