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Master's then PhD?


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Hi all

I have very recently began considering pursuing a future in mathematics. I originally had planned on going for my PhD in economics and have already applied to schools this year, but I am wavering in my decision. I have a solid math background because I planned on going to econ, but am missing some courses such as number theory and abstract algebra. Is it smart to get a masters degree in math in order to look better for phd programs or do you get looked down upon for having a masters? Also, if getting a masters is beneficial, what are some good programs to apply to; as I know some are oriented more towards going to phd while others are terminal.

Thank you in advance for your help

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Hi jwm,

What one of my friends did was to do a second bachelor's in Mathematics before going for a PhD in Economics to show them a strong Math background, I think a masters would work similarly (doubt anyone would "look down" on you for having more math background, could be wrong tho). I doubt that Number Theory and Abstract Algebra are too important for Economics, but the programs may be more interested in more relevant courses such as extensive Linear Algebra and Real Analysis, and other "applied" courses like Numerical Analysis and Probability/Math of Finance.

Also if you are just planning on doing a masters (or a second bachelor) for the purposes of piling up additional math background, I wouldn't worry too much about the reputation of the school as long as they are somewhat reputable. My friend did the second bachelor's at a UC (not Berkeley or LA) and ended up getting into top-notch Econ programs.

Edited by Shostakovich
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