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Graduate Study in Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics offers programs leading to the degrees MA or PhD in mathematics and MS in applied mathematics. Students interested in any of these programs should read carefully the materials describing the university requirements. The student is responsible for satisfying these requirements at the proper time. Apply online to the program through the graduate school web site.

Requirements for admission

For full details on the university's admission requirements, please refer to the graduate school's checklist. This list summarizes the department's additional requirements.

  • Applicants must have demonstrated mathematical maturity and accomplishment roughly at the level of a successful mathematics major at CU-Boulder. At minimum, the applicant should have taken at least one course in advanced calculus (real analysis) and abstract algebra.
  • All incoming Ph.D. students must have either a bachelor's degree or master's degree. Typically this degree is in mathematics, but that is not essential so long as the student has taken enough mathematics courses to demonstrate potential for success in graduate study.
  • Incoming Ph.D. students must provide both general and Mathematics Subject GRE scores. We do not have a strict minimum required score for the Mathematics Subject test, but typically students have a score of at least 750.
  • We require unofficial transcripts from all previous colleges or universities attended. Official transcripts are required when you are admitted.
  • International students (those who have not matriculated at an English-speaking college or university) must take the TOEFL test and score at least 100 (internet version) or 600 (paper version), or take the IELTS test and score at least 7.0. This minimum is strictly enforced.

Financial support

Admitted graduate students are typically supported by a teaching assistantship, which involves being a teaching assistant for several sections of a course each semester, or being a lecturer for a single section of a course, depending on the seniority of the student. The assistantship includes a stipend, health benefits, and a full tuition remission. This support typically continues throughout the student's matriculation so long as the student fulfills the department's rules and deadlines.

Underrepresented students

The department strongly encourages applications from women and underrepresented minority students, in accordance with the diversity goals of the university.

Underrepresented students may apply to participate in the Colorado Advantage graduate preview program, November 6-8, 2014. All expenses are paid for participants to visit the CU-Boulder campus to meet faculty and current graduate students, tour the building, and learn more about the graduate admissions process.

Application details may be found here.

Advice for applying

Admission to the graduate program in mathematics is determined by members of the graduate committee. Our admissions process is holistic and not dependent on any one thing. But historically members have primarily valued the following:

  • High Mathematics Subject GRE scores.
  • Research experience or independent study in mathematics as an undergraduate.
  • Taking a variety of mathematics courses, including if possible courses at the graduate level.
  • High GPA.
  • Strong letters of recommendation.