Assume that I'm interested in a certain broad field of mathematics (say
A). Also, assume that have done a honors thesis during my BSc in a certain narrow-ish subfield (say
Suppose that I'm interested in applying to a certain outstanding university mostly because its graduate program offers, among other things, lots of good specialized courses and research seminars concerning various aspects of field
A and related areas of mathematics (way more and of way higher level compared to any other university, as far as I know).
Now, suppose that (despite the breadth of the courses offered) the outstanding faculty members of this university who work in field
A are interested in a subfield that is different and not very related, as far as I know, (say
A.2) from the one I've done my bachelor thesis in (
Assume that I am eager to know more about this different subfield because it "feels" promising and interesting, but I'm not particularly familiar with it yet.
Would my current (but fixable during the courses) lack of knowledge about the main subfield of interest of the faculty and my different "specialization" make my statement of purpose (where I've to explain why I've chosen the program) and therefore my application weak?
In short, is it acceptable to convey the following "message" in a statement of purpose?
"I love the broad area
A, my specialized knowledge of which is limited to a narrow-ish subarea
A.1; and I'm ready to get the most out of the many courses and seminars that you offer. I'm not quite familiar with
A.2(the main subfield of interest of the faculty), but I'm willing to learn something new and I've a hunch that it's going to be fun."
Disclaimer (and clarification): This question was originally raised by a former classmate of mine and I post it on this board (with his approval) because I may probably find myself in a kind of similar situation in short time.