Prospective FAQ

Qualifications

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What are the typical minimum admission requirements?

Beyond the GS minimum, the typical minimum admission requirements are…

MA

Linear Algebra (Math 341 or equivalent)
Analysis I (Math 521 or equivalent)
Modern Algebra I (Math 541 or equivalent)

PhD

Analysis I/II (Math 521/522 or equivalent)*
Algebra I/II (Math 541/542 or equivalent)*
Linear Algebra (Math 341 or equivalent)

4 electives among advanced undergrad or grad math courses. Incoming students usually, but not always, have some exposure to graduate level mathematics through graduate coursework, independent study, or research experience. This background often exceeds the minimum requirements for a math major.

*Candidates with interest in Applied Math may have a different mathematics background, typically including coursework in ordinary and partial differential equations, and computational science with programming experience in Python, Matlab, or similar language. That coursework should be at a commensurately advanced undergrad level.

How can I tell if my qualifications match your school’s standards before submitting my application?

It’s very hard to give exact answers to questions about GRE, GPA, and coursework taken because much depends on the qualifications of the other applicants as well as on your letters of recommendation. The best way for you to find out whether UW-Madison is a good match for you is to ask your recommenders. If they think you belong here, they’ll say that in their letters. If they think you belong somewhere else, they’ll tell you.

Is there a minimum GPA for the Math Program?

Admission is competitive. There are no minimal requirements. Applicants are simply advised to present the strongest case they can. We also don’t keep records of average GPA, but most of our successful applicants have received mostly A’s (for those students from American Universities) in their coursework in mathematics. However, strong recommendations from faculty members carry higher weight than grades in our considerations.

If I do not take the subject GRE, am I still eligible to apply for the program?

Absolutely. GRE scores are strictly optional and will only be made available to reviewers after the initial review process in the exceptional case that the reviewer has decided that a strong GRE score would significantly boost the candidate’s chances of admission. We expect that this will happen only very rarely.

Am I at a disadvantage if I do not have GRE scores?

No. GRE scores are strictly optional and will only be made available to reviewers after the initial review process in the exceptional case that the reviewer has decided that a strong GRE score would significantly boost the candidate’s chances of admission. We expect that this will happen only very rarely.

What is the minimum TOEFL score?

Minimum TOEFL requirements are on the Grad School’s Requirements for Admission. Scroll down the page for English Proficiency information.

Are students from small liberal arts colleges accepted or are the concentration of accepted students from large universities?

We have a long history of accepting students from liberal arts schools and having those students do well at Madison.

How many students on average do you accept into the program each year?

Depending on departmental needs and funding availability, we typically aim for an entering class of between 20 and 28 students. Data on previous years’ admissions and enrollments are kept by the Graduate School.

Application Materials

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When will applications open?

Applications for the next Fall/Spring term open when the previous Fall/Spring term starts. For example, Fall 2023 applications will open when the Fall 2022 term starts.

I have an updated transcript/CV/Statement of Purpose . Can I update my application materials after submitting my application?

Yes. Log back into your application and select documents. You will then be able to view or replace any supporting materials, including statements, curriculum vitae, and transcripts.

Can I submit more than 3 letters of recommendation?

Yes, you may. As long as you have the minimum number of recommendations (3), we do not set any restrictions beyond that. The Admissions Committee looks at the strength of the letters, not the number.

How old can the GRE score be?

**For Fall 2023 applications, GRE scores are, at most, optional.**

The GRE exam must have been taken within 5 years of when you plan on matriculating at the University. For example, if you took your exam in May of 2017, five years later would be May of 2022. August is considered the matriculation date of the University for the Fall Semester. So the GRE score would be considered too late and you would need to take the exam again for a more recent score. (Your test should be in August 2017 or after for a matriculation date of August 2022.)

How old can my TOEFL score be?

The TOEFL exam must have been taken within 2 years of when you plan on matriculating at the University. For example, if you took your exam in May of 2011, two years later would be May of 2013. August is considered the matriculation date of the University for the Fall Semester. So the TOEFL score would be considered too late and you would need to take the exam again for a more recent score. (Your test should be in August 2011 or after for a matriculation date of August 2013.)

Do I have to send my scores electronically from ETS?

Yes, scores must be submitted electronically from ETS. Please use institution code 1846. You do not need to enter a department code.

Do I need to secure an advisor/supervisor prior to applying?

No, you do not need an advisor prior to applying. Incoming students are assigned academic advisors at the beginning of their programs. PhD students have until the end of their 6th semester to secure a dissertation advisor.

Does the department offer application fee grants?

The Math Department offers a limited number of application fee grants for PhD students to make sure that the application fee is not a barrier for students.

To be considered for an application fee grant, email your CV and unofficial undergraduate transcript to grad_program@math.wisc.edu.

Status & Deadlines

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How do I check the status of my online application?

To review the status of your submitted application, sign into MyUW with your NetID. Any requests for information or changes in your status will be noted in MyUW.

If my materials arrive after the deadline, will my application even be considered?

Applications must be submitted by the Dec. 15th deadline date. We recognize that not all application materials will be able to arrive by Dec. 15th. All materials need to be submitted/received by January 1. Applications will be reviewed based upon whatever materials are present.

How do I check if my recommendations have arrived?

You must submit your application in order to see if the application materials have arrived.  Recommendations will be checked off automatically as they arrive.

Do my recommendation letters have to arrive by the application deadline?

The letters should arrive by the supporting materials submission deadline at the latest to be available for committee review.

Why does the online status check show that my test scores were not received?

It may take up to four weeks for scores to be sent to UW-Madison. If any information on the test is different from the information you provided on your application (family name, surname, birth date or gender), the test scores may not match to your application.

If my GRE scores and TOEFL scores arrive after the application deadline, is there any chance that I could be accepted?

The scores do not have to reach us by the application deadline but they should be received by the supporting materials submission deadline as the applications start being evaluated at this time.

Do you accept students in the Spring Semester?

Admission is always for the subsequent Fall Semester. Entering the program in the Spring is less feasible because of the structure of beginning graduate courses.

When will my application be reviewed?

MA applications are reviewed after the March 1 and November 1 deadlines. Decisions are sent by April 1 and December 1, respectively.

PhD applications are reviewed after the January 1 deadline. Decisions are sent by March 1. If you are placed on the waitlist. we will have a decision for you by April 30.

Funding & Benefits

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Do I get tuition remission or a TA/RA position?

PhD – yes. MA – no. If you’re looking for a masters program that covers tuition and offers TA positions, consider applying to UW-Milwaukee‘s program.

What is the percentage of people who are fully funded in the PhD program?

Applicants to the PhD program are automatically considered for financial support. All incoming PhD students are admitted with guaranteed support. This is usually in the form of a Teaching Assistantship.

Do I need to fill out any other forms to apply for an assistantship (Teaching Assistant (TA) or Research Assistant (RA))?

There are no other forms to fill out with the application. As for RA positions, there are none to apply for at admission time. RAs come from advisors’ grants and are determined by the advisor.

How do people apply for Research Assistantships?

There are none to apply for at admission time. RAs come from advisors’ grants or from NSF grants held by research groups in the department.