Questions about applying to Masters program part time. (employed full time)

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:05 pm

Questions about applying to Masters program part time. (employed full time)

Post by MusicalRunner » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:02 pm

Hi all. I am in a somewhat unique situation and was hoping to get some advice. I graduated from a relatively small US school in 2013 with

Major in Mathematics (both pure and applied requirements fulfilled)
Major in Physics (Computational emphasis)
Minor in Computer Science
Minor in Chemistry.

Over the last 6+ years I've been employed full time as a Computer Engineer doing tangentially related work (Computer Modeling, Concept Development, Analysis [in the engineering sense not the Mathematics sense], lots of programming)

I would like to apply to the University of Minnesota (or other Universities near the Twin Cities) to pursue an MS in Mathematics part time while still being employed full-time, in Fall 2020. My employer would provide the legal limit of funding.

The problem, as you may have noticed, is that I have been out of University for quite some time. I did take the Subject GRE this October after deciding only a month earlier and scored a 590 (35th percentile). While I am personally proud of my score since I had little time to prepare, it is obviously fairly poor compared to other applicants.

My questions are:
1. Do I actually have reasonable chances of getting excepted?
2. If I were to apply would I be better off omitting my GRE score or providing it? I wonder if they place higher impact on this score for someone in my situation.
3. They require Letters of Recommendation. I have not been in contact with my Mathematics professors, would these be okay from high ranking people in my company?
4. The GRE officiant said that incorrect answers do NOT take points off. I asked her to make sure this is what she said. All other references said that, in fact, you get -1/4 point for every incorrect answer. I did randomly fill in answers to questions I did not know or did not get to. Was she correct?
5. Have any of you been in a somewhat similar situation?
6. How difficult would it be to maintain decent grades while working full time?

Additional information for those interested:

I had a decent GPA 3.72/4.00 which was brought down significantly by my Chemistry minor (Organic Chemistry is the devil) and maintained As and ABs in my Mathematics and Physics courses.
I had done quite a bit of extracurriculars, including some undergraduate research in Math and Physics, Mathematical Modeling competitions, Math/Physics/Chemistry tutoring, Math Conferences, TA, etc..., as well as being a member of the Cross-Country team, University Choir, and was the Director of Philanthropy of my fraternity.
I was the Outstanding Junior in Mathematics at my university.
I was inducted to the Physics Honor Society.
I scored a positive on the Putnam Exam (exactly 1 point haha, which put me at the 60th percentile I believe).
I did take higher level math courses including Real Analysis I, Complex Analysis I, Graph Theory, Numerical Methods, PDE, Abstract Algebra I. However, it has obviously been a very long time since I've done a proof.

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Re: Questions about applying to Masters program part time. (employed full time)

Post by bark_muffalo » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:51 am

Last edited by bark_muffalo on Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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