Most students with aspirations of a pursuing a PhD in pure mathematics at a top grad school takes the "standard" curriculum as an undergrad which includes 2x algebra, 2x analysis, 1x complex analysis, 1x topology, 1x linear algebra, 1x probability, and 1x combinatorics.

As a rising junior who needs to figure out what to do over the next two years and knows he wants to go to grad school but doesn't have the faintest clue in what particular field:

What are the most important "nonstandard" undergraduate math courses for pure math grad school?

Note: I asked this question on math.se but it was put on hold there. Hopefully this question is better suited for this site.


closed as primarily opinion-based by J W, Markus Klein, Mark Fantini, JoeTaxpayer, JPBurke Jun 22 '14 at 0:11

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ first, we'd need to know what is your standard (required ) core of courses. For example, I would recommend complex analysis if that is not on the list already. $\endgroup$ – James S. Cook Jun 21 '14 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ As this question stands, any answers would probably be largely opinion-based. Your own choices will be limited by what courses are available. I suppose you could consider geometry or logic, or taking some graduate courses early. Despite your interests in pure mathematics, I wouldn't rule out courses in differential equations, optimization, computer science, statistics, etc. to add more strings to your bow. $\endgroup$ – J W Jun 21 '14 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ Is this question appropriate for this site? It's not really about teaching mathematics. $\endgroup$ – Santiago Canez Jun 21 '14 at 14:10
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    $\begingroup$ To the OP: your question on Math.SE was not put on hold because it was off-topic there, but because it was "primarily opinion-based", and the same is true here. I suggest you repost on Math.SE after narrowing your question to make it more specific. Better yet, it seems there are many questions on Math.SE already regarding course suggestions, so perhaps you can find the answer to your question by searching those. $\endgroup$ – Santiago Canez Jun 21 '14 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ What parts of mathematics do you LIKE the most? What might you want to focus on as a grad student? What courses have you loved so far? $\endgroup$ – PurpleVermont Jun 21 '14 at 20:28