My friend loves mathematics and wants to continue research as a mathematics PhD student, but this doesn't seem possible!

She did a prestigious but *inadequate* bachelors program (almost no math) and
because of this she is having a very hard time getting good grades for her master courses.
Thus she feels she has inadequate knowledge for a PhD position; which is probably right.

Her thesis adviser told her that she cannot continue a career in research mathematics: no university would consider her given the situation now nor if she took an extra year or two to study more.

**Question**: Is this true? Does it really stop here?- I'm interested in similar experiences, opinions and suggestions (from experienced professionals).
- I'm particularly not looking for a rosy picture!

In my opinion she is very talented, motivated, original and quick! She would flourish given more time to take specific foundational bachelor and deepening masters courses. Until now she performed extremely well (near perfect score) and this is confirmed by for example two scholarships she won (BA and MA).

PS. I tried to keep it terse but please ask for further details if needed.

Thanks a lot!

Update: Thank you all very much for the responses and useful comments.It turns out that there is much more "staff rotation" in applied PhD programs and it seems plausible that she can find a nice position there; from which to continue her studies.

Thanks again.

nottrue that taking an extra year or two (or three) to study will reduce her chances. In fact, if she can afford the cost, I would encourage her to take as much time as she needs before applying to and entering a Ph.D. program to develop her mathematical knowledge and skills as much as possible before starting the Ph.D. program. To me the time matters far less than her strength when she does enter the Ph.D. program. – Deane Yang Feb 23 '11 at 23:46hugefactors. – Thierry Zell Feb 24 '11 at 1:05