What are my chances for grad schools
What are my chances for grad schools
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Last edited by betafj on Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
Your profile looks strong, but I have one question: what constitutes a "graduate level" course?
Does it refer to graduateonly courses? or does it refer to courses that are commonly taken by both graduate and advanced undergraduate students?
Does it refer to graduateonly courses? or does it refer to courses that are commonly taken by both graduate and advanced undergraduate students?
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
It refers to courses taken by both graduate students and advanced undergrads (there are no "graduate students only" courses at my school).
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
Your profile looks damned competitive. I'd be surprised if you didn't get into AT LEAST five of those. I say that b/c I have pretty good idea of where you go and the level of the courses you've taken.
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
My school refers to those as "advanced undergraduate courses also taken by graduates" (I go to a state school that is top 20 in math).betafj wrote:It refers to courses taken by both graduate students and advanced undergrads (there are no "graduate students only" courses at my school).
Is it standard for these to be referred to as "graduate level" courses?
And yes, I agree that your profile is sufficiently strong that you do not need to apply to safety schools.
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
There is usually a distinction between undergraduate courses also taken by graduate students, and graduate courses also taken by undergraduates.My school refers to those as "advanced undergraduate courses also taken by graduates" (I go to a state school that is top 20 in math).
Is it standard for these to be referred to as "graduate level" courses?
Usually everything from the graduate algebra and analysis sequences up is considered graduatelevel, although there might be undergraduates in the course. At the most selective universities, you can find firstyear undergraduates in secondyear graduate courses (and by extension, there's a nonzero chance that you will find undergraduate students in any given graduate course, no matter how advanced).
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
In some cases there is, but often there is no distinction except that the graduate section requires extra coursework or a project to be completed (for an extra hour of credit), which is usually identical to an undergraduate honors project.owlpride wrote:There is usually a distinction between undergraduate courses also taken by graduate students, and graduate courses also taken by undergraduates.My school refers to those as "advanced undergraduate courses also taken by graduates" (I go to a state school that is top 20 in math).
Is it standard for these to be referred to as "graduate level" courses?
Usually everything from the graduate algebra and analysis sequences up is considered graduatelevel, although there might be undergraduates in the course. At the most selective universities, you can find firstyear undergraduates in secondyear graduate courses (and by extension, there's a nonzero chance that you will find undergraduate students in any given graduate course, no matter how advanced).
I just don't want to sell myself short by saying I have taken only 1 graduate course ("grad only") when I could arguably say I have taken 13 graduate courses (courses that may be taken by graduates for credit).
Sorry for hijacking your thread OP.
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
^ I don't recall many (any?) applications that asked, "How many graduate courses have you taken?" If there's any doubt, I would follow the convention at your university. At most universities you can tell just from the course number if a course is considered undergraduate or graduatelevel.
If you are asking our opinion on the rigor of your personal courseload, it would help us if you shared the name of your university or a selection of your courses (with prerequisites).
When I hear "advanced undergraduate courses open to graduate students," I am thinking pointset topology, differential geometry of curves and surfaces, an introduction to algebraic number theory (with only undergraduate algebra as a prerequisite), a second course in linear algebra, first courses in computability theory or stochastic processes, or honors versions of undergraduate analysis and algebra which also serve as remedial courses for underprepared graduate students. Those are all essentially undergraduate courses.
The graduate analogues of these would be algebraic topology (homology & cohomology, homotopy theory, etc), Riemannian geometry, number theory with a graduatelevel algebra and/or analysis prerequisite, commutative algebra, etc.
If you are asking our opinion on the rigor of your personal courseload, it would help us if you shared the name of your university or a selection of your courses (with prerequisites).
When I hear "advanced undergraduate courses open to graduate students," I am thinking pointset topology, differential geometry of curves and surfaces, an introduction to algebraic number theory (with only undergraduate algebra as a prerequisite), a second course in linear algebra, first courses in computability theory or stochastic processes, or honors versions of undergraduate analysis and algebra which also serve as remedial courses for underprepared graduate students. Those are all essentially undergraduate courses.
The graduate analogues of these would be algebraic topology (homology & cohomology, homotopy theory, etc), Riemannian geometry, number theory with a graduatelevel algebra and/or analysis prerequisite, commutative algebra, etc.
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
I guess I was really wondering about the strength of my coursework compared to other students, particularly because I didn't take a single math, or even technical, course until my junior year. The math courses in question are all 400level at my university:owlpride wrote:I don't recall many (any?) applications that asked, "How many graduate courses have you taken?"
Combinatorics (Brualdi)
Algebra (Dummit and Foote)
Analysis (Bartle and Sherbert)
Complex Analysis (Churchill and Brown)
Differential Equations (Boyce and DiPrima)
Linear Algebra (Leon)
I think they are all considered undergraduatelevel courses, although they all had grad students in them.
The other 6 courses are CS, Stats, or EE courses that are crosslisted with math which I have a pretty good idea which would be considered "graduate" level (4 grad). You might have guessed that I'm interested in applied math.

