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I will be starting my Masters in Mathematics in University of Würzburg, Germany from this coming winter semester. I completed my Bachelors from University of Calgary, Canada but because of my low GPA (2.8) and a personal issue, I did not apply for Masters in Canada. Tuition fees being an another issue and my dedication to pursue a PhD in Mathematics I applied to several English taught Masters program in Germany and I got in to most of them.

The reason why I chose Würzburg is because it has produced notable Nobel laureates in the past and has a good international ranking so it'll look good on my resume when I apply for a PhD school. Another reason is that the masters course has a research component by which I will be able to get some research experience (30CP) that is needed for PhD.

With all these factors, do you think my Masters degree will be acceptable in different universities in Canada like in Waterloo, McGill etc.? What do the professors look in the candidate when they contact them for the first time? Applying to PhD school when the professor is not that interested in student would be useless.

What are the factors that the admission committee looks upon for such student like me? The only thing I know is grade, recommendation letters and research experience.

Will my Bachelors degree play an important role in the admission process? I am not sure if I can get a really good recommendation letter but I can get one from my Bachelors university.

  • I don't have personal experience with the Mathematics department, but in Engineering and Computer Science, large fraction of PhD students in Canada have a Master's degree from a non-Canadian university. You need not worry about that – Aditya Aug 24 '16 at 10:20
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    I don't want to discourage you, but reputation of universities works quite different in Germany compared to other countries: Nobel laureates and a strong physics department are by no means indicators for a strong mathematics department. Looking at the staff, mathematics in Würzburg is solid, but quite far from the first (Bonn) and second tier (Berlin, München, Münster, Bielefeld ...), at least in pure mathematics. – user60836 Aug 24 '16 at 13:12
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  • I've marked as possible duplicate of the US question because there is a lot of similarity between US and Canadian PhD admissions. – jakebeal Aug 31 '16 at 12:35
  • @jakebeal: US and Canadian PhD admissions in mathematics are different enough that separate advice would be useful. I have voted to reopen. – Pete L. Clark Aug 31 '16 at 14:20