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Bidisha Chakraborty

Mathematics Requirement for PhD Animal Behaviour/Ecology and Evolution

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Many of the graduate programmes(PhD in my case) in Ecology,Animal Behaviour,Behavioural Ecology are stating that they require at least a few semesters of Mathematics,including Calculus in undergraduate or postgraduate levels. Some even require Physics. These subjects are generally not offered in universities (here,in India) for Biology related subjects. My query is,is there any way around it,for example,additional coursework later on ?

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Hi Bidisha, from my own experience, they are not totally fixated on these if the rest of your application is strong or you show quantitative experience in other ways. For example, you could try to find am advanced statistics class to show that you acquired relevant math skills. I didn't take any college physics but still got accepted a few eco/evo/behavior places that encouraged applicants to have taken it. However, it's much better to take them if possible, especially calculus since that directly relates to some of the things many biologists do. Perhaps you can take them over the summer at your equivalent to a community college or just any other school that will let you take a few classes. 

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Something else you might be able to consider is if your potential schools offer conditional acceptance so you can take the missing classes during your first semester (or first year). But I agree with @breadwinner. Try to take them beforehand if you can. It will be one less reason for them to reject you (if it comes down to it).

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If you want to get the coursework done, I remember hearing that some institutions offer certificate courses in Maths at the University level in India. I guess they might be ISI's or IMSc or IITs IISc IISER's or alike. This is especially useful if you would like to work in mathematical bio. You can also enquire at the HBCSE or TIFR.

LSE offers a 1yr  distance diploma in maths too. 

I think if you can get university level credit in calculus etc. courses from some MOOC, which could be accepted by your target schools, will be a great option.

 

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So sorry for the extremely delayed reply ! 
@breadwinner , @otherss and @Hr. Gore - Thank you so much for your advice ! 
I got so busy with my Masters thesis work that I could not spend any time on this at all. Now that I'm done with it,I am looking for such online Math courses or courses at some universities in my city ( eg. ISI,as @Hr. Gore) said. Hopefully something will work out ! 

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