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Re: What are my chances for grad schools
^ I would probably consider all of those undergraduatelevel books. At my alma mater (a large state school), 400level classes were for undergraduates and remedial graduate students, and 500level proper "graduate" classes taken by some advanced undergrads.
It gets a bit more complicated for applied math because "undergraduate" level math is sometimes taught as a graduate class in other disciplines. Happy to see another applied mathematician here though (I'm a recovering chemist applying to math PhD programs)
It gets a bit more complicated for applied math because "undergraduate" level math is sometimes taught as a graduate class in other disciplines. Happy to see another applied mathematician here though (I'm a recovering chemist applying to math PhD programs)
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
You did an REU at W&M? When was it? I'm at W&M right now and was in the W&M's CSUMS program doing research each of the last two summers.
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
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Last edited by betafj on Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Posts: 65
 Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:34 pm
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
I think you're being a bit hasty. Only 4 out of 13 schools on your list have even started sending out admits, and that's only the first round of admissions. If you look at previous years' results on gradcafe, you'll find that most schools accept students all the way through April.
It's a very stressful process, but don't despair quite yet!
It's a very stressful process, but don't despair quite yet!
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
Man, you get a really really good background!!!! I won't surprise if you get into at least half of them!!!
Actually I am worried too... hmm...man, when did you submit your application? You know, if you submit your application not very early, you may not in their first round offers...
But again, your profile looks damned good!!
Actually I am worried too... hmm...man, when did you submit your application? You know, if you submit your application not very early, you may not in their first round offers...
But again, your profile looks damned good!!
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
I submitted most of my applications like the day before the deadline. Wait do admissions people really look at apps in the order that they were submitted? I would like to think that the admissions people would look at every application before making any offers, or else it is a huge disadvantage to those who did not apply early.

 Posts: 65
 Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:34 pm
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
Depends on the program. I don't know that much about math PhD programs. However, when I was applying several years back to a different discipline (long story), there were definitely some programs that did "rolling" admissions, where the adcoms looked at and accepted/waitlisted/rejected applicants in roughly the order they applied/interviewed. This was much more common at "lower ranked" schools though, so I wouldn't think it applies to most of the schools on your list.
Also, schools will usually tell you on their websites when they practise rolling admissions. Otherwise, it should be fairly easy to figure out based off of previous years' gradcafe results. None of the math PhD programs I'm applying to have rolling admissions, as far as I can tell.
Also, schools will usually tell you on their websites when they practise rolling admissions. Otherwise, it should be fairly easy to figure out based off of previous years' gradcafe results. None of the math PhD programs I'm applying to have rolling admissions, as far as I can tell.
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
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Last edited by betafj on Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
it sucks, doesn't it? I've already been rejected by princeton and haven't heard a word from uchicago.. i'm starting to feel pessimist...
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
No idea, but I submitted pretty much all my applications on the day they were due, and I still got an offer from Princeton, so they can't completely forget about the people who submitted late.betafj wrote:I submitted most of my applications like the day before the deadline. Wait do admissions people really look at apps in the order that they were submitted? I would like to think that the admissions people would look at every application before making any offers, or else it is a huge disadvantage to those who did not apply early.

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 Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:18 pm
Re: What are my chances for grad schools
Applying early helps if there are any kinks in your application. Things like transcripts not arriving, professors not sending off their letters of rec, and that sort of stuff. If you finish your application months ahead, then those sorts of issues can get resolved before there is a huge influx of applications into the admin office.