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MA without math background?


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Hey all,

I recently graduated from a midwestern state university with a Bachelor's degree in biology. For the last couple of years I had planned to get a graduate degree in biology. However, the more I think of it (and I've had plenty of time to think while conducting undergraduate research), a lab career would not suit my personality in the long run.

Even though I don't have the appropriate qualifications yet, I am fascinated with mathematics and I'm hoping to take some additional courses in order to be able to apply. I would like to get a Masters in Math or M.Ed. in Math Education and pursue a teaching career in the future.

I have taken Pre-Calculus, Calculus I and Statistics, however, I'm missing at least Real Analysis and Abstract Algebra, and to my knowledge those courses aren't offered in community colleges. That's why I'm inquiring your thoughts about my situation. Is there a possibility to take classes in a 4-year school as a non-degree seeking student? Are non-Math majors in disadvantage when it comes to admission or completing the Master's program in general? Any other thoughts?

Thank you for any ideas and tips, guys.

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You might be putting the cart ahead of the horse at this point -- you haven't actually taken any (real) math classes yet, so it may be tough to know if math is what you really want to do.

Having said that, taking math classes at a university would be the next logical step toward a graduate degree in mathematics. And yes, you will be at a disadvantage until you prove that you can handle the rigor of graduate-level mathematics.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm far from an expert, but fwiw I would recommend that you take Calc II and Linear Algebra (if offered) at a local CC and crush 'em. In particular, really become comfortable with what you do at the end of Calc 2 (sequences and series). If you're solid on that and basic Linear Algebra, you can work on a number of fun things in Numerical Analysis, if you're at all leaning toward Applied Math.

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