I have just completed my second year as an undergraduate in Computer science and Artificial Intelligence from India. I have developed a keen interest in mathematics and particularly analytic number theory. I have written six papers so far where two of them have been published in good journals while rest are submitted. However, I have only done very basic courses in mathematics at my university like linear algebra, multivariate calculus and probability, discrete mathematics(with A in all of them). Since the stream I have opted for in my university is tangential to mathematics, I have not been able to score good grades in non math courses which has affected my GPA. However, I am confident that I can get strong recommendations for my masters applications.


In my scenario, is it possible to get selected for a decent masters program in US? In case it isn't, is there something I can do to increase my chances?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

  • Is a doctorate your ultimate goal? An academic career?
    – Buffy
    Jul 17, 2022 at 12:44
  • Yes, I desire to pursue a career in mathematics Jul 17, 2022 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


In your situation, for study in US, you are probably better off applying for a few doctoral programs, rather than a masters. Do this early in the final year of your undergraduate study. Most doctoral students here start with only a bachelors and a masters is very seldom required for doctoral study (unlike some parts of Europe).

I'd guess that you'd be a good candidate with the background that you describe.

Funding is usually available for doctoral students, probably as a teaching assistant. It is very rare for masters students. TAs don't normally pay any fees, but masters students almost always are charged tuition.

Expect about 6 or so years of study after the bachelors for a doctorate. Four is sometimes possible. A bit more than 6 happens often enough. The early part of study is advanced courses that get you ready for comprehensive/qualifying examinations.

  • I actually aimed at masters programs so that I could compensate for my bad GPA and lack of mathematical courses in UG Jul 17, 2022 at 12:55
  • Probably not essential. Even changing fields is common here. Early courses will compensate and can lead to a masters along the way as well. GPA in major courses and in math will be more important than the overall.
    – Buffy
    Jul 17, 2022 at 13:15
  • @Hhhhhhhhhhh: In addition to what Buffy said, I also think committees looking at your credentials will wonder why someone is applying to their masters program who has a research output, after only 2 years of undergraduate work, that is greater than many (most? virtually all when I was an undergraduate) of their Ph.D. students, even by the time their Ph.D. is awarded. Or are the papers in Computer science and Artificial Intelligence, and not in math? (From my reading in this group, I've learned that publication expectations in some fields are quite different than those in math.) Jul 17, 2022 at 17:06
  • @DaveLRenfro All papers are in number theory and the two papers of mine are published in ijnt and bulletin of australian mathematical society Jul 17, 2022 at 17:29
  • Interesting. After I posted my comment, I began thinking that your context seems to suggest the papers are in computer science and artificial intelligence, but it was too late to revise my comment and I didn't want to delete it. I guess I could have copied it, then deleted it, then pasted the saved version of the comment in a new comment box, then revised it (I've done this several times before), but I didn't think it was important enough for all that. Anyway, given what you've said, you definitely want to apply (in 2 years) to Ph.D. programs, at least as far as the U.S is concerned. Jul 17, 2022 at 17:48

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