I will be starting a master's degree in applied mathematics in the U.S. this fall and am considering entering a Ph.D. program after this. The master's program lasts two years; I'd want to begin the Ph.D. program immediately after, in the fall of 2019. In order to do that, I'd need to apply to programs before the end of 2018. Would Ph.D. program admissions committees take into account courses that I'd be planning to take in the spring 2019 semester? Those courses would probably be the second halves of two-course sequences I'd begin taking in the fall 2018 semester. Would they even take into account courses from that semester? I'm planning on writing a thesis; would it be advisable to finish it well before the application deadline at the end of 2018, even though I'd probably be able to write a better thesis after taking more courses?

  • Please split your questions. It would get your better and more focused answers. – Jagan Mohan Jun 22 '17 at 17:21
  • This is the wrong question. Figure out what you want to do research about, find a researcher who could mentor /advise you, then try applying on that basis. Don't "do a PhD" in general. – einpoklum Jun 24 '17 at 15:49
  • @einpoklum, I understand that I need to do what you suggest, but I currently don't have any ideas for potential research questions. I expect to get some ideas after beginning the program and talking to the professors. – VKV Jun 25 '17 at 16:47
  • @VKV: Then, seriously, I mean it - don't start a PhD immediately. I have enough experience, both from my own surroundings and from being a graduate student union officer, of how vaguely-motivated PhDs turn into a super-problematic experience: Feelings of failure, guilt, anxiety, depression... I don't know you, or your personal background. But do reconsider what you actually want, desire, in life right now. – einpoklum Jun 25 '17 at 16:52
  • @einpoklum, perhaps I need to add some more detail to my post - I am chiefly interested in applied statistics and machine learning and am considering getting a Ph.D. in statistics. I'll begin taking graduate-level statistics courses in the first semester of the master's program and will talk to the statisticians who'll be teaching those courses about doing research. – VKV Jun 25 '17 at 17:08

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