Medical Student Inquiry

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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2eurokebab
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:27 pm

Medical Student Inquiry

Post by 2eurokebab » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:42 pm

Hello!
I was hoping to get some advice on how to proceed with my non-traditional background.
I am a 3rd year Lebanese-American medical student in a US-style (4 year as a graduate school) medical school in Lebanon. I received my undergraduate degrees from the same institution (1st in the middle-east and north Africa region) in biology and chemistry. However, during medical school, I have been taking math classes as part of a non-degree scheme, but with transcript grades. I have taken the calc series, ODEs, honors linear algebra (Kunze), Real analysis (Rudin), Complex analysis (Stein and Shakarchi), Abstract algebra (Jacobson and Fraleigh), and topology. I hope to take a further two courses in differential geometry and linear algebra by the time I graduate.
Due to a very hectic medical school schedule, I can only take one course each semester.
I ultimately want to pursue a PhD in pure math, but i understand that my preparation is lacking if i hope to go to a top US institution. For that reason I have decided to pursue a masters degree after graduation. My question was whether it would at all be possible to get funding for masters degrees at institutions such as University of Washington/Michigan, Upenn, UCSD, or any other school.
I also wanted to ask if it would be possible to be admitted to a UK school for their masters degrees, such as Part III at Cambridge of MMast at Oxford with my preparation.
It may be worth mentioning that i have received 95% or higher on all of the courses i listed above, anything above 90 is a 4.0 at my school. I graduated my first two majors with a 4.0 in both.
Would it be possible to leverage my background as a medical student, if only to show that I can handle large volumes of work (although qualitatively very different) to excuse some of my under-preparedness?
Thank you in advance!

temporaryacct
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:23 am

Re: Medical Student Inquiry

Post by temporaryacct » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:09 pm

I think you're fine in terms of course work for PhD programs actually. You can look at individual schools' websites to see whether you meet their specific requirements. Scoring well on the math subject GRE wouldn't hurt your case either.

Do you have any math research experience? While math programs don't require research as much as science programs do, having some experience is definitely good.

Also, if you don't want to commit to a masters, a one year post-bacc could be good for you. They'll let you strengthen your application and most are funded and only will take up one year.

2eurokebab
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:27 pm

Re: Medical Student Inquiry

Post by 2eurokebab » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:29 pm

temporaryacct wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:09 pm
I think you're fine in terms of course work for PhD programs actually. You can look at individual schools' websites to see whether you meet their specific requirements. Scoring well on the math subject GRE wouldn't hurt your case either.

Do you have any math research experience? While math programs don't require research as much as science programs do, having some experience is definitely good.

Also, if you don't want to commit to a masters, a one year post-bacc could be good for you. They'll let you strengthen your application and most are funded and only will take up one year.
You think i may be able to gain admission to a top 30 program? I understand that a PhD is much more about the faculty you're working with than the prestige of the institution, but the issue is that if i ever want to return back to Lebanon, brand recognition is unfortunately very important, although i would personally be satisfied doing math almost anywhere.
I have research concerning quantitative hemodynamics and fluid flow modelling. This is more on the applied side of things though.
Should i bite the bullet and just apply straight for a PhD if i do well on the GRE?

temporaryacct
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:23 am

Re: Medical Student Inquiry

Post by temporaryacct » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:38 pm

You think i may be able to gain admission to a top 30 program?
I don't know, but I don't think coursework will necessarily be the limiting factor. I had a similar level of coursework as you (probably even less to be honest) as a domestic liberal arts student and got admitted to University of Minnesota and Georgia Tech.

I don't know whether things are different for international students, or whether they would like to see more research, so I can't say about your chances overall. Just that coursework won't be the main issue probably.

2eurokebab
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:27 pm

Re: Medical Student Inquiry

Post by 2eurokebab » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:29 pm

temporaryacct wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:38 pm
You think i may be able to gain admission to a top 30 program?
I don't know, but I don't think coursework will necessarily be the limiting factor. I had a similar level of coursework as you (probably even less to be honest) as a domestic liberal arts student and got admitted to University of Minnesota and Georgia Tech.

