3.0 Math GPA, top 20 US university

dongdinger

New Member
Hi all,

I'm an applied math major at a top 20 US school with a 3.0 math GPA (3.6 overall) and a 169Q on the GRE. I was originally pursuing medical school but decided to apply to MFE programs instead this cycle. I was completing the applications but was worried because they wanted me to list out grades for specific math courses. I got a C in Multivariable Calc, C+ in Linear Algebra, B in ODE, and the rest are more advanced modeling courses like numerical analysis (of which I got As and Bs on). I was focusing on courses like organic chemistry at the time of the two Cs, and foolishly decided to take the notoriously harder proof courses than the easier applied (engineering) version of linear and ODE. Other than that, I have machine learning research and a sell-side trading internship on my resume. How are my chances with a 3.0 Math GPA?
 

IntoDarkness

Well-Known Member
depends on your goal... some lower ranked programs may still admit you with open arms but it would be difficult for higher ranked ones
probably mean most quantitative oriented programs dealing with some math
 

dongdinger

New Member
depends on your goal... some lower ranked programs may still admit you with open arms but it would be difficult for higher ranked ones
probably mean most quantitative oriented programs dealing with some math
First, Thanks for your input.

I plan on applying to CMU MSCF, MIT MFin, NYU MathFin, Columbia MFE, and Chicago MSFM. I understand that they definitely look at technical ability, but will two Cs in multivariable and Linear Algebra affect my chances drastically? I have taken courses that build upon these math courses and have gotten As and Bs in them.
 

IntoDarkness

Well-Known Member
First, Thanks for your input.

I plan on applying to CMU MSCF, MIT MFin, NYU MathFin, Columbia MFE, and Chicago MSFM. I understand that they definitely look at technical ability, but will two Cs in multivariable and Linear Algebra affect my chances drastically? I have taken courses that build upon these math courses and have gotten As and Bs in them.
Certainly u can spin this way to be a bit more positive. ur spin would have been most convincing if u only got A and A+ for those courses
 

Nicholas_Harper

New Member
C++ Student
it probably fares the best if u come from say mit. i got 3.7 math and 3.5 overall gpa from a top 40 and got into one of dongding's target with gre q165. i was at sellside bank already so they probably thought i was quite employable
Thanks for the perspective @IntoDarkness, very helpful shaping my viewpoint on MFE programs!
 
Hi all,

I'm an applied math major at a top 20 US school with a 3.0 math GPA (3.6 overall) and a 169Q on the GRE. I was originally pursuing medical school but decided to apply to MFE programs instead this cycle. I was completing the applications but was worried because they wanted me to list out grades for specific math courses. I got a C in Multivariable Calc, C+ in Linear Algebra, B in ODE, and the rest are more advanced modeling courses like numerical analysis (of which I got As and Bs on). I was focusing on courses like organic chemistry at the time of the two Cs, and foolishly decided to take the notoriously harder proof courses than the easier applied (engineering) version of linear and ODE. Other than that, I have machine learning research and a sell-side trading internship on my resume. How are my chances with a 3.0 Math GPA?
Your chances in general, or your chances in the usual competition of getting into a "top" 5/10/etc US program?
You general chances of getting into an MFE are great. Unless you have no money, apply to every top school you want. Your internship and job hunt can also depend on your place of permanent residency. For example, you live in Chicago, but go to this random program that costs over $30K for out-of-state students Tuition and Financial Aid - Oklahoma State University You can still hunt internships in Chicago between years.

Save some money to apply schools that aren't at the top. I think the sooner you start an MFE the better for your quant career, and doing something like trying to build up qualifications by waiting another year would be a bad idea.
 

quantsmodelsbottles

Active Member
it probably fares the best if u come from say mit. i got 3.7 math and 3.5 overall gpa from a top 40 and got into one of dongding's target with gre q165. i was at sellside bank already so they probably thought i was quite employable
does the job experience help that much? i have a 3.45 math, 3.1 overall, and in asset management right now
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
Your chances in general, or your chances in the usual competition of getting into a "top" 5/10/etc US program?
You general chances of getting into an MFE are great. Unless you have no money, apply to every top school you want. Your internship and job hunt can also depend on your place of permanent residency. For example, you live in Chicago, but go to this random program that costs over $30K for out-of-state students Tuition and Financial Aid - Oklahoma State University You can still hunt internships in Chicago between years.

