Is it really this easy to get into a UC as a pure math major?

<p>I'm only applying to colleges that do NOT require physics.. because I can't take all the physics courses in the time that I have. So I chose to apply to colleges that have B.A. degrees for math. People always say (even my counselor) it doesn't matter which degree (BA/BS) you go for in math.. well obviously it does.</p>

<p>UCSD and UCB ONLY require Calc 1-3 and differentials/linear alg</p>

<p>UCSD: ASSIST</a> Report</p>

<p>UCB: ASSIST</a> Report</p>

<p>And my counselor keeps telling me that as long as I have around a 3.5+ GPA, I'll probably get into those schools because not many "pure" math majors apply.. most apply as math+econ/math+cs etc..</p>

<p>Is this true?</p>

<p>It just seems too simple.. that's really all they ask for?</p>

<p>And btw I'm not asking anything about how hard math is gonna be once I get there, people always seem to bring that up. The main topic here is getting into a UC..</p>

<p>If you can get A's in all your math classes then go for Berkeley. You'll see how "easy" it will be ahah (this won't show up in the overall GPA but you should have a very high major GPA.)</p>

<p>People are not good at math and they hate it because of that. That's why not many people apply to the major. Furthermore, math majors have the lowest GPAs of all majors because they are literally focused on the classes that everyone hates haha</p>

<p>It's a fun major and I recommend it. But don't go into it thinking it will be easy because you'll surely be changing majors. The major changes A LOT after Calc/Differential Equations/Linear Algebra. It becomes almost entirely concerned with proofs. I recommend taking a Discrete Math course early on to see if you're sure you wanna stick with math. Discrete Math is like a small snapshot of what a Math major is kinda like.. But it's a veryyyyy shallow snapshot! Also, a warning: the weirdest kids in CCC seem to take higher math... I don't know why! haha</p>

<p>But anyways, yes.. That's all the colleges require. If discrete math is available at your school then you should take it to be competitive for Cal. They said it was going to be required this year and all years following but it looks like they may have changed the language and now say that it's not really required.</p>

<p>lol thanks for the reply.</p>

<p>I'm aware that the upper division math classes are different but I'm looking forward to them =]</p>

<p>But you said math majors have lower overall GPAs because they concentrate solely on math courses.. is that generally true? I don't know many math majors.. actually I don't know any! lol so i wouldn't know about their GPAs... </p>

<p>But if they have lower overall GPAs then that means the demand for math majors must be higher in universities considering they're all getting accepted in with these "low" GPAs right?</p>

<p>Well, what I'm trying to say is that they're getting accepted with "low GPAs" because they're taking harder classes (well, classes that are graded more rigorously). You know what I mean? In every one of the higher math classes I've taken there have only been 3-5 A's out of a class of 30 or so. And from class to class it's the same 3-5 kids which leads me to believe that there's only a small handful of kids with 4.0's who are taking these higher division math classes at my entire community college.</p>

<p>Even though UCB doesn't require Physics, a lot of math majors who apply to UCB probably have plenty of Physics classes behind their belt. (Another reason why their GPAs may be lower than the GPAs of Sociology majors or whatever.)</p>

<p>There isn't really a "demand" for math majors by the admissions office. They don't have some burning desire to accept unqualified math majors! haha But after college there will be a huge demand for you (if you stay with your major).</p>

<p>I read one thing that you wrote that really concerned me: you asked if you needed to know all the problems in your math book. As a math major, you should understand the concepts so well that you should be able to do all problems in every one of your math books. You will not achieve this by memorizing anything.. You need to really understand what's going on. We all think differently but for me that means being able to "feel" and "visualize" concepts and work with them to solve brand new problems that require really out-of-the-box approaches. If you can't do this then you'll find all your classes beyond diff eq/lin alg to be incredibly difficult. This is something I personally believe is achieved through extensive practice. Meaning, I don't think you're either born with it or not but I feel like it's something you should get comfortable with.</p>

<p>BTW, I recommend the book Outliers for a nice and inspirational perspective. There's an interesting chapter on the 10,000 hour rule and I feel like it applies once you really understand how to get your brain to tackle these concepts. (Note how I keep saying "concepts" instead of "problems" because concepts will teach you how to problem solve but studying problems alone will only teach you how to solve those specific and manufactured problems.)</p>

<p>Agreed with what Mikei said about taking Discrete Math. That's a class that anyone in the sciences or engineering might want to consider taking. Super fun class to be honest, if you are like me and you love stuff like logic puzzles. You'll see Lewis Carroll in a new light (not just a creepy pedophile, but a <em>brilliant</em> creepy pedophile). The help with proof construction actually makes you a better writer in daily life, IMHO. Certainly it helps with organizing your thoughts when making an argument.</p>

