PhD program and MA Degreein Mathematics, USA (2015)

The Department of Mathematics invites applications to the PhD program in Mathematics and the MA Degree program with the option  Foundations of Advanced Studies. Applicants interested in actuarial mathematics should contact the School of Business. The PhD program provides a background in basic and advanced graduate mathematics and requires the completion of a significant piece of original research.

The breadth of the department is such that the PhD specialty and dissertation may be in any of  several areas of mathematics: analysis,  differential equations and dynamical systems, probability, number theory and  algebraic geometry, algebra and combinatorics, topology and differential geometry, logic,  or applied and  computational mathematics.

A complete list of faculty and their areas of expertise is available through the Mathematics Department web page. The department also offers a PhD specialty in mathematics education.

Currently we look mainly for applicants interested in pursuing the PhD degree.  We only admit students in the fall semester.

Applicants to the PhD program are automatically considered for financial support.  To be admitted it is necessary that in the department’s opinion the applicant is likely to complete the program. This is a  subjective judgment and the  department does welcome applications from outstanding students whose background and credentials do not match the description below. Typically we expect:

    1. A GPA of at least 3.0 overall and substantially higher in mathematics courses.
    2. 18 or more credits of mathematics beyond calculus. The 18 credits should include at least one semester of both rigorous analysis (sometimes called advanced calculus) and abstract algebra, and preferably two semesters. Advanced undergraduate courses in other topics further strengthen your application.
    3. Official transcripts or academic records from each institution attended. Transcripts do not have to include fall semester grades. Thus, transcripts may contain courses in progress. Please mail one official transcript to the Mathematics Department only (address below). Do not send any transcripts to the Graduate School. International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Documents must be issued by the school with the official seal/stamp and an official signature.
    4. A “Supplemental Application Form” is required after submitting your online Graduate School application. It is important that you include all advanced mathematics courses you have completed, are currently enrolled in, or intend to take. For each course give the name of the school where you took it, the course number, the title, description, books used, and the grade you received (for completed courses). If you have more than 20 courses, please include ONLY the most advanced courses. We are looking for the course descriptions, and books used – this is not just a repeat of transcript information.  Your transcript does not give us course descriptions and books used.  Submit the Supplemental Application Form electronically with this link.    Additionally, you can upload an optional resume/cv, unofficial transcript, and any other supporting documents.
    5. A statement of reasons for graduate study.   Submit this electronically with your online Graduate School application.
    6. GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores, including the Subject test in mathematics. In exceptional cases, advanced GRE’s from other sciences can be substituted for the advanced GRE in mathematics. December scores will be received online by mid-January. If you have taken the exam by December 15, this will not present a problem. If you take the exam after December, your scores will not reach us in time. You may submit your application without a GRE or Subject test score, but your application may be at a severe disadvantage. Have ETS (Educational Testing Service) electronically submit your scores, using our institution code of 1846. (There is NO department code.  It doesn’t matter what department code you choose, the university’s central database receives the scores. It is preferable you do not choose a dept code.)
    7. Three letters that address the question of mathematical promise. These letters should be from mathematics faculty, or other faculty familiar with the demands of graduate work in mathematics. Please note we do not require forms for letters of recommendation. Have your recommenders submit their letters electronically through your online application (see online application instructions).
    8. Applicants, whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide official scores from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). See the Graduate School’s website for exemptions from taking the TOEFL. Please have ETS electronically submit your scores, using our institution code of 1846. (There is NO department code.)
      For minimum scores related to the TOEFL Exam, click here. Competitive scores for the TOEFL are 630 (paper), 267 (computer), 109 or above.

International students please note: if we offer admission and you accept it, we require international students attend a summer (early July to mid August) TA orientation/training program (prior to the start of the semester) and successfully complete the SPEAK test of spoken English (given on campus). This is a mandatory program. By accepting our offer of admission, you are obligated to be here for the program. Attendees are given some financial support during the summer orientation.

  1. The Graduate School application fee is currently $56. The Mathematics Department is not able to waive this fee.

An applicant who does not meet all of our expectations may be admitted on probation, provided there is evidence of mathematical promise. Such promise is evidenced by high GRE scores or by comments from mathematics faculty. In addition to the above departmental requirements, the Graduate School has minimum admission requirements which are listed here.

If you have any questions about the above requirements, please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

  • International student financial information will only be requested by the Graduate School after the departmental recommendation for admission. For information on International Student Expenses, please click here.
  • Please check your ‘status check’ sheet online at MyUW to check to see if your materials have arrived. The status check will be available starting December 5. However, if materials were sent through the postal service, the online system will be updated as mail is processed.  It could take a few weeks to process the mail. Please Note: You must submit your online application before anything can be noted on your status check page.

Decisions for acceptance to the program will not occur until March and we will contact you. If you have not heard from us, it is possible that we are still considering your application. We typically receive over 400 applications. Please refrain from contacting us to find out the status of your application. We can appreciate that you are anxious to hear about the admission decision, however, we have a limited amount of resources to respond to the email requests.
The Graduate School Application Form

All applicants must apply online. To submit an application, click here.

If you have any further questions, please email

Deadlines:   The deadline to submit your application for Fall admission is December 15th. The deadline to submit all supporting application materials for Fall admission is January 1st.