Frequently asked application questions are answered below. For all other inquiries, please call (541) 737-5113 or email us at gradinfo@math.oregonstate.edu.

What information will I need to prepare before starting my application?
How do I apply?
How does the application process work?
Do you have a list of all required application materials?
Can you assess my case or gauge my chances of being accepted into the graduate program?
Should I apply to the Master's or PhD program?
Does the department accept applications for Winter or Spring terms?
Who do I contact if I have problems with the online application?
Can I apply after the deadline?
Does OSU have any information on financial resources or scholarship opportunities?
Does OSU have any diversity enhancement scholarships or fellowships?
How can I have my application fee waived?
Will OSU waive TOEFL/IELTS requirements for my application?
If my TOEFL/IELTS score is below the minimum, will my application still be considered?
My undergraduate degree is not in Mathematics. Will I still be considered for admission?
Do I need to send official transcripts for my application?
Where do I send transcripts?
Do you accept recommendation letters from outside of academia?
If I do not submit GRE scores, will I still be considered for admission?
If I take the GRE more than once, which scores do you consider?
Does the department require the GRE Mathematics subject test?
Do you have a minimum GRE score, or a range of competitive scores?
What information should I include in my personal statement?
Should I include a writing sample along with my online application?
What should I do if I can't find the textbooks I used in my undergraduate math classes?
How do I apply for a Teaching or Research Assistantship (GTA or GRA)?
How do I cancel/defer my application?
How do I check the status of my application?
How and when will I be notified whether I have been admitted?
Who do I contact if I have any questions?

What information will I need to prepare before starting my application?

It is expected that you have taken the GRE and will be able to submit official scores. You will need to compose a CV/resume, statement of purpose, and list of upper-division (junior, senior, and graduate level) courses taken with textbooks used. You may want to inform the three individuals you have selected to provide recommendations that they will receive email invitations to submit letters of recommendation. Finally, you will need unofficial or official transcripts of academic work from all colleges or universities attended. This includes post-baccalaureate and non-degree-seeking work. Please note OSU's "unofficial" transcript requirements before submitting your transcripts.

How do I apply?

All applications must be submitted online through the OSU Graduate School's online application system. We do not accept paper applications and we do not evaluate application materials sent by email.

How does the application process work?

Each year we receive between 100-150 applications. Applications are first reviewed by the department for completeness, and applicants with incomplete applications are prompted to submit missing documents. Next, every complete application is carefully reviewed by at least three members of the Graduate Committee, and a ranking order is established after discussion by the entire committee. About 15-20 applicants are accepted on a rolling basis following the ranking order, until all admitted students have accepted or declined to come. While some GTA offers are made before April 15, many offers are made after this date, as applicants typically apply to multiple programs and decide around April 15. See more at the graduate applications review page.

It is very important that you check the email listed on your application regularly. We may contact you several times during the application process regarding any of the following: application completeness, application clarification, Skype meetings or campus visits, fellowship/scholarship nominations, continued interest in our program, or acceptance information. Generally, if we do not hear from applicants, we assume they are no longer interested in OSU and move on to the next applicant in the ranking order; so please check your email frequently and respond promptly.

Do you have a list of all required application materials?

Application materials required for all applicants:

  • full completion of online application
  • statement of purpose
  • CV/resume
  • list of upper-division courses in mathematics, with brief course descriptions and textbooks used
  • 3 recommendations from qualified individuals
  • unofficial transcripts (see below for transcript requirements)
  • GRE general and mathematics subject scores (strongly recommended, but not required)

Additional application materials required for international applicants:

Can you assess my case or gauge my chances of being accepted into the graduate program?

Unfortunately, we cannot comment on the hypothetical success of your application. Questions of these sort should be directed to an undergraduate academic advisor or faculty mentor at your institution. Please do not send CVs, resumes, transcripts, or other materials by email unless we ask you to do so. We do not evaluate ad-hoc requests for assessment of application success. We can answer only whether you meet the minimum requirements for application, and we will only review completed applications. Successful applications typically demonstrate multiple elements of strong academic success or potential among the several application requirements listed on our application instructions page.

