Graduate Committee frequently receives inquiries from graduate applicants interested in the process of admission/review of applications. We explain it below.

Before Review

  • We receive between 100-150 completed applications for the Fall term, with around 100 completed by January 1. (We do not encourage applications for Winter or Spring terms, as funding is generally unavailable for new applicants in these terms.)
  • Applications must be completed with all required documents before review begins. Incomplete applications are not reviewed by the Graduate Committee.
  • Prospective students who have not applied to the program by the deadline (January 1) should consider their options carefully in view of the information provided on this page.
  • The Graduate Committee will not answer ad-hoc inquiries on the potential success of an application based on GRE, GPA, CV, or any other materials sent directly to us. All applications must be sent through the Graduate School's online application system.
  • As concerns acceptance to the program, January 1 is the deadline for applicants, and not for the committee to review them.

The Review Process

  • Every completed application is carefully reviewed by at least three members of the Mathematics Graduate Committee, and a ranking order is established after discussion by the entire committee. This process takes time.
  • Ranking order is established based on the entire application, and not on any one aspect, such as grades or GRE scores. In particular, we carefully attempt to determine a graduate applicant's fit to our program, which we can perceive from their interests and from the program-specific comments they make in their application materials.
  • Nominations for Graduate School awards are selected, and the Graduate Committee may seek additional information required for some awards. Some awards are restricted to US citizens/residents only, and some to PhD students only. The Graduate School determines award winners and informs the department. GTA positions are considered separately from the Graduate School awards nominations.
  • Acceptance of students follows the ranking order and continues until the admitted students have accepted or declined to come, and until we have filled the GTA positions needed by the department (as well as the available non-supported student positions).
  • As concerns Graduate Teaching Assistantship offers, we abide by the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution. Some GTA offers are made before April 15. However, many offers are made around or after April 15, because some applicants apply to multiple programs and decide around April 15. GRA positions are generally not available to first-year students.

After Review

  • We can admit only a limited number of prospective students as stated on the graduate applications page.
  • In the case of application denial, the Graduate Committee's decision is final.
  • We will not provide detailed reasons for denial, but some common reasons why an applicant may not be admitted to the program include: the applicant is not a good fit for the program, the application is not competitive in the application cycle, the application is not competitive compared to others with similar research interests, or the program could not accept more applicants as the incoming class reached capacity.
  • We cannot advise denied applicants of actions they can take to make their application more competitive for our program or others. Questions of this type usually can be addressed by an advisor at your current institution.