Applying for Master of Arts – Foundation of Advanced Studies

Thank you for your interest in the Master of Arts – Foundation of Advanced Studies (MA-FAS) Program at the Department of Mathematics.

The MA-FAS program helps prepare students for competitive Ph.D. level graduate programs and will enhance their chances for admittance to high-quality graduate schools. This Master’s program option is structured so that students with basic preparation from their undergraduate institutions can complete it in no more than two years. Applicants will have earned an undergraduate degree in Mathematics or a related field with a strong mathematical component.

Admitting Term:

We admit students in the Fall and Spring semester.


The deadline to submit your application for Fall admission is March 15th.

The deadline to submit your application for Spring admission is November 1st.

Required Application Materials

  1. Transcript: Transcripts from each institution attended. An unofficial transcript is acceptable for the initial review. If you are recommended for admission, the Graduate School will require official transcripts. Additional information about international degrees is on the Graduate School website.
  2. In a list or table format, state 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.
  3. Statement of reason for graduate study
  4. CV/Resume

To be requested through the application:

  1. Letters of Recommendation. Three letters of recommendation 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.
  2. (if applicable)Proof of English proficiency. See the Graduate School requirements for more information.

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 emailed to you or noted in MyUW.

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


This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Tuition and fees

Information about tuition and fees can be found on the Bursar’s website.


The VISP/MA-FAS Scholarship is designed to provide financial support to exceptional students pursuing their second year of study in the Master of Arts- Foundation of Advanced Studies Program in the Department of Mathematics.

The scholarship is merit-based. The scholarship is $5000 per award. The number of awards is typically about 10% of the total population of first-year VISP students plus the first-year direct admit (non-VISP) MA students. The scholarship will be used to reduce the tuition for the second/final year of the MA-FAS program.

Employment Opportunities

Details on employment options and policies can be found on the Employment Resources page.

Health Insurance

Students are required to have health insurance while studying at UW-Madison. Please check the insurance information on the Student Health Insurance Program(SHIP) website.

MA-FAS Program At A Glance

Program Name Master of Arts – Foundations of Advanced Studies
Typical Minimum Admission Requirements (beyondGS minimum) Linear Algebra (Math 341or equivalent)
Analysis I (Math 521or equivalent)
Modern Algebra I (Math 541or equivalent)
Funding Allowed to work as graduate assistants without tuition remission. Allowed to work student hourly positions. More details can be found on the Employment Resources page.
Tuition Remission Not eligible
Health Insurance Eligible to have the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)
Degree Requirements
Arrival At least one week before school starts. Check Academic Calendar for detailed dates.
Decisions Sent By Usually 3-4 weeks after the application deadlines.
Additional Degree? Eligible to apply to the Ph.D. program