Should I apply to the Master's or PhD program?

If you have a Master's degree in mathematics, you should apply to the PhD program (OSU's Graduate School discourages a second Master's degree in the same field). If you do not have a Master's degree in mathematics, you should consider your long-term career goals as well as your preparation. If you are unsure about these, then your fit is better for the Master's. If you are sure, and your application demonstrates this, apply to the PhD program.

Does the department accept applications for Winter, Spring, or Summer terms?

Typically we do not, since many of our introductory core course sequences are designed to run from Fall through Spring. Additionally, funding opportunities are significantly lower in terms other than Fall, so the likelihood of a funded admittance in Winter, Spring, or Summer is very low. Those requiring admissions in Winter or Spring term for extraordinary and unusual circumstances are advised to discuss this with the Graduate Committee at gradinfo@math.oregonstate.edu.

Who do I contact if I have problems with the online application?

For technical problems with the online application system, please contact Graduate Admissions at Graduate.Admissions@oregonstate.edu. Questions specific to the Mathematics program should be directed to the Mathematics Graduate Committee at gradinfo@math.oregonstate.edu.

Can I apply after the deadline?

It is possible to apply after the deadline of January 15, but we do not recommend doing so. Priority consideration for admission and assistantships is given to applicants who apply before or on January 15. You should consider carefully before submitting a late application, as applications submitted after April 15 are rarely successful.

Does OSU have any information on financial resources or scholarship opportunities?

The Graduate School offers many useful tips and resources for determining how to finance your education. OSU has a variety of scholarships and fellowships, including Graduate School awards and college-based fellowships. See the Graduate School's page for more details on scholarships, and please inform us if you believe you meet the requirements of any awards.

Does OSU have any diversity enhancement scholarships or fellowships?

Some scholarships for students of particular geographic or ethnic backgrounds are available from the Graduate School. Please inform us if you believe you meet the requirements of any of these awards.

How can I have my application fee waived?

The Graduate School is able to grant application fee waivers in some circumstances. If you are a McNair scholar, Project 1000 applicant, Gates Millenium scholar, or MARC* STAR Participant, see this page about requesting an application fee waiver. Application fee waivers must be completed prior to starting the application. If you are a Math Alliance Scholar, please contact the Graduate Coordinator at gradinfo@math.oregonstate.edu before applying.

Will OSU waive TOEFL requirements for my application?

If you meet the conditions of the Graduate School’s listed exemptions from the English language requirements, your TOEFL/IELTS requirements will be waived automatically. Please read the list carefully to determine whether you meet one or more of these conditions.

If you do not meet the conditions of any of these exemptions, waivers may be requested in certain circumstances. However, since English language proficiency requirements are imposed by the Graduate School, the Mathematics Graduate Committee must petition the Graduate School for a waiver of requirements. Due to the high volume of applications, the committee only considers petitions after a completed application has been evaluated and the committee has recommended admission. Therefore, we cannot tell you whether we will request a waiver of English language requirements until and unless you have been accepted by the Graduate Committee.

If my TOEFL/IELTS score is below the minimum, will my application still be considered?

Applicants whose English language proficiency does not meet the minimum requirements can be accepted, often under conditional English admission (which requires up to one year of English study to develop and prove proficiency). More information about this situation is available from International Graduate Admissions.

My undergraduate degree is not in Mathematics. Will I still be considered for admission?

Applicants with strong backgrounds in the mathematical sciences are typical; but we can (and have) admitted students from other fields who have demonstrated proficiency or potential for proficiency in mathematics.

Do I need to send official transcripts for my application?

