Not Sure Where I Stand

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:26 pm

Not Sure Where I Stand

Postby TheRedLotus » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:35 pm


I'm a recent graduate, May 2018. I've taken some time off from college for work and personal reasons. However, I'm trying to get into a decent math graduate program. I was a dual major recieving both a B.s. in Mathematical Sciences and a B.s. in Physics. My gpa was a lackluster 3.14 overall with a 3.19 Math and 3.17 Physics. I had a rough second semester my sophomore year and perhaps spread myself a little thin going forward. I most definitely underestimated my ADHD. My math advisor believes I would do well focusing strictly on math. My ultimate goal has always been to pursue research in Mathematical Physics. I'm here to ask what schools may be a good fit and if my GRE scores (taking the Math April 6th and the General in July) will help offset my GPA. I currently work as a math tutor and have done some freelance web design. Also are there any other things I can do to help improve my standing? Thanks in advance to anyone who responds.

The Red Lotus

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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: Not Sure Where I Stand

Postby ponchan » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:43 pm

You should probably ask your math advisor where he/she thinks you have a chance. Otherwise, I suggest doing the following. Look at the Application and Admission Results pages on this site from the past 5 years or so. Press Ctrl + F and search 3.1, 3.0, 3.2, etc to see what sorts of schools people with a GPA similar to yours get accepted to. Of course, you might still have a very different profile from these people, but it's something to consider.

You might also consider applying to a terminal masters program. These are much easier to get accepted to. If you do well at one of these, you might have a shot at a much better PhD program.

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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:26 pm

Re: Not Sure Where I Stand

Postby TheRedLotus » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:28 pm

I have talked to him but he doesn't have any recommendations. I also took your advice and spent some time looking through previous applicants. From what I saw, there weren't too many applicants with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.2. Of those I saw, most had applied to pure math programs. I did notice someone got accepted at Indiana University Bloomington with a similar GPA. That school was already on my list though. I plan on applying to both masters and doctoral programs.

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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:40 am

Re: Not Sure Where I Stand

Postby terrapot » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:04 pm

You should also consider Post Bacs (Iowa State etc) and Bridge Programs (Columbia has applied I believe)

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Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: Not Sure Where I Stand

Postby johanMo » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:14 am

hey, it seems we have a similar background (you can look at my profile on the Fall 2019 application profile thread to get an idea of the schools that I applied to and the ones I've gotten in). I also got a BS in math and physics and want to do mathematical physics research. My GPA is a bit over 3.5, but my mGRE score was not great. Still, I was able to get into two fairly decent schools so far and am still waiting for responses on some other good schools. While your GPA is indeed a handicap and might even keep you from qualifying to some schools that set lower bounds on GPA for admission, it's still definitely possible to get into a good school if you get a really good GRE score and have really good letters of recommendation. If you aren't able to obtain these then I would probably look for funded masters programs. If you know who your recommenders will be, a good starting point would be to ask them where they have collaborators or connections and look into applying to those places. Sometimes a letter from a prof connected to the department is all you need. One thing I did to even out my chances was to look at the AMS department groupings and applying to an even amount of group I schools and group II schools while at the same time making sure there would be people at these places that I would be interested in working with. Mathematical physics is a broad and insanely active field so chances are many of the places you look into will have at least 2 or 3 people interested in it. Of course, if you know what flavor of mathematical physics you want to do then your choices will be narrowed down.

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