Actually, this is my question: which option should i prefer Thesis vs Non-thesis for MS in CS? but I hope this post will not be closed as either off-topic or duplicate because I hope to be specific. There's some more context than the little context below, but it's kinda long to explain and maybe unnecessary. So, suffer with this short weird/dumb question (which could be made only less weird /dumb instead of non-weird/dumb with context).
I notice some curricula of master's programs in pure math, there's like a thesis option and a non-thesis option. It seems like the only difference is in the non-thesis option, the thesis is replaced by 3 additional courses and a comprehensive examination.
In the other question, it says thesis option is more suited to those doing phd afterwards (or the converse: those planning to phd is more suited for the thesis option...idk. or both).
Weird/Dumb Question: Ok so then my confusion is like... I see thesis option has less courses compared to non-thesis. Ostensibly, more courses means more knowledge. But obviously this is wrong because of the previous answers about thesis option as more suitable for future phd applications (or conversely or both). What does a thesis do when the non-thesis option means more courses? I mean, will I actually gain more knowledge working on the thesis as compared to taking those 3 more courses?
- Scope: It's not mandatory, but my ideal answer is for math. Next best thing is for theoretical research. Third best thing is in general.
A little context:
My background in applied math: I did bachelor's and master's but in applied math. I want to now go into pure math. I didn't do a thesis in undergrad. In grad, we did have, in my opinion, a 'thesis', but our professors don't actually call it a thesis. (You can refer to my previous questions if you want.) But, Hell, it was tough. It was also so rewarding seeing it hard bound and in those fancy colors. But I didn't quite really learn many new things there. It was more of like experience applying things we already knew. Well it was 'applied' math, so perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised that our sort-of 'thesis' was about 'applying' things. Oh also, it was just a master's (not a PhD or even an MPhil).
Recently in pure math: I was rejected for pure math phd program in Dec2018 and then again in Mar2021 (in Country A, where I currently live. I'm from Country B, and I might have to go back here for a second master's). Both reasons were simply insufficient knowledge. There was no mention of any lack of 'research ability' or 'skills' or anything (see below re 'research ability' or 'skills').
- I actually remember reading online (at least in the applied math case) that doing a thesis for master's or even in general taking up master's or PhD in applied math demonstrates to potential/future employers (the context here is banks or financial institutions) 'research ability' or something.
My preferences: Anyway, I don't mind doing thesis or non-thesis. It's about the same time to complete, and I wouldn't really care if one was longer than the other. I just wanna do whichever gives me more knowledge to eventually apply for a pure math phd (in a european-style university. I'm good enough for some us-style countries, I believe. But I want to do my pure math phd in a country that is unfortunately european-style. The country is Country A, btw). I plan to ask the universities of those master's programs, but I also wanna ask here on stackexchange. Perhaps here on stackexchange, I can even ask the universities better, or at least less dumb/weird, questions.
Maybe related questions:
2a. In particular, I notice there's an answer here that says
"People don't expect miracles from your master's thesis, rather they want to know whether you have the necessary knowledge/skills to embark on a PhD.
In relation to this, I am interested in acquiring not necessarily 'skills' or 'research ability' but 'knowledge'. (In this way, I hardly expect 'knowledge' and 'skills' to be separated by a '/', at least in my context.) I sincerely doubt that the professor, or any other professor in the university, who/that rejected me cares about 'skills' or 'research ability', or is probably already convinced enough from my applied math background. I believe the only thing I'm lacking here is knowledge. (Well, I was told I was lacking knowledge, but I wasn't told anything about lacking 'experience' or 'skills' or 'research ability'.)