Need Help Deciding on More Reasonable Schools?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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lesbianpearls
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:48 am

Need Help Deciding on More Reasonable Schools?

Post by lesbianpearls » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:57 am

So, I am really into Algebra, Number Theory, and Logic. I would be absolutely happy studying any of these things! It's been my dream since I was a little girl to get a PhD and I absolutely love mathematics and want to continue studying it! That being said, I do have a long term partner that I am getting engaged to soon. She agrees to follow me anywhere I go, but she does have some states that she really would not want to live in. I put those as my last resorts, but I would honestly love to get in anywhere. (I'm kinda desperate and still have a low self-esteem and I believe that nobody will want me lol.) But, really, I just want suggestions for more reasonable schools to apply to because I don't think my list is being reasonable enough. The ultimate dream is to be in Oregon since that is where our family is, but of course, I might not get into those schools, so really anywhere in the US is open if you'd like to help. And please kinda give me the likelihood I have of getting into some schools.

Anyway, here is my profile that I copy-pasted from the application accepted/denial thread.

Undergrad Institution: Very Small Open Enrollment American University (I had self-esteem issues when I was younger and thought nobody else would want me. Haha.)
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): Unofficial Philosophy Minor (School doesn't offer it, but I have enough credits for it to count if it did.)
GPA: 4.0/4.0
Type of Student: Domestic, White, Female, Lesbian (And soon to be engaged! :D )

GRE Revised General Test:
Q: 163 (TBD%)
V: 154 (TBD%)
W: TBD (TBD%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: TBD (TBD%) (Expecting a very low score. Was not feeling well.)

Program Applying: Pure Math, specifically Number Theory, Algebra, and Logic

Research Experience: 3 years of research in Biomathematics at my undergrad university. 5 conference presentations: 3 poster, 2 oral. Currently writing a paper for submission.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Full Tuition Scholarship, Outstanding Student Poster Award at JMM
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TRiO Mathematics Tutor, Math Club President, AWM Student Chapter President
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: Female, LGBT+, Association for Women in Mathematics Member
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I have a W in a class titled "Careers in Mathematics". I also used to go to a community college and I skipped Calculus I and am replacing it with Intro to Complex Analysis.

Applying to Where:

THE DREAM SCHOOLS
Brown University
Bryn Mawr College
Oregon State University
University of Oregon
University of Notre Dame
Brandeis University

GOOD SCHOOLS
University of Arizona
University of Massachusetts

ALRIGHT, I GUESS
University of Nevada Las Vegas
University of Rhode Island
University of Montana
Montana State University

LAST RESORT
University of Kansas
University of Louisiana at Lafayette (I have connections.)
Utah State University

temporaryacct
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:23 am

Re: Need Help Deciding on More Reasonable Schools?

Post by temporaryacct » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:58 am

What kind of upper division coursework have you taken? Smaller schools often don't have that much. I think your GPA is obviously quite strong, but it's hard to say how much it'll mean to committees when they take institution into account, especially if you don't also have strong scores.

Your research record is also very nice, but biomathematics is bit removed from the very pure subjects you said you're interested in.

Have you considered doing a post bacc/masters to make yourself a bit more competitive? Not saying your list of schools is unreasonable. I just think it could be a good opportunity to show schools your potential better. My impression is that you maxed out what you could do in your undergrad institution but have the potential to have done more.

A postbac/masters would give you a chance to get some grades in grad level classes at an institution more familiar to PhD committees and perhaps even do some research in areas you're interested in. With a strong one or two years at one of those programs, you could stand a much better shot at being at one of your dream schools for 5-7 years.

That's my two cents I guess, but take it with a grain of salt. I'm certainly not really an authority on anything like this.

lesbianpearls
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:48 am

Re: Need Help Deciding on More Reasonable Schools?

Post by lesbianpearls » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:28 am

temporaryacct wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:58 am
What kind of upper division coursework have you taken? Smaller schools often don't have that much. I think your GPA is obviously quite strong, but it's hard to say how much it'll mean to committees when they take institution into account, especially if you don't also have strong scores.

Your research record is also very nice, but biomathematics is bit removed from the very pure subjects you said you're interested in.

Have you considered doing a post bacc/masters to make yourself a bit more competitive? Not saying your list of schools is unreasonable. I just think it could be a good opportunity to show schools your potential better. My impression is that you maxed out what you could do in your undergrad institution but have the potential to have done more.

A postbac/masters would give you a chance to get some grades in grad level classes at an institution more familiar to PhD committees and perhaps even do some research in areas you're interested in. With a strong one or two years at one of those programs, you could stand a much better shot at being at one of your dream schools for 5-7 years.

That's my two cents I guess, but take it with a grain of salt. I'm certainly not really an authority on anything like this.
Hi! Thanks for your reply! I've taken Number Theory, Abstract Algebra I, and Abstract Algebra II. I'm currently enrolled in Real Analysis and Topology and am taking Complex Analysis next semester. I've also have been taking research credits for 3 years. The only professor at my school who was actually getting students to conferences was the biomathematics professor. I thought it didn't matter what sort of conference experience you had in mathematics, as long as you had conference experience? Maybe I am mistaken? If it matters, my name is the first name on the project and paper. I don't know if this gives better information. They're all undergraduate classes.

I'd be willing to take a Master's program if it would be paid. I really can't afford to take out more loans. I don't even know where to start with finding paid Master's programs since everywhere I looked it seems as though I would have to take out loans to pursue that path when I could just go to a PhD program and have a significantly better chance at funding? So, if you happen to have any advice on this, please let me know! I honestly don't know my Math Subject Test score yet, but I hope it's alright. Even so, most of the schools I'm applying to don't require it, so I might just try my chance at not submitting it unless I have to. Overall, I am unsure about my application in general and any feedback is really appreciated! So thank you!

