I'm a last year student of Mathematics (and Physics) in Spain and I'm going to apply to some masters degree programmes in pure math in Europe this month and I have a couple of questions:

  1. In one of the universities I intend to apply they say that they are expecting good marks, about 7.5/10 . My marks are about 7.45 at the moment but I have 6 subjects to do this term. I'm seriously expecting to get good grades in those last subjects of my degree. Two of them are the thesis, which I have already done and have really good critics. So if everything goes as expected I could go over 7.5. The thing is that the deadline is in two months so I won't be able to show those results.

Should I talk about this in my application letter? In that case, what should I say? I'm planning to send my thesis in the application to make them "forget" about the GPA a little. If my thesis is good enough could this help?

  1. I'm simultaneously doing a degree in Math and another in Physics. The amount of work obviously affected my perfomance. Should I stress in the letter the two degrees thing? My thesis in the Physics University is about Entropy in mathematical physics should I include it too in the application?
  2. I know that in American Universities they tend to appreciate if you have done some non-academic activities. I've been working as a jazz musician intensely since I started university. I received some grants and I've played in some national events. Should I omit this in my CV? Is this considered irrelevant in Europe? Maybe in some countries more than others?

Where does that kind of information usually go in your application? In the CV or in the letter?

Thanks a lot for your time.

1 Answer 1


Send them the facts, if available partial grades. Do not go speculating on your future grades, it should be enough to list future classes. Do not swamp them with stuff they probably aren't qualified to digest (last draft of your thesis-in-progress). Do concentrate on getting strong letters of recommendation.

Committees which look over applicants normally aren't staffed with specialists in the area to which applications come in, they get lots of applications to process, but also know that some of them won't be able to provide everything asked for for a variety of reasons. Explain the reasons, give firm dates for completing missing data, provide an alternative where it isn't available (unofficial/partial transcripts instead of official, complete ones).

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