Save some money to apply schools that aren't at the top. I think the sooner you start an MFE the better for your quant career, and doing something like trying to build up qualifications by waiting another year would be a bad idea.
You can definitely hunt for internships, but you will likely not get them. Even in the top programs this is difficult, but the randos are likely having even more challenges.
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
Hi all,

I'm an applied math major at a top 20 US school with a 3.0 math GPA (3.6 overall) and a 169Q on the GRE. I was originally pursuing medical school but decided to apply to MFE programs instead this cycle. I was completing the applications but was worried because they wanted me to list out grades for specific math courses. I got a C in Multivariable Calc, C+ in Linear Algebra, B in ODE, and the rest are more advanced modeling courses like numerical analysis (of which I got As and Bs on). I was focusing on courses like organic chemistry at the time of the two Cs, and foolishly decided to take the notoriously harder proof courses than the easier applied (engineering) version of linear and ODE. Other than that, I have machine learning research and a sell-side trading internship on my resume. How are my chances with a 3.0 Math GPA?
@IntoDarkness is spot on. I'll add that I had C+ in Lin Alg, and had much better luck for admits once I retook that for an A. No one cared that I skipped part of the final for a big thing at work to get the C+. Everyone has a compelling excuse, and they just want people who they know can do the work.
 

quantsmodelsbottles

Active Member
I'll add that I had C+ in Lin Alg, and had much better luck for admits once I retook that for an A.
does retaking help that much? i had a B+ in multivariable calculus, B- in discrete math and stochastic calc, and C+ in honors real analysis II, and that’s the (not small) extent of my math blunders. A or A- in all statistics, linear algebra, probability, differential equation, and machine learning courses however.

the programs I’m aiming for are not necessarily MFEs...think ms in machine learning at CMU, or ms stats at uchicago, etc etc. MS applied math idk about since if you don’t have a phd i’d imagine you’re expected to contribute on the job right away?
 
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dongdinger

New Member
@IntoDarkness is spot on. I'll add that I had C+ in Lin Alg, and had much better luck for admits once I retook that for an A. No one cared that I skipped part of the final for a big thing at work to get the C+. Everyone has a compelling excuse, and they just want people who they know can do the work.
I have one spring semester left for undergrad. Would you recommend me retaking these courses, which means I'll most likely have to apply next year?
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
does retaking help that much? i had a B+ in multivariable calculus, B- in discrete math and stochastic calc, and C+ in honors real analysis II, and that’s the (not small) extent of my math blunders. A or A- in all statistics, linear algebra, probability, differential equation, and machine learning courses however.

the programs I’m aiming for are not necessarily MFEs...think ms in machine learning at CMU, or ms stats at uchicago, etc etc. MS applied math idk about since if you don’t have a phd i’d imagine you’re expected to contribute on the job right away?
that’s great you took those courses - and honestly, I’m not qualified to answer. The guideline I was given was B+ indicates you know the material. Maybe you’d be set since you have the pre-reqs covered at B+?

cornell MFE is doubling down on ML /Data Science - still early afternoon program changed but might be worth a look.
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
I have one spring semester left for undergrad. Would you recommend me retaking these courses, which means I'll most likely have to apply next year?
There’s way too many variables and unknowns for me to have an opinion. it’s also not obvious MFE is the best approach for you, depending on what your career goals are.

fwiw, admissions offices at a few of the programs UCB, CMU, Baruch really are quite responsive to these kinds of questions.

work experience from Top 20 would be solid, too.
 

IntoDarkness

Well-Known Member
usually finding a good job trumps going straight to grad school. if i were in ur situation, i would find a relevant or very good job and doing some patch work (retaking courses) at side, then reassess every say 6 months
 
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