Li-S Posted February 7, 2014 Share Posted February 7, 2014 I have a BS in Chemistry with a low GPA 3.1 due to undiagnosed ADD. My last few terms where I got DSP services, I improved and got 4.00 GPA, but my overall was still 3.1. Is a PhD in Math possible with high Math Subject GRE and high General GRE Math score? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Stat Assistant Professor Posted February 7, 2014 Share Posted February 7, 2014 Li-S, How many upper division math classes have you taken? Are you interested in pure or applied math? Unfortunately, even a high math subject GRE will not be enough to compensate for not having (at the MINIMUM) real analysis and abstract algebra. Most competitive math PhD candidates will also have taken a few graduate-level courses already, so you will not be a competitive candidate. All your letters of recommendation need to come from mathematicians, not profs in other fields. You should either get an MA or MS in math or take upper division math courses to show that you can do the work and then apply. If you are female, one particularly good program is the post-bac program in mathematics at Smith College where you can take algebra and analysis. Virginia Tech also has a funded MS program in math where you can take undergrad algebra and analysis in your first year and then grad-level in the second year. If you are interested in applied math, well... you might have a slightly better chance, but even then, I don't think you will be competitive, and you may be best served with getting an MS in Applied Math first. There are some MS programs in applied math where you can get funding. Best of luck. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

ppham27 Posted February 10, 2014 Share Posted February 10, 2014 (edited) How high? Probably not to be honest, though, at least at top schools. I have a 170 Q and 800 (81%) subject test, and at this point, it's likely that I won't have any offers. I did my undergrad in math at a top 10 undergrad and got a 3.72 GPA, too. A poor grade in Analysis and lack of grad-level coursework probably raised a few red flags about my app. Edited February 10, 2014 by ppham27 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Stat Assistant Professor Posted February 10, 2014 Share Posted February 10, 2014 I briefly considered PhD programs in math before deciding to head in the stats direction. AFAIK, only a few schools have explicit cutoffs when it comes to the math subject GRE (e.g. Berkeley and MIT won't look at any applications with subject GRE scores below 800). There may be a few other top-tier schools that have an "unstated" subject test GRE cutoff. But the farther down the list you go, the more tolerant departments are of lower subject GRE scores (some will seriously consider any application as long as the score is above like the 50th percentile). But from what I gather, a high subject GRE score definitely can *not* compensate for things like lack of grad-level [or even upper division] coursework (that's why a lot of SLAC grads are at a somewhat disadvantage compared to MIT grads, for instance... their background tends to be a little thinner, regardless of whether a thesis was written) , poor grades in algebra and analysis, or generic letters of recommendation. To the OP: unfortunately, your only options are to either enroll in upper-division classes (maybe complete a second degree in math if you have the time/money), do a post-bac in mathematics program (I know Brandeis has one, there are probably a few too), OR enroll in a Master's degree program in math (as I mentioned, Virginia Tech has one with relatively low admissions requirements -- you'd take undergrad algebra and analysis the first year, then grad level algebra and analysis the second year). To the poster above me: You may want to do an MA/MS in math too and obtain excellent grades in graduate-level topology, algebra, and analysis, OR apply to less competitive schools the next round if you don't receive any offers this time. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

bsharpe269 Posted February 14, 2014 Share Posted February 14, 2014 I would sign up for real analysis and abstact algebra at a local university, if possible. If you can get As in both of those classes and a strong math subject test then I think that you would definitely be qualified for math PhD programs. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

UsernameWasTaken Posted February 14, 2014 Share Posted February 14, 2014 (edited) Is post-undergraduate Abstract Algebra favorable even in Applied Math? Edited February 14, 2014 by SchrodingersCat Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

bsharpe269 Posted February 15, 2014 Share Posted February 15, 2014 Is post-undergraduate Abstract Algebra favorable even in Applied Math? Hmm I was thinking pure when I answered. With applied math, a subject test might be sufficient. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

ppham27 Posted February 15, 2014 Share Posted February 15, 2014 Hmm I was thinking pure when I answered. With applied math, a subject test might be sufficient. It probably won't be still. See my post above. I applied to mostly applied programs. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Stat Assistant Professor Posted February 15, 2014 Share Posted February 15, 2014 (edited) Just as an FYI, the vast majority of applied math program -- apart from the very top tier (Berkeley, Princeton, etc.) -- will care less about the subject score. I've seen people getting into highly reputable applied math programs like UT Austin and UWashington with 50-60th percentile scores on the subject test. However, a high subject GRE score certainly might help, but I doubt it will be weighed as heavily as other factors like letters of recommendation, performance in upper division math/statistics, etc. I DO think that good grades in classes like abstract algebra, number theory, topology, etc. WOULD help for applied math programs (and that low grades in those classes will hurt an application -- especially low grade in real analysis), since there are still a lot of proofs one has to do in applied math courses. If you focus on applied analysis, PDEs, or probability, then you will be doing a lot of proofs in your research too. if you do numerical analysis, computational fluid dynamics, or math biology or something like that, you might encounter fewer proofs, but the qualfying exams and classes you'll take as a first and second-year grad student in applied math WILL contain a lot of proofs, so you need to show you can do the proof-based work too. Occasionally, students in other disciplines like computer science, physics and engineering get into Applied Math PhD programs too (however, typically these students were double majors with math, had minors in math, and/or did significant research in an area that overlaps with applied math such as computational fluid dynamics, machine learning and computer vision, etc.). If you don't have research experience or something like that to compensate for lack of upper division math classes, then you really do need to have top-notch grades in upper division and graduate math courses for applied math programs. Luckily there are a lot of MS programs in Applied Math and a good number of them are also funded, so folks who need to compensate for low grades in upper division math should consider MS programs before applying to PhD programs. Edited February 15, 2014 by Stat Applicant Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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