Graduate School Preparation
Preparation for Graduate School in MathematicsIf you are interested in pursuing mathematical research, and teaching at the college level or above, graduate school in pure or applied mathematics may be right for you.
- Get to know the math faculty, find out about their research.
- Tune in to department events such as seminars and special lectures.
- Meet other math majors, join the Society of Undergraduate Mathematics Students.
- Look into undergraduate research opportunities.
- Find out how to take GRE, both subject and general.
- Find out about teaching assistantships and grants in graduate school.
Students with an interest in pure mathematics should take the Introduction to Advanced Math course (MGF 3301) as early as possible, preferably by the second year; take Introduction to Abstract Algebra I,II (MAS4302,4303) and Advanced Calculus I,II (MAA4226,4227) with high grades in the following year, and at least one first year graduate course sequence by the time you graduate. If you get a late start, the BS/MS option is a good way to get up to speed, and be well-prepared for entry into a strong pure mathematics graduate program.
There is some variety in the expectations of applied mathematics departments that change from university to university and program to program. As a reference, the FSU Math applied and computational mathematics program looks at the following courses as the basic groundwork for graduate study: ODEs, linear algebra (MAS4106), numerical analysis (MAD3703,4704), mathematical modeling (MAP4103), PDEs (MAP4341,4342), and programming (COP3014). Other desirable courses include advanced calculus (MAA4226), complex variables (MAA4402), general physics (PHY2048C), and statistics (STA4321).
Interdisciplinary mathematics graduate programs have developed at many mathematics departments. Florida State University offers graduate programs in both financial and biomathematics. It is a good idea to look on the web for specialized programs such as these, and find out about their pre-requisites, including courses outside of mathematics.