Cyclicduck
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:55 pm

Re: Need Help Deciding on More Reasonable Schools?

Post by Cyclicduck » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:03 pm

I don't think conference experience per se is that important, but this is a minor point. I also don't know of any funded Master's programs.

Overall though, your profile looks quite strong, especially with all your activities! I think emphasizing them in your personal statement could be a good idea. I would be very surprised if you didn't get into some of your dream schools. By the way, have you considered applying to more schools in Oregon if that's something special for you?

P.S.
I understand putting University of Kansas as a last resort, but consider taking a pilgrimage there some time, for it is a holy place where God has done his work. :P

Integreat
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: Need Help Deciding on More Reasonable Schools?

Post by Integreat » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:39 pm

lesbianpearls wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:28 am
I'd be willing to take a Master's program if it would be paid. I really can't afford to take out more loans. I don't even know where to start with finding paid Master's programs since everywhere I looked it seems as though I would have to take out loans to pursue that path when I could just go to a PhD program and have a significantly better chance at funding? So, if you happen to have any advice on this, please let me know! I honestly don't know my Math Subject Test score yet, but I hope it's alright. Even so, most of the schools I'm applying to don't require it, so I might just try my chance at not submitting it unless I have to. Overall, I am unsure about my application in general and any feedback is really appreciated! So thank you!
I have a list of paid master’s programs I can send your way if you’d like, I’d just have to find it first. Off the top of my head I remember UF being on there b/c some undergrads from my school went there. They have a pretty strong numumber theory dept iirc, not sure about algebra and logic. Also don’t require the math GRE

lesbianpearls
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:48 am

Re: Need Help Deciding on More Reasonable Schools?

Post by lesbianpearls » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:07 pm

Integreat wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:39 pm
lesbianpearls wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:28 am
I'd be willing to take a Master's program if it would be paid. I really can't afford to take out more loans. I don't even know where to start with finding paid Master's programs since everywhere I looked it seems as though I would have to take out loans to pursue that path when I could just go to a PhD program and have a significantly better chance at funding? So, if you happen to have any advice on this, please let me know! I honestly don't know my Math Subject Test score yet, but I hope it's alright. Even so, most of the schools I'm applying to don't require it, so I might just try my chance at not submitting it unless I have to. Overall, I am unsure about my application in general and any feedback is really appreciated! So thank you!
I have a list of paid master’s programs I can send your way if you’d like, I’d just have to find it first. Off the top of my head I remember UF being on there b/c some undergrads from my school went there. They have a pretty strong number theory dept iirc, not sure about algebra and logic. Also don’t require the math GRE
If you wouldn't mind, that would be great! Thank you so, so much!

temporaryacct
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:23 am

Re: Need Help Deciding on More Reasonable Schools?

Post by temporaryacct » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:25 pm

lesbianpearls wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:28 am
temporaryacct wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:58 am
What kind of upper division coursework have you taken? Smaller schools often don't have that much. I think your GPA is obviously quite strong, but it's hard to say how much it'll mean to committees when they take institution into account, especially if you don't also have strong scores.

Your research record is also very nice, but biomathematics is bit removed from the very pure subjects you said you're interested in.

Have you considered doing a post bacc/masters to make yourself a bit more competitive? Not saying your list of schools is unreasonable. I just think it could be a good opportunity to show schools your potential better. My impression is that you maxed out what you could do in your undergrad institution but have the potential to have done more.

A postbac/masters would give you a chance to get some grades in grad level classes at an institution more familiar to PhD committees and perhaps even do some research in areas you're interested in. With a strong one or two years at one of those programs, you could stand a much better shot at being at one of your dream schools for 5-7 years.

That's my two cents I guess, but take it with a grain of salt. I'm certainly not really an authority on anything like this.
Hi! Thanks for your reply! I've taken Number Theory, Abstract Algebra I, and Abstract Algebra II. I'm currently enrolled in Real Analysis and Topology and am taking Complex Analysis next semester. I've also have been taking research credits for 3 years. The only professor at my school who was actually getting students to conferences was the biomathematics professor. I thought it didn't matter what sort of conference experience you had in mathematics, as long as you had conference experience? Maybe I am mistaken? If it matters, my name is the first name on the project and paper. I don't know if this gives better information. They're all undergraduate classes.

I'd be willing to take a Master's program if it would be paid. I really can't afford to take out more loans. I don't even know where to start with finding paid Master's programs since everywhere I looked it seems as though I would have to take out loans to pursue that path when I could just go to a PhD program and have a significantly better chance at funding? So, if you happen to have any advice on this, please let me know! I honestly don't know my Math Subject Test score yet, but I hope it's alright. Even so, most of the schools I'm applying to don't require it, so I might just try my chance at not submitting it unless I have to. Overall, I am unsure about my application in general and any feedback is really appreciated! So thank you!
That curriculum is very solid actually! Many smaller schools have pretty limited upper level offerings so I'll admit I was expecting much worse.

[url = https://mathalliance.org/our-partners/p ... -programs/]Here's[/url] a list of post-bacc's if you don't want the full commitment of a master's. I know the Iowa State one is funded at least, don't know much about the other's. I think there are also many funded master's opportunities.

Integreat
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: Need Help Deciding on More Reasonable Schools?

Post by Integreat » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:16 am

lesbianpearls wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:07 pm
If you wouldn't mind, that would be great! Thank you so, so much!
Finally found the list, but it isn't as long as I originally thought. Hope it still helps though!
http://jlmartin.faculty.ku.edu/~jlmartin/masters.html



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