I don't know whether things are different for international students, or whether they would like to see more research, so I can't say about your chances overall. Just that coursework won't be the main issue probably.
Hm, i guess ill try to reach out to some faculty and better evaluate my prospects in the next couple of months. Thank you very much for your time and help. It's much appreciated!

lucasmiranda
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:18 pm

Re: Medical Student Inquiry

Post by lucasmiranda » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:02 am

I think that if you get a great score on the mGRE, then you'll have a good chance. You can probably use being a medical student in your favour on your statements. However, you should know that the mGRE bar is really high for international students at the top universities. You should get above 80%, if not 90%. Personally, I would advise you to check European and Canadian universities as well. Especially the European ones, where you usually have an interview; this is really helpful to show that you are a strong student, even though your background is unusual.

2eurokebab
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:27 pm

Re: Medical Student Inquiry

Post by 2eurokebab » Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:11 pm

lucasmiranda wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:02 am
I think that if you get a great score on the mGRE, then you'll have a good chance. You can probably use being a medical student in your favour on your statements. However, you should know that the mGRE bar is really high for international students at the top universities. You should get above 80%, if not 90%. Personally, I would advise you to check European and Canadian universities as well. Especially the European ones, where you usually have an interview; this is really helpful to show that you are a strong student, even though your background is unusual.
Hello!
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to reply.
Were your comments concerning masters admission or PhD admissions? As in, an mGRE of above 80% could make it possible to apply to a PhD directly?
Canadian schools are a very appealing option as well, but from what I understand, their master's degrees are even more selective than they are in the US. If my profile permits for an admission into a Canadian master's degree that's designed to prepare students for a PhD, that would actually be optimal. Are you aware if the master's degrees have a tuition waiver for international students?
Finally, concerning European schools, I was under the impression that they are much more strict about my undergraduate background, with them listing ECTS credits and whatnot. Althoug geographically Europe or the UK would be an ideal option too. Would a UK school (Imperial, Warwick, UCL, Oxbridge) possibly be open to receiving an application from a non math major?
Sorry for the questions, you've already helped me a lot with your earlier reply.

lucasmiranda
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:18 pm

Re: Medical Student Inquiry

Post by lucasmiranda » Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:09 pm

2eurokebab wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:11 pm
lucasmiranda wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:02 am
I think that if you get a great score on the mGRE, then you'll have a good chance. You can probably use being a medical student in your favour on your statements. However, you should know that the mGRE bar is really high for international students at the top universities. You should get above 80%, if not 90%. Personally, I would advise you to check European and Canadian universities as well. Especially the European ones, where you usually have an interview; this is really helpful to show that you are a strong student, even though your background is unusual.
Hello!
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to reply.
Were your comments concerning masters admission or PhD admissions? As in, an mGRE of above 80% could make it possible to apply to a PhD directly?
Canadian schools are a very appealing option as well, but from what I understand, their master's degrees are even more selective than they are in the US. If my profile permits for an admission into a Canadian master's degree that's designed to prepare students for a PhD, that would actually be optimal. Are you aware if the master's degrees have a tuition waiver for international students?
Finally, concerning European schools, I was under the impression that they are much more strict about my undergraduate background, with them listing ECTS credits and whatnot. Althoug geographically Europe or the UK would be an ideal option too. Would a UK school (Imperial, Warwick, UCL, Oxbridge) possibly be open to receiving an application from a non math major?
Sorry for the questions, you've already helped me a lot with your earlier reply.
Hi there!

I was talking about PhD admissions but the advice is valid for master's admissions as well. As far as I know, Canadian and European universities all have scholarships for their masters, but these tend to be much more selective. Anyways, I think is still worth the shot.
In order to apply to an european university, it would be better if you had a masters degree. You can do your masters at your own country (if that's an option) or at an European university. I have a friend (brazilian) doing his masters in France with full studentship and he said it wasn't that hard for him to get his place. Of course, if you want to go to the top schools, it should be quite competitive.
Finally, with regards to UK schools. I'm an international and I got accepted at Warwick and UCL for a PhD (fully funded), so I do think you could be accepted. However, it would be much better if you could have a masters degree before as they tend to ask for a degree in a related area.



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