I will be graduating with my bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in a few months. I want to pursue a master's in mathematics after 2-3 years. To prepare, I am currently doing "Advanced Engineering Mathematics" by Kreyszig but wanted to do some additional stuff alongside. After thinking, I boiled down my options to the following two categories;

  • either I can do some mathematics project involving various mathematical topics intermixing


  • I can work on some open-ended problem in mathematics giving me an in depth understanding of the field.

In addition, my area of interest in mathematics is primarily probability & statistics and numerical analysis but I am open to other fields in mathematics having weak correlation to the above mentioned areas too. I need help in deciding which approach will be best for learning mathematics alongside helping me to prepare for my master's in mathematics with some solid work.

  • Related / possible duplicate: Graduate school admission with a degree in a different field. You might also search our archives; a common theme is that self-study doesn't count for much when it comes to getting admitted; formal credentials are usually necessary.
    – cag51
    Mar 1 at 15:10
  • What country do you want to study in? Requirements differ.
    – Buffy
    Mar 1 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


It seems to me that your question contains two questions.

  1. How should I learn math?

  2. How should I prepare for admissions or master's studies?

Everyone has to find the best way of studying for themselves. Therefore, I recommend you devote yourself to a certain method for a few weeks and then evaluate how you were taught and how much you learned. You may also try courses provided by others.

However, scientific studies show that a person learns a subject best if they teach it to others. The point is that you have to put a lot of effort into teaching. It's not just about retelling something to others; it's about realizing that others don't have to think the same way you do. It is, therefore, necessary to find ways to explain it to them in different ways. So, you can try making a series of videos, writing a textbook, or developing your online course.

Regarding the second question, I would recommend you to look at the website of the institution where you want to apply to see what the requirements are, or to ask current students how it is in reality and what they would recommend.


Consider auditing a math class. Select a class that is taken by most new graduate students in a department. If this is a large department the preparation of the students will be highly variable and the instructor knows this.

Be a good auditor. Do not skip class because you are busy or because you have scheduled a ski week in the mountains. Take the exams if required and skip them if the instructor doesn't want you there. Do not quit after a few weeks without telling the instructor.

If you are not ready for the class, ask the instructor to steer you to appropriate preparation.

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