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This is actually just a revision of this question in relation to this answer.

I ask "Does one need a master's in math before taking a PhD in pure math?" (And then applied to the US for this question)

Chris C's answer suggests that in the US, I may just go straight from a bachelor's in mathematics to a PhD in mathematics, but I don't quite have a bachelor's in mathematics. My bachelor's is in mathematical finance.

Edit: Sorry. I forgot to emphasize something. My bachelor's didn't have a thesis. I had a thesis in master's, but it was in mathematical finance. Will this be a problem? I was thinking math PhD programs in the US think students have some background in mathematical research.

"A variety of areas throughout mathematics. And that answer of mine that you link was written for an audience completely unfamiliar with mathematical research - someone ready to pursue a PhD should already know what it says. – Nate Eldredge Apr 2 at 13:33"

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    If your classes provided the background knowledge needed in a math Ph.D. program, then the fact that your degree is in mathematical finance shouldn't matter much. In fact, in some universities, mathematical finance is considered a subfield within mathematics rather than a separate subject. (By the way, my only degrees are a bachelor's degree in physics and a Ph.D. in math.) – Andreas Blass Apr 20 '15 at 18:13
  • @AndreasBlass thanks, but I seem to have left out details on thesis. how about now? sorry for the confusion. – Jack Bauer Apr 21 '15 at 4:31
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    Let me clarify the comment of mine which you quoted. I am not claiming that US universities expect all their incoming PhD students to have previous experience actually doing mathematics research (many will, but not all). I am saying that they expect them to at least have a good sense of what it is and what it involves - otherwise why are they seeking a PhD at all? – Nate Eldredge Apr 21 '15 at 5:41
  • @NateEldredge Well that settles that. Thanks :) – Jack Bauer Apr 21 '15 at 5:43
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    About the thesis issue: I don't think any sort of thesis is usually expected when students are applying to the Ph.D. program. (Again, my own history: The only thesis I ever wrote was my Ph.D. thesis.) – Andreas Blass Apr 21 '15 at 14:19
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It's very important to have a bachelor's degree, as typically there are bureaucratic rules that make it very hard to admit a student without one. The words it says after "Bachelor of" don't matter very much, as long you have some strong evidence that you can be successful in grad school, from your grades, test scores letters, etc. With mathematical finance vs. math, there's a decent chance the committee wouldn't even notice the distinction.

  • Thanks Ben Webster, but I seem to have left out details on thesis. how about now? sorry for the confusion. – Jack Bauer Apr 21 '15 at 4:32
  • Never mind Nate commented. Hehe. – Jack Bauer Apr 21 '15 at 5:44
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I am a mathematician. One of my academic siblings has an undergrad degree in mathematical finance. As Andreas Blass comments, grad school admissions committees are most concerned with sufficient background, as opposed to the particular credential.

  • Thanks Zach H, but I seem to have left out details on thesis. how about now? sorry for the confusion. – Jack Bauer Apr 21 '15 at 4:32
  • Never mind Nate commented. Hehe. – Jack Bauer Apr 21 '15 at 5:44

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