ORhopeful88 Posted February 7, 2011 Share Posted February 7, 2011 (edited) My goal is to eventually get a PhD in Operations Research, Computer Science, or (less likely, but maybe) Pure Math from a top (or at least good) department. My problem is that I spent most of college studying economics and only got interested in math and computer science my senior year. I got excellent grades throughout college, including the math classes I took senior year, but I'm worried that I am not qualified to get into top PhD programs since I haven't taken enough relevant classes. I also do not have a good idea of what, specifically, I would like to study/research since I did not have as much time as I would have liked as an undergrad to explore different topics. I'm thinking that getting a MS in pure math might be a good next step for me. My reasoning is that it would give me the mathematical background I need to be a strong candidate for OR and CS PhD programs, and it would also give me some time to figure out my interests better, which would help me find programs that best match my interests for a PhD. What do you think about this idea? Does this make sense? To give you a better idea of where I'm coming from, here is my profile: I went to a good, private university, but not an Ivy League (or equivalent). My school was between 20 and 40 in US News. Graduated in 2010 with a BA in Economics and minors in Math and Neuropsychology. Overall GPA: 3.74 GPA for sophomore through senior year: 3.9+ Math and math-related classes: Linear algebra (C; took this my first semester and clearly didn't try hard), Multivariable calculus (A), Probability (A), Econ Statistics (A), Discrete Math (A), Rings and Fields (A), Stochastic Processes (A+), Real Analysis (A), Theory of Computation (A), Algorithms (A-), Econometrics (A-). I currently work in a job that involves a fair amount of statistics, but I don't think mathematicians would really care much about this experience. I am currently working on a couple of research projects and hope to be published at least once by the fall, but I haven't been published yet, so I don't want to assume anything... Do you think I could get into Math Masters programs with this profile? Where would you suggest I apply? Some programs that looked pretty neat are at NYU, Penn, UMichigan, UCLA, UCSD, UWashington, Brandeis but I have no idea if these are realistic schools for me. I just asked a bunch of questions, but answers to any of them would be helpful, as well as general advice for someone in my situation. Thanks in advance! Edited February 7, 2011 by ORhopeful88 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

wanthony86 Posted February 7, 2011 Share Posted February 7, 2011 My goal is to eventually get a PhD in Operations Research, Computer Science, or (less likely, but maybe) Pure Math from a top (or at least good) department. My problem is that I spent most of college studying economics and only got interested in math and computer science my senior year. I got excellent grades throughout college, including the math classes I took senior year, but I'm worried that I am not qualified to get into top PhD programs since I haven't taken enough relevant classes. I also do not have a good idea of what, specifically, I would like to study/research since I did not have as much time as I would have liked as an undergrad to explore different topics. I'm thinking that getting a MS in pure math might be a good next step for me. My reasoning is that it would give me the mathematical background I need to be a strong candidate for OR and CS PhD programs, and it would also give me some time to figure out my interests better, which would help me find programs that best match my interests for a PhD. What do you think about this idea? Does this make sense? To give you a better idea of where I'm coming from, here is my profile: I went to a good, private university, but not an Ivy League (or equivalent). My school was between 20 and 40 in US News. Graduated in 2010 with a BA in Economics and minors in Math and Neuropsychology. Overall GPA: 3.74 GPA for sophomore through senior year: 3.9+ Math and math-related classes: Linear algebra (C; took this my first semester and clearly didn't try hard), Multivariable calculus (A), Probability (A), Econ Statistics (A), Discrete Math (A), Rings and Fields (A), Stochastic Processes (A+), Real Analysis (A), Theory of Computation (A), Algorithms (A-), Econometrics (A-). I currently work in a job that involves a fair amount of statistics, but I don't think mathematicians would really care much about this experience. I am currently working on a couple of research projects and hope to be published at least once by the fall, but I haven't been published yet, so I don't want to assume anything... Do you think I could get into Math Masters programs with this profile? Where would you suggest I apply? Some programs that looked pretty neat are at NYU, Penn, UMichigan, UCLA, UCSD, UWashington, Brandeis but I have no idea if these are realistic schools for me. I just asked a bunch of questions, but answers to any of them would be helpful, as well as general advice for someone in my situation. Thanks in advance! I'd say you definitely have a shot at a Master's program in most of not all the programs you listed. Not sure about a PhD, though, but getting a Masters is a step in the right direction! You know, with your major and work experience, I could see a reputable Operations Research PhD program accepting you. If I were you, I'd apply to Masters in Math programs as well as some OR PhD programs. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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