I just discovered this closed question, and have voted to reopen it. It is not a technical mathematical question, but it is a question which could be of interest to many readers of this forum, and one on which many contributors (in particular, experienced members of academic math departments) could give sensible information and advice.
I posted the following comment in relation to my reopen vote:
I am voting to reopen this question; this is a question to which people who have been on graduate admission committees in U.S. math departments can make concrete responses. Furthermore, such responses will surely be very subject dependent; hence I don't see that a catch-all academic site could have much that is useful to say. (E.g. while it is true --- as stated by the OP --- that in math a masters is not required, and probably not typical, for most U.S. programs, is this true in other subjects? I don't know, and it's irrelevant in any case.)
Just to explain: An earlier comment on the closed question suggested that questions of this type are off-topic here, but would be ideal for a forthcoming academic stackexchange site, but, as the above comment shows, I disagree. I think that questions about graduate admissions and such are likely to be subject-dependent, and that there is no guarantee that the participants on this site who are in a good position to answer the question would also participate on the general academic site.
Thus in addition to this particular question, I would like to argue that more generally such questions are on-topic for this site. Does anyone else feel the same? Am I expressing a minority opinion?