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Admission rates way too low ? - pure math phd

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Hi all,

I have been checking mathematicsgre blog post for admission results in 2012 and I was startled at how seemingly very strong profiles got turned down by most top 15-20 schools. I was in the process of preparing a list of possible schools to apply to for a PhD in pure math but now I am not really sure anymore how my list should be organized.

Here is my profile:

University: 2 top Egyptian universities but not recognized internationally.

Majors: Math, Computer Science + Medicine.

GPA: overall GPA in the CS+math uni is 3.9, Math major GPA 3.95, CS major GPA 3.93.

overall grade in university where I studied medicine is equivalent to B+.

Upper Math grades: Analysis I, II, Topology, Number Theory, Complex Function theory, Theory of Computing, Linear Algebra, Formal Logic, ODEs, Discrete Math, Galois Theory, Algebraic Geometry and Intro to Elliptic curves arithmetic, 2 statistics courses -- All A's. Numerical Analysis, Abstract Algebra A- .

I have some research projects in Computational Biology and in Computer Vision (in Microsoft research lab cairo) but no publications.

As for LORs, I think I can get 2 really good letters from 2 american math professors and 1 from my research supervisor at MS. I think the letters will be strong but the professors giving them aren't well known.

I had in my mind for a list of schools 3 top 20-50 , and the rest ranging 50-100. Is that reasonable? Should I be aiming higher/lower? Do you guys think I got the wrong picture from mathematicsgre?

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By Analysis I and II, I assume you have had introduction to Measure Theory. You seem to have enough background to apply for a graduate program. I myself had similar background when I applied and I didn't have any research experience either and I still got in to a top 30 program. I think it helped my chances when I mentioned that I had good grades in graduate level courses and a strong background in Analysis. This point probably stood out in my application.

Your LORs must be very strong. It will also help if you get good GRE/TOEFL scores.

Also, I was told by one of graduate program member that the situation changes every year. So do not depend too much on past years' acceptance results.

Write a good SOP detailing your math background and what you intend to do in future.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For what it's worth, it looks to me that if you have good mgre/toefl scores, you could aim higher. I don't know how many applications you want to make and pay for, but maybe more in the upper part of your range. Good Luck!

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