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Applied Math PhD Chances

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:36 pm
by ch1128
Hey guys,

I am really interested in applying to PhD programs in Applied Mathematics. However, I am concerned that my lack of upper-level math courses and poor undergraduate GPA might make it difficult for me to find a program to be accepted to. I also have 5 withdrawals on my transcript from when I flirted with majoring in Biology.

With these black marks on my transcript, is it realistic for me to apply to solid Applied Math PhD programs? I have been looking closely at Applied Math programs such as UT Austin, CU Boulder, and Stony Brook. Am I totally off base with targeting these schools? If not, would these be considered reaches or targets for me? Lastly, would self-teaching the topics on the mGRE and attaining a high score on that test be very beneficial for these programs? Or will a high mGRE score not be enough to offset my poor GPA?

Thank you in advance for your help!

I've listed out my profile below:

Undergrad Institution: Fordham University
Major(s): Math & Computer Science Joint Major
Minor(s):
GPA: 3.32
Relevant courses: CS I (A-), CS II (A), Discrete Structures (A), Programming for Math & Science (A), Data Structures (A), Data Mining (A), Calc I (A), Calc II (A), Calc III (B-), Calc IV (A-), Discrete Math (B+), Computer Algorithms (B+), Linear Algebra (B), Machine Learning (A-), Theory of Computation (A-), Differential Geometry (B-), Numerical Analysis (F)
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

Graduate Institution (MS degree): Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business
Major(s): Applied Statistics
Minor(s):
GPA: (in progress - anticipating 3.8+ GPA based on how this semester has gone so far)
Relevant courses: Statistical Theory I, Statistical Theory II, Applied Regression Analysis, Hierarchical Linear Models, Bayesian Analysis, Real Analysis, Numerical Analysis (retaking this course), Statistical Computation
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Revised General Test:
Q: 165 (88%)
V: 163 (93%)
W: 5.0 (92%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: N/A; haven't taken yet

Program Applying: Applied Math

Re: Applied Math PhD Chances

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:30 pm
by MMDE
You will probably need a very good explanation for the F in numerical analysis, especially since you're going into applied math. Your application looks great if you're looking into any statistics programs though.

Re: Applied Math PhD Chances

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:34 pm
by ch1128
Thank you for your reply. I am sure that the F in numerical analysis will look very bad on my transcript. I was going through a particularly tough time that semester and really dropped the ball on my studies. However, I will be retaking the class next semester. Do you think receiving an A in it on a retake will be enough to mitigate the F? Or is that way too big of a red flag for most PhD programs to take a chance on me?

Re: Applied Math PhD Chances

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:35 am
by MMDE
ch1128 wrote:Thank you for your reply. I am sure that the F in numerical analysis will look very bad on my transcript. I was going through a particularly tough time that semester and really dropped the ball on my studies. However, I will be retaking the class next semester. Do you think receiving an A in it on a retake will be enough to mitigate the F? Or is that way too big of a red flag for most PhD programs to take a chance on me?


This is something only someone on an admissions board will know. If I had to guess I think if you have a good explanation and an A in a repeat course to show for it you should be fine. Only exception would be top 20 schools, they might have an issue with it. Good luck.

Re: Applied Math PhD Chances

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:38 am
by ch1128
Great, that is reassuring to hear. Thank you for your input!