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I am attending a university with a mediocre mathematics department. The courses at my school cover fewer topics and are less challenging than the same courses at top universities.

  • How can I avoid becoming behind in coursework compared to students at top universities?
  • How can I ensure that I am competitive when applying to mathematics graduate school?
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closed as off-topic by Andrés E. Caicedo, Austin Mohr, Danny Cheuk, Amzoti, Pedro Tamaroff Jul 20 '13 at 3:52

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question is not about mathematics, within the scope defined in the help center." – Andrés E. Caicedo, Austin Mohr, Community, Amzoti, Pedro Tamaroff
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Use the Open Courseware at places like MIT for the courses you are taking and the ones you cannot take. – Amzoti Jul 20 '13 at 0:42
You could apply to summer REU's at good universities. – grantfgates Jul 20 '13 at 0:46
First, this is better suited to Second, the important thing is to do something extra (research, fellowships, independent study, etc.). If you have nothing to show graduate schools other than "I went to an okay school and did okay", then they will think you are just okay (of course). Express your interest to a faculty member you trust. I guarantee s/he will be happy to find opportunities for you. – Austin Mohr Jul 20 '13 at 0:53
Find a/some faculty member/s in the department that you get along with and is active in research, and do a few independent studies in some advanced topics. – Baby Dragon Jul 20 '13 at 1:20
I have to disagree with the suggestions of self-study. Certainly you want to improve your own understanding, but there are more "official" ways of accomplishing this than just grabbing a book and reading on your own. Independent study under a faculty member, for example, will be much more impressive to a graduate school, and you will learn as much (hopefully more) than if you worked alone. – Austin Mohr Jul 20 '13 at 1:53

What area of math are you interested in?

Here's what I'd suggest. These are pretty hard courses in real and functional analysis. Also some people mentioned OCW. I personally find Coursera math courses, except the one at the bottom in Analytic Combinatorics, pretty basic, although this may change of course.

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