<p>lol I don't how you can say math major is that easy..</p>

<p>Trust me there a lot of easier majors with a whole lot easier pre-reqs...</p>

<p>@iTransfer lol I didn't say a math major is easy. I said getting in was easy.</p>

<p>@jamesinho</p>

<p>I can solve a rubik's cube in under 20 seconds average. How's that for "logic puzzles"? lollll</p>

<p>
[quote]
@iTransfer lol I didn't say a math major is easy. I said getting in was easy.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>You still have to take the pre-reqs and keep a high gpa to get in. Which I think many people can't do..</p>

<p>What prereqs? calc 1-3 and de/la? </p>

<p>E-Z. </p>

<p>But if I was going for a B.S. in math then yeah.. not many people can do that.. they ask for like 3 courses of calc-based physics and computer science courses. Now that's a lot too do on top of all the GE.. But then again, engineers have it harder as they have to have some chemistry in addition to everything I just said.</p>

<p>I disagree with the belief in this thread that they get accepted with lower GPA's because their classes are harder. Harder than what? Engineering classes are significantly harder than the math prerequisites, yet their average accepted GPAs are much higher. </p>

<p>Heck, compared to most science, math classes are easy (certainly all of the lower division prerequisites). I would guess that the average GPAs are lower because there's less interest and less applicants for the major.</p>

<p>side-note: I'm a computer science major and my math classes are always the easiest out of my schedule (unless I'm taking a humanities/breadth class for the quarter).</p>

<p>
[quote]
What prereqs? calc 1-3 and de/la?</p>

<p>E-Z

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I meant compared to sociology, psychology, poly sci, etc. Even economics pre-reqs are easier than math.</p>

<p>solving a rubiks cube isn't similar to what upper division math is about. A closer example is the following: if you get into Berkeley and take Math 113( Abstract Algebra) you'll encounter the notion of group actions on a set which is usually motivated by the problem of counting the number of different positions of a rubiks cube. Try thinking of how you would do that. It is quite different from merely solving the rubiks cube which is something you can memorize an algorithm for.</p>

<p>here's the solution:<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubik's_cube_group#Total_number%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubik's_cube_group#Total_number&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>edit:
arcadefire: i agree that the engineering prereqs are probably far more difficult than the math classes at CCC. However, i think there is a dramatic difference once you get to upper div material. My friend just graduated with a double major in berkeley EECS and applied math and got into berkeley again for the EECS phd program. Having been through both programs, he told me that abstract math courses were much more difficult than even his graduate EECS courses.</p>

<p>@jetforce</p>

<p>jamesinho said "if you are like me and you love stuff like logic puzzles".. so I said what I did about the rubik's cube to show that I like logic puzzles. That's all. I don't think I stated that to prove that I can do upper division mathematics..</p>

<p>i wasn't claiming you were. i was just redirecting you to a version of rubiks cube problem that was more analogue to what you'd find in upper division math. i hope it gives a clearer picture of how different the problems are compared to what you're used to because there are no recipes to solving the problems.</p>

<p>Hooray for logic puzzles and rubik's cubes!</p>

<p>Let's all hug and be math friends.</p>

<p>lol i knew this would happen i swear</p>

<p>the OP says "And btw I'm not asking anything about how hard math is gonna be once I get there, people always seem to bring that up. The main topic here is getting into a UC.."</p>

<p>thats because getting in isn't hard. Most people drop out of the major once they transfer which is a bigger concern.</p>

<p>I see..</p>

<p>Well do you think that a math major is something only some people are able to pursue? Something you have to be "born" with? Or can anyone do it with hard work? I don't believe I was born with exceptional math skills.. well above average, but I do love math. I mean a lot of people talk about understanding the concepts.. What if you don't understand them? Can this be trained or is it just a.. your mind gets it or it doesn't type of thing? If you can work at understanding the concepts, then I believe it's attainable as any other major.</p>

<p>in an undergraduate math program you will quickly see that there may be limits to your abilities. However, at this level, many of these issues can be fixed through hard work and work ethic. A proof based math course is something that surprises many new math students and causes many to doubt their abilities. Many give up early or don't find the time commitment to be worthwhile and drop out of the major.</p>

<p>If you don't understand the concepts then you'll need to find a way to make yourself understand . In the math department, if you can't prove a theorem or a concept, then you don't understand it. Sometimes this gets very frustrating because you're asked something that seems obvious but its hard for you to explain it and it makes you realize you don't actually know why its true because it is merely intuitively true. for example, do you understand why every polynomial (with coefficients in the reals) is continuous? It seems very intuitive since polynomials are smooth curves but its a slightly more difficult task to state concretely why.</p>