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I was in a similar situation 1.5 years ago: made a series of bad decisions, have 0 publications or research experience, nothing outstanding about my academic CV. I was in fact wavering between pure and applied mathematics, not really knowing much about research in either area.

After doing a 1 year mathematics MSc at a top-tier university, would I say that in situations similar to yours and mine, doing an MSc is a very wise choice. Doing well in a good MSc will certainly overshadow what you did in your undergrad.

The primary goals of the MSc are:

  1. Obtain good grades and recommendations letters.
  2. Do Research! It is absolutely vital that the MSc has a significant research component.

Things I wished I knew back then:

  1. Take courses to maximize your grades. This could mean taking courses you have already taken before. Its not strictly a waste of time: you can see this as a test to see if you can perform in the topic at a graduate level. Also, if you're interested to do research in it, this would seriously help reinforce your knowledge in that area and you can take the opportunity to know the professor teaching it, even doing your dissertation in it.

  2. DO RESEARCH. Grab any chance you have to do research. In fact, be prepared to stay behind for a few months after graduation to turn your dissertation into publishable material or for an internship in the department.

  3. Pin down your interests ASAP. Do your MSc dissertation in that area if you can. It is such an advantage to have a dissertation project in and a letter of recommendation from someone in the area you're applying to. Contact relevant professors about graduate applications asap.

Advice for applications:

IMHO you should aim as high foras possible when applying to yourfor MSc. Top tier self funded MScs are a lot easier to get into if you don't have terrible grades.

Its not about the prestige of the department. Rather, more competitive places tend to attract highly motivated and competitive people. Being in that environment would seriously inspire you to push harder and accomplish more. Also, they tend to have more "intellectual resources" - brilliant professors, brilliant classmates etc for you to learn from.

P.S.

I am a student still in the process of applying for a PhD in Applied Mathematics.

I was in a similar situation 1.5 years ago: made a series of bad decisions, have 0 publications or research experience, nothing outstanding about my academic CV. I was in fact wavering between pure and applied mathematics, not really knowing much about research in either area.

After doing a 1 year mathematics MSc at a top-tier university, would I say that in situations similar to yours and mine, doing an MSc is a very wise choice. Doing well in a good MSc will certainly overshadow what you did in your undergrad.

The primary goals of the MSc are:

  1. Obtain good grades and recommendations letters.
  2. Do Research! It is absolutely vital that the MSc has a significant research component.

Things I wished I knew back then:

  1. Take courses to maximize your grades. This could mean taking courses you have already taken before. Its not strictly a waste of time: you can see this as a test to see if you can perform in the topic at a graduate level. Also, if you're interested to do research in it, this would seriously help reinforce your knowledge in that area and you can take the opportunity to know the professor teaching it, even doing your dissertation in it.

  2. DO RESEARCH. Grab any chance you have to do research. In fact, be prepared to stay behind for a few months after graduation to turn your dissertation into publishable material or for an internship in the department.

  3. Pin down your interests ASAP. Do your MSc dissertation in that area if you can. It is such an advantage to have a dissertation project in and a letter of recommendation from someone in the area you're applying to. Contact relevant professors about graduate applications asap.

Advice for applications:

IMHO you should aim as high for applying to your MSc. Top tier self funded MScs are a lot easier to get into if you don't have terrible grades.

Its not about the prestige of the department. Rather, more competitive places tend to attract highly motivated and competitive people. Being in that environment would seriously inspire you to push harder and accomplish more. Also, they tend to have more "intellectual resources" - brilliant professors, brilliant classmates etc for you to learn from.

P.S.

I am a student still in the process of applying for a PhD in Applied Mathematics.

I was in a similar situation 1.5 years ago: made a series of bad decisions, have 0 publications or research experience, nothing outstanding about my academic CV. I was in fact wavering between pure and applied mathematics, not really knowing much about research in either area.

After doing a 1 year mathematics MSc at a top-tier university, would I say that in situations similar to yours and mine, doing an MSc is a very wise choice. Doing well in a good MSc will certainly overshadow what you did in your undergrad.

The primary goals of the MSc are:

  1. Obtain good grades and recommendations letters.
  2. Do Research! It is absolutely vital that the MSc has a significant research component.

Things I wished I knew back then:

  1. Take courses to maximize your grades. This could mean taking courses you have already taken before. Its not strictly a waste of time: you can see this as a test to see if you can perform in the topic at a graduate level. Also, if you're interested to do research in it, this would seriously help reinforce your knowledge in that area and you can take the opportunity to know the professor teaching it, even doing your dissertation in it.

  2. DO RESEARCH. Grab any chance you have to do research. In fact, be prepared to stay behind for a few months after graduation to turn your dissertation into publishable material or for an internship in the department.

  3. Pin down your interests ASAP. Do your MSc dissertation in that area if you can. It is such an advantage to have a dissertation project in and a letter of recommendation from someone in the area you're applying to. Contact relevant professors about graduate applications asap.

Advice for applications:

IMHO you should aim as high as possible when applying for MSc. Top tier self funded MScs are a lot easier to get into if you don't have terrible grades.

Its not about the prestige of the department. Rather, more competitive places tend to attract highly motivated and competitive people. Being in that environment would seriously inspire you to push harder and accomplish more. Also, they tend to have more "intellectual resources" - brilliant professors, brilliant classmates etc for you to learn from.

P.S.

I am a student still in the process of applying for a PhD in Applied Mathematics.

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I was in a similar situation 1.5 years ago: made a series of bad decisions, have 0 publications or research experience, nothing outstanding about my academic CV. I was in fact wavering between pure and applied mathematics, not really knowing much about research in either area.

After doing a 1 year mathematics MSc at a top-tier university, would I say that in situations similar to yours and mine, doing an MSc is a very wise choice. Doing well in a good MSc will certainly overshadow what you did in your undergrad.

The primary goals of the MSc are:

  1. Obtain good grades and recommendations letters.
  2. Do Research! It is absolutely vital that the MSc has a significant research component.

Things I wished I knew back then:

  1. Take courses to maximize your grades. This could mean taking courses you have already taken before. Its not strictly a waste of time: you can see this as a test to see if you can perform in the topic at a graduate level. Also, if you're interested to do research in it, this would seriously help reinforce your knowledge in that area and you can take the opportunity to know the professor teaching it, even doing your dissertation in it.

  2. DO RESEARCH. Grab any chance you have to do research. In fact, be prepared to stay behind for a few months after graduation to turn your dissertation into publishable material or for an internship in the department.

  3. Pin down your interests ASAP. Do your MSc dissertation in that area if you can. It is such an advantage to have a dissertation project in and a letter of recommendation from someone in the area you're applying to. Contact relevant professors about graduate applications asap.

Advice for applications:

IMHO you should aim as high for applying to your MSc. Top tier self funded MScs are a lot easier to get into if you don't have terrible grades.

Its not about the prestige of the department. Rather, more competitive places tend to attract highly motivated and competitive people. Being in that environment would seriously inspire you to push harder and accomplish more. Also, they tend to have more "intellectual resources" - brilliant professors, brilliant classmates etc for you to learn from.

P.S.

I am a student still in the process of applying for a PhD in Applied Mathematics.