I removed the GRE and focused on the US specifically.

For the average pure math US PhD program, what are essential topics after basics topics of complex analysis, abstract algebra and topology?

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, your question is about the content of a specific discipline, which is off-topic here. From the help center:

Please do not ask...

  • about the content of research and coursework rather than the processes of researching, teaching, and learning. [...]

I don't see any way on how to make your question on-topic.

  • What can you suggest for a similar question that is on-topic? Thank you.
    – BCLC
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 16:22
  • 1
    @jackbauer: probably nothing -- you could try to ask a completely different question maybe?
    – Haque
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 16:33
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    @JackBauer maybe some version of the question would fit over at matheducators.se, but I am not really sure of their scope.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 16:46
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    @JackBauer In addition to this answer, I'd say that your approach looks a bit like an XY problem: I think you've settled on a 'solution' and are asking about that rather than starting from your actual question. I suspect your actual question is too individualized for StackExchange also, but even so, I think starting from the solution you came up with is the wrong approach.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 21:08
  • @BryanKrause I just want to confirm things that I've inferred about the US based on things I've heard about the US. Based on these confirmations, my real question will be "Should I try the US, or study for country A?" which I will not ask on stackexchange. Stackexchange's role is to help me know if there's a decision to make in the first place. There is no decision if most US universities are like country A in the way that I described. Otherwise, there is a decision. I just want to know whether or not there is a decision to make. I am not asking for advice on the decision to make, if any.
    – BCLC
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 4:52
  • @BryanKrause I simply want to know if there is or there isn't.
    – BCLC
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 4:52
  • @JackBauer Then why not ask something like "how do admissions prerequisites in (discipline) compare between the US and (other country)?" I'm not sure that's necessary a good question, because the answer will still be "it varies by institution" but it is a much more direct way to ask the question you seem to be after. Alternatively, just apply to institutions you are interested in in the US, or network with people from your country who have pursued similar programs in the US and ask about their experiences.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 4:54
  • @BryanKrause "Alternatively, just apply to institutions you are interested in in the US" This takes time, and my ultimate question is about whether or not this is a good investment in time. Time spent applying to US could instead be used for time spent studying for re-application in Country A. "network with people from your country who have pursued similar programs in the US and ask about their experiences" One of my recommendation letter writers was the one who told me about the GRE subject test, but why just one person instead of a forum with peer-reviewed answers?
    – BCLC
    Commented Dec 25, 2018 at 20:39
  • BryanKrause Why don't we have the answer as "just the topics in the GRE" simply because the GRE is meant for applicants to average pure math PhD programs in the US, or is it not? if more than half of said PhD programs required algebraic geometry, then we expect the GRE to include algebraic geometry, don't we?
    – BCLC
    Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 12:26

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