No. You may upload copies of your official transcripts, which are considered unofficial by OSU. However, if you are admitted to OSU, you will need to send official transcripts to the Graduate School. During the application process, an unofficial transcript will suffice. The unofficial transcript must include your name, the college or university name, the degree(s) earned or in progress, and a transcript key with grading scale, and must be a copy of an official transcript. Please note that a web printout (such as an unofficial transcript you have accessed and printed online) is not considered an unofficial transcript; the unofficial transcript must originate from your institution(s). Please contact Graduate Admissions at Graduate.Admissions@oregonstate.edu if you are unsure whether your unofficial transcript meets these requirements.

Where do I send transcripts?

Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded directly to your online application. If you are unable to upload a copy of a transcript, your official transcript must be sent directly to OSU. Please have it mailed it to:

Graduate School
Graduate Admissions
300 Kerr Administration Building
Corvallis, OR 97331-2106

Do you accept recommendation letters from outside of academia?

Recommendation letters from outside academia are not recommended unless the individual recommending has firsthand knowledge of your mathematical and academic abilities.

If I do not submit GRE scores, will I still be considered for admission?

Submission of GRE scores is not required for application, but is very strongly recommended, especially for students who have already completed their latest degree (e.g., they completed a BS or Master's a year or more before applying). Applicants can be (and have been) admitted without having taken the GRE test; but it is generally expected that these applicants have compensated with strong letters, strong grades, or some other good case for their mathematical ability. You may submit photocopies or PDF reports of GRE scores instead of originals, as long as the reports show your name, the date the test was taken, and all scores (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing, and any relevant subject scores).

If I take the GRE more than once, which scores do you consider?

All GRE scores are considered by the Graduate Committee.

Does the department require the GRE Mathematics subject test?

A score on the GRE subject exam in Mathematics is strongly recommended but not required for application.

Do you have a minimum GRE score, or a range of competitive scores?

We do not have a minimum GRE score and we will not bypass the application process by commenting on whether your scores are competitive. The Graduate Committee follows the standard application process for all applicants, and only reviews complete applications. Remember that the whole application is considered, and low scores may not be a barrier to admission if the application is otherwise strong.

What information should I include in my personal statement?

Your personal statement should include an explanation of why you want to study math and why you want to study math at OSU. Many applicants mention the fields of mathematics that interest them; this helps to determine your fit to the program.

Should I include a writing sample along with my online application?

A writing sample is not required for application, but you are welcome to include one.

What should I do if I can’t find which textbooks I used in my undergraduate math classes?

First check with the department that hosted your classes: they may provide syllabi that includes textbook information. If this request is unsuccessful, you should contact the Graduate Committee at gradinfo@math.oregonstate.edu for advice on how to proceed. We may contact your undergraduate department(s) to secure this information if you cannot provide it.

How do I apply for a Teaching or Research Assistantship (GTA or GRA)?

During the online application process, you will be asked to indicate whether you want to be considered for a teaching or research assistantship. If you indicate yes on either, you will be considered for an assistantship if you are admitted. There is no separate application.

How do I cancel/defer my application?

Any time after your application is submitted, you may send an email to gradinfo@math.oregonstate.edu or Graduate.Admissions@oregonstate.edu to request that your application be canceled or deferred.

How do I check the status of my application?

You may check your application status through the online application system at any time. You may also send an email to the Graduate Coordinator. Keep in mind that you will hear from OSU as soon as a decision has been made on your application. If we are able to provide further information, we will try to send occasional updates as the process continues.

How and when will I be notified whether I have been admitted?

You will be notified in writing when a decision on your application has been made. Application decisions begin in January and continue through Spring term, but the decision process may extend later in some circumstances. The deadline of April 15 for acceptance of financial support offers is held by OSU and many CGS member institutions; further offers may be issued shortly after that date.

Who do I contact if I have any questions?

For any questions not answered above, contact us at any time at (541) 737-5113, or gradinfo@math.oregonstate.edu.