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murball1

Non-traditional PhD students?

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Hey guys.  Just wondering how many non-traditional PhD students are in your mathematics or statistics PhD (or masters) programs.  I am debating on going back to get my PhD and teach, and it's not easy finding figures on how many non-traditional students there are in those programs.  I know it will be difficult to get into a good program.  I am prepared to put up a good fight, but knowing some figures will help to put this into perspective.  Maybe it ends up just being a dream, but maybe not.  Also, my wife will be in a similar boat.  She wants to go back to get her masters in physics in order to teach as well, and she is a few years younger than me.

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What is the definition of non-traditional? In my incoming biostatistics cohort there are at least a handful of students that have been working/teaching for sometime (now aged 27+). Don't get caught up in the proportion of non-traditional students in programs to gauge your chances. I think posting your grades, relevant experiences, who you have in your corner for letter writers, etc will allow people to give you a better idea. Either way, good luck!

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Thanks for the reply.   I easily fall into the non-traditional category.  Graduated college 10 years ago with an actuarial science degree, and have been working the last 10 years in the profession.  I know what I need to do in order to look good on paper (I am actually debating on taking a few college classes to freshen up on some math classes as a prep for mGRE and use that as a way to get to know some of the professors). Just curious if there are others who are not fresh out of the undergrad.

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Many applicants are not fresh out of undergrad. I don't think your age will hurt you. Also, you don't need the math GRE.

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3 hours ago, murball1 said:

Thanks for the reply.   I easily fall into the non-traditional category.  Graduated college 10 years ago with an actuarial science degree, and have been working the last 10 years in the profession.  I know what I need to do in order to look good on paper (I am actually debating on taking a few college classes to freshen up on some math classes as a prep for mGRE and use that as a way to get to know some of the professors). Just curious if there are others who are not fresh out of the undergrad.

Yep you are in good company

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Non-tradition kind of loses its meaning when talking about grad school. I'd guess that about two thirds of the students in my program are fresh out of undergrad and one third are between 25 and 40 years old. I'll be 30 in a couple of months (holy crap!).

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I'm really nervous about being a non-traditional student. I'm 30+ two kids, I've been teaching for 10 years since my MA. I keep going back and forth about whether I can really do this, do I want to do this?

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