View Full Version : More Math Courses or Independent Research?

01-22-2017, 10:57 PM
Hi everyone,

I am a junior in college, thinking of applying to grad school sometime in the future.

I am currently trying to decide my courses for the semester, and I am really torn between two courses: one is just straight-up Probability Theory and the other is an advanced research-based econ course. (and I really don't have the option of taking both due to some circumstances...)

Part of me really wants to take the research-based econ course because it relates to my current research interest, and I think I would make a great independent project out of it (and of course, improve my Stata skills). But, I've started to consider going to grad school pretty late in my college career, so I am really insecure about my lack of math (so far, I've only taken Multi-Variable Calc, Linear Alg, Diff Eq, Intro to Analysis, and Econ Stats). I've been planning to take Real Analysis and Statistical Linear Modeling in senior year, and I think that taking Probability Theory this semester would help me squeeze in one more upper-div math course in my senior year (because I will ultimately take Probability later, if not this semester).

So, I guess my question comes down to this: which would strengthen my application more? More upper-div level math course or a solid independent research work? Does undergrad independent research work even matter a lot??

Thanks in advance.

01-23-2017, 11:44 AM
Take the independent research class if your grades in those other math classes are strong (average of A- or better).

If the choice was between a research class and Calc 3, regardless of grades, my answer would obviously be different. Given it's between research and a marginally useful math class, the answer is easy.

01-23-2017, 03:59 PM
I would stop taking math if I have taken Real Analysis and Math Stat. The thesis is much harder than you think it is. Have more time with it.

01-23-2017, 09:27 PM
I've personally taken a research-based econ course, and it was super helpful when trying to come up with a feasible topic for my undergrad thesis.