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Math Grad School; what classes and what program?


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After 5 months of the work world I have decided that applied work is not for me and I must go back to the more "pure" form of math and otherwise. I would like to apply for grad school in mathematics (interested especially in set theory and mathematical logic) this year in order to attend next fall. I have started studying for the general GRE and will soon begin studying for the math subject test. Over the summer I am planning to take the first semester of Advanced Calculus and take the second semester in the spring. There are a few questions I have that I was hoping you guys could help with!

First, I have taken the following math courses:

  • Calc I & II
  • Multivariate Calc
  • Linear Algebra
  • Complex Analysis
  • Probability Theory
  • Math Statistics (Statistics Theory)
  • Abstract Albebra I & II

Along with my math courses I had a minor in philosophy (including a formal logic class) and worked as a math tutor during my senior year. Are there any courses that I should consider taking over the next year?

Second, I have not done any research or participated in any extracurricular math stuff. Are there any research programs that are available to post-undergraduate but still pre-graduate? I have done a little searching but have been unsuccessful in finding such programs.

Third, I am uncertain as to whether applying to a Masters or a PhD program would be the best choice. As of now I fully intend to complete a doctorate, but I am a little worried that I may not have the credentials to initially be accepted to a PhD program.

Any suggestions of programs, websites, etc. to look at would also be appreciated, thank you!

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  • 2 months later...

Lacking research experience will definitely lower your odds, especially because you won't have recommendations from people who can speak to your research ability. Completing a masters degree can both prepare you for a PhD and be an opportunity in which to participate in research. Some other courses you may be interested in could include real analysis, ordinary/partial differential equations (though you may have included these in advanced calculus, I can't be sure), Topology or so on. But honestly, I feel as though you should try to pick classes that are related to your interests and will drive your passion. These will be the most useful for yourself in the long run, especially because your other preparation seems to be an adequate coverage of undergraduate math.

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