What are my chances for grad schools

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
betafj
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:20 am

What are my chances for grad schools

Postby betafj » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:25 am

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Last edited by betafj on Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

goombayao
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:17 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby goombayao » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:38 am

Your profile looks strong, but I have one question: what constitutes a "graduate level" course?

Does it refer to graduate-only courses? or does it refer to courses that are commonly taken by both graduate and advanced undergraduate students?

betafj
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:20 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby betafj » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:13 am

It refers to courses taken by both graduate students and advanced undergrads (there are no "graduate students only" courses at my school).

dasgut
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:20 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby dasgut » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:30 am

Your profile looks damned competitive. I'd be surprised if you didn't get into AT LEAST five of those. I say that b/c I have pretty good idea of where you go and the level of the courses you've taken.

goombayao
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:17 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby goombayao » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:46 pm

betafj wrote:It refers to courses taken by both graduate students and advanced undergrads (there are no "graduate students only" courses at my school).


My school refers to those as "advanced undergraduate courses also taken by graduates" (I go to a state school that is top 20 in math).

Is it standard for these to be referred to as "graduate level" courses?

And yes, I agree that your profile is sufficiently strong that you do not need to apply to safety schools.

owlpride
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:01 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby owlpride » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:33 pm

My school refers to those as "advanced undergraduate courses also taken by graduates" (I go to a state school that is top 20 in math).

Is it standard for these to be referred to as "graduate level" courses?

There is usually a distinction between undergraduate courses also taken by graduate students, and graduate courses also taken by undergraduates.

Usually everything from the graduate algebra and analysis sequences up is considered graduate-level, although there might be undergraduates in the course. At the most selective universities, you can find first-year undergraduates in second-year graduate courses (and by extension, there's a non-zero chance that you will find undergraduate students in any given graduate course, no matter how advanced).

goombayao
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:17 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby goombayao » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:54 pm

owlpride wrote:
My school refers to those as "advanced undergraduate courses also taken by graduates" (I go to a state school that is top 20 in math).

Is it standard for these to be referred to as "graduate level" courses?

There is usually a distinction between undergraduate courses also taken by graduate students, and graduate courses also taken by undergraduates.

Usually everything from the graduate algebra and analysis sequences up is considered graduate-level, although there might be undergraduates in the course. At the most selective universities, you can find first-year undergraduates in second-year graduate courses (and by extension, there's a non-zero chance that you will find undergraduate students in any given graduate course, no matter how advanced).


In some cases there is, but often there is no distinction except that the graduate section requires extra coursework or a project to be completed (for an extra hour of credit), which is usually identical to an undergraduate honors project.

I just don't want to sell myself short by saying I have taken only 1 graduate course ("grad only") when I could arguably say I have taken 13 graduate courses (courses that may be taken by graduates for credit).

Sorry for hi-jacking your thread OP.

owlpride
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:01 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby owlpride » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:14 pm

^ I don't recall many (any?) applications that asked, "How many graduate courses have you taken?" If there's any doubt, I would follow the convention at your university. At most universities you can tell just from the course number if a course is considered undergraduate- or graduate-level.

If you are asking our opinion on the rigor of your personal courseload, it would help us if you shared the name of your university or a selection of your courses (with prerequisites).

When I hear "advanced undergraduate courses open to graduate students," I am thinking point-set topology, differential geometry of curves and surfaces, an introduction to algebraic number theory (with only undergraduate algebra as a prerequisite), a second course in linear algebra, first courses in computability theory or stochastic processes, or honors versions of undergraduate analysis and algebra which also serve as remedial courses for under-prepared graduate students. Those are all essentially undergraduate courses.

The graduate analogues of these would be algebraic topology (homology & cohomology, homotopy theory, etc), Riemannian geometry, number theory with a graduate-level algebra and/or analysis prerequisite, commutative algebra, etc.

goombayao
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:17 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby goombayao » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:09 pm

owlpride wrote:I don't recall many (any?) applications that asked, "How many graduate courses have you taken?"


