Is it worth applying to grad programs a fourth time?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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mbrane
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:53 am

Is it worth applying to grad programs a fourth time?

Post by mbrane » Fri Apr 01, 2022 2:41 am

At this point in the application process I've got 8 schools to hear back from but am assuming those are all rejections because none are safety schools. I've spent thousands on applications just to be rejected or not even hear back from programs. The first two times applying I had a low GPA that deterred me from getting into good programs, but now I've proven mastery of graduate level mathematics over three years of coursework and passing PhD prelims, have exceptional letters, a thesis on mirror symmetry in the works despite no one in my city specializing close to the area, teaching experience, am a minority in multiple ways, etc. My professors all expected I'd have options despite only applying to top 40 programs (I'm limited by my research area and need for trans affirming healthcare) but every school is rejecting me. Do I have any chances applying next semester when there will be even more competition from all the people in my position? Will it look bad that even my home school is choosing not to continue funding me (they both don't have funds for PhDs and expect I will switch programs)? I'll have options for funding in the nonprofit industry since I've got over 5 years experience working/volunteering full time most of that time while also studying and I've got connections, but my research will suffer if I have to take on a full time salaried job with high expectations. Plus my main goal in life is to research mathematical physics, not to be a non profit admin. I also feel like schools have made it clear that I am not good enough for their programs after 3 years of trying. Not much will have changed by next semester other than writing and potentially publishing a thesis and (hopefully) passing more PhD prelims. Basically, when it is time to give up on a math PhD? Am I just wasting my effort applying? I know I should apply to more mid ranked programs and while I am somewhat flexible on research area (as long as it's still mathematical physics or algebra(ic geometry)), but I refuse to consider schools that do not cover transitional surgeries. I don't have tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around for surgeries that all of my doctors agree are medically necessary (I'm not looking to argue about this, please).

coolar
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2021 8:59 pm

Re: Is it worth applying to grad programs a fourth time?

Post by coolar » Fri Apr 01, 2022 3:08 am

Have you reached out to any schools that you applied to and asked why you didn't get accepted? Not really sure what else you could do.

mbrane
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:53 am

Re: Is it worth applying to grad programs a fourth time?

Post by mbrane » Fri Apr 01, 2022 4:31 am

coolar wrote:
Fri Apr 01, 2022 3:08 am
Have you reached out to any schools that you applied to and asked why you didn't get accepted? Not really sure what else you could do.
I asked the ones that didn't say they had too many applicants to explain rejections and I was generally told that this year there is a lot of competition and not enough funding for all strong applicants. The only major thing I've got against me is coming from a low ranking institution, but even then my rec letters should be more important

MadMax
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2021 2:09 pm

Re: Is it worth applying to grad programs a fourth time?

Post by MadMax » Fri Apr 01, 2022 12:12 pm

I think it worth a shot. I just went through your profile and found you want to do mathematical string theory. This is an extremely small and competitive field, and I think it might be part of reason you got rejected (if you indicated that you want to do this kind of research in SoP).

I recommend you consider some Physics PhD programs. Some theoretical physicists working on mathematical string theory in physics department. It will still be competitive but less than Math PhD programs.

mbrane
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:53 am

Re: Is it worth applying to grad programs a fourth time?

Post by mbrane » Sat Apr 02, 2022 2:07 am

MadMax wrote:
Fri Apr 01, 2022 12:12 pm
I think it worth a shot. I just went through your profile and found you want to do mathematical string theory. This is an extremely small and competitive field, and I think it might be part of reason you got rejected (if you indicated that you want to do this kind of research in SoP).

I recommend you consider some Physics PhD programs. Some theoretical physicists working on mathematical string theory in physics department. It will still be competitive but less than Math PhD programs.
Unfortunately I don't have the qualifications for physics programs. My university doesn't even have a physics grad program plus I messed up my physics undergrad grades due to trauma. I've considered Virginia Tech and the like but again that'd be in their physics program and not math, which I'm more qualified for

Cophysneurec
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:57 am

Re: Is it worth applying to grad programs a fourth time?

Post by Cophysneurec » Sat Apr 02, 2022 10:29 am

mbrane wrote:
Sat Apr 02, 2022 2:07 am
MadMax wrote:
Fri Apr 01, 2022 12:12 pm
I think it worth a shot. I just went through your profile and found you want to do mathematical string theory. This is an extremely small and competitive field, and I think it might be part of reason you got rejected (if you indicated that you want to do this kind of research in SoP).

I recommend you consider some Physics PhD programs. Some theoretical physicists working on mathematical string theory in physics department. It will still be competitive but less than Math PhD programs.
Unfortunately I don't have the qualifications for physics programs. My university doesn't even have a physics grad program plus I messed up my physics undergrad grades due to trauma. I've considered Virginia Tech and the like but again that'd be in their physics program and not math, which I'm more qualified for
In my opinion your posts on here have a very ‘woe-is-me’ tone. If any of that comes out in your admissions essays that could be one reason for this situation you’re in. Perhaps the more obvious problem is that you’re only applying to top 40 programs… It seems to me that you are creating this situation for yourself. Food for thought.

mbrane
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:53 am

Re: Is it worth applying to grad programs a fourth time?

Post by mbrane » Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:50 pm

Cophysneurec wrote:
Sat Apr 02, 2022 10:29 am
mbrane wrote:
Sat Apr 02, 2022 2:07 am
MadMax wrote:
Fri Apr 01, 2022 12:12 pm
I think it worth a shot. I just went through your profile and found you want to do mathematical string theory. This is an extremely small and competitive field, and I think it might be part of reason you got rejected (if you indicated that you want to do this kind of research in SoP).

I recommend you consider some Physics PhD programs. Some theoretical physicists working on mathematical string theory in physics department. It will still be competitive but less than Math PhD programs.
Unfortunately I don't have the qualifications for physics programs. My university doesn't even have a physics grad program plus I messed up my physics undergrad grades due to trauma. I've considered Virginia Tech and the like but again that'd be in their physics program and not math, which I'm more qualified for
In my opinion your posts on here have a very ‘woe-is-me’ tone. If any of that comes out in your admissions essays that could be one reason for this situation you’re in. Perhaps the more obvious problem is that you’re only applying to top 40 programs… It seems to me that you are creating this situation for yourself. Food for thought.
I definitely did not have this tone in my applications because I was not expecting to be rejected from every school. I found these schools based on health insurance coverage and advisors in mathematical string theory, without regard to ranking. I was also only told that I would not get funding from my home school, which was supposed to be my safety, after the application process. I was told I would be guaranteed admission and I assumed American schools fund all their PhDs but apparently not here



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