I guess I was really wondering about the strength of my coursework compared to other students, particularly because I didn't take a single math, or even technical, course until my junior year. The math courses in question are all 400-level at my university:

Combinatorics (Brualdi)
Algebra (Dummit and Foote)
Analysis (Bartle and Sherbert)
Complex Analysis (Churchill and Brown)
Differential Equations (Boyce and DiPrima)
Linear Algebra (Leon)

I think they are all considered undergraduate-level courses, although they all had grad students in them.

The other 6 courses are CS, Stats, or EE courses that are cross-listed with math which I have a pretty good idea which would be considered "graduate" level (4 grad). You might have guessed that I'm interested in applied math. :mrgreen:

quinquenion
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:34 pm

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby quinquenion » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:51 pm

^ I would probably consider all of those undergraduate-level books. At my alma mater (a large state school), 400-level classes were for undergraduates and remedial graduate students, and 500-level proper "graduate" classes taken by some advanced undergrads.

It gets a bit more complicated for applied math because "undergraduate" level math is sometimes taught as a graduate class in other disciplines. Happy to see another applied mathematician here though (I'm a recovering chemist applying to math PhD programs) :D

YNWA2406
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:18 pm

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby YNWA2406 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:54 am

You did an REU at W&M? When was it? I'm at W&M right now and was in the W&M's CSUMS program doing research each of the last two summers.

betafj
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:20 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby betafj » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:20 am

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Last edited by betafj on Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

quinquenion
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:34 pm

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby quinquenion » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:44 am

I think you're being a bit hasty. Only 4 out of 13 schools on your list have even started sending out admits, and that's only the first round of admissions. If you look at previous years' results on gradcafe, you'll find that most schools accept students all the way through April.

It's a very stressful process, but don't despair quite yet!

dragoonlp
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:38 pm

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby dragoonlp » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:23 am

Man, you get a really really good background!!!! I won't surprise if you get into at least half of them!!!

Actually I am worried too... hmm...man, when did you submit your application? You know, if you submit your application not very early, you may not in their first round offers...

But again, your profile looks damned good!!

betafj
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:20 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby betafj » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:35 am

I submitted most of my applications like the day before the deadline. Wait do admissions people really look at apps in the order that they were submitted? I would like to think that the admissions people would look at every application before making any offers, or else it is a huge disadvantage to those who did not apply early.

quinquenion
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:34 pm

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby quinquenion » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:51 pm

Depends on the program. I don't know that much about math PhD programs. However, when I was applying several years back to a different discipline (long story), there were definitely some programs that did "rolling" admissions, where the adcoms looked at and accepted/waitlisted/rejected applicants in roughly the order they applied/interviewed. This was much more common at "lower ranked" schools though, so I wouldn't think it applies to most of the schools on your list.

Also, schools will usually tell you on their websites when they practise rolling admissions. Otherwise, it should be fairly easy to figure out based off of previous years' gradcafe results. None of the math PhD programs I'm applying to have rolling admissions, as far as I can tell.

betafj
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:20 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby betafj » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:48 pm

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Last edited by betafj on Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

belleal
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:46 pm

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby belleal » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:50 pm

me too :(

belleal
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:46 pm

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby belleal » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:58 pm

it sucks, doesn't it? I've already been rejected by princeton and haven't heard a word from uchicago.. i'm starting to feel pessimist...

kuz
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:32 am

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby kuz » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:26 pm

betafj wrote:I submitted most of my applications like the day before the deadline. Wait do admissions people really look at apps in the order that they were submitted? I would like to think that the admissions people would look at every application before making any offers, or else it is a huge disadvantage to those who did not apply early.

No idea, but I submitted pretty much all my applications on the day they were due, and I still got an offer from Princeton, so they can't completely forget about the people who submitted late.

Topoltergeist
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:18 pm

Re: What are my chances for grad schools

Postby Topoltergeist » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:25 pm

Applying early helps if there are any kinks in your application. Things like transcripts not arriving, professors not sending off their letters of rec, and that sort of stuff. If you finish your application months ahead, then those sorts of issues can get resolved before there is a huge influx of applications into the admin office.




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