Prospective PhD Students

Admitting Term:

We only admit students in Fall semesters.


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

The deadline to submit all supporting application materials for Fall admission is January 1st.

Required Application Materials

To be uploaded as pdfs to the Graduate School application:

  1. 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. Coursework (different from transcript). 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. Three (3) 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.

To be sent by ETS directly to the Graduate School using institution code 1846 (and no department code):

  1. GRE general scores*
  2. GRE subject scores*
  3. (if applicable) English proficiency exam scores

*For Fall 2022 applications: Due to continued disruptions caused by the COVID epidemic, GRE scores will not be made available to reviewers of graduate applications for University of Wisconsin graduate programs in Mathematics with a program start date of Fall 2022.


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.

More Information

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The majority of students offered admission to the PhD program are also offered financial support in the form of a teaching assistant position. This support is guaranteed for 5 years, assuming satisfactory progress. It is the department’s policy to try to continue to support those beyond the period of guaranteed support who are making satisfactory progress in their research and whose teaching performance is satisfactory. The department does not require that students teach. In later years, PhD students may serve as research assistants for their thesis advisors.

The department also has access to some outside funds for fellowship support of graduate students. Applicants to the PhD program are automatically considered for all available forms of financial support. Outside fellowships may be for beginning study or for later years.

Graduate assistants, including TAs and RAs, and graduate fellows receive a salary and tuition remission (except segregated fees, International student fee, and a one-time official document fee) and are eligible for health insurance.

Student Fees

All graduate students are required to pay student fees called Segregated Fees. The cost of segregated fees are listed with Tuition Rates (select Graduate or most Capstone Certificates program). These fees are paid fall and spring semesters and summer term. The payment schedule is here.

Health Insurance

Graduate assistants, including TAs and RAs, and graduate fellows have the option to receive excellent benefits through the university’s state group health insurance plan. This is the same health insurance that covers faculty and staff.

Waiver for Prior Math Graduate Courses

A graduate student can receive a waiver from the Department for up to 12 credits toward UW-Madison Ph.D. course requirements for graduate courses taken at other institutions. These courses will not appear on the UW-Madison transcript nor count toward the Graduate School cumulative GPA or credit requirements, but will fulfill the Department’s requirement toward coursework if approved. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

To confer credits, complete the Transfer Credit Approval Form. Submit this form along with syllabi for each course to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval.

International Students

Incoming Students

Incoming students whose native language is not English are required to take the SPEAK test to demonstrate their ability to speak clearly and listen effectively. Those not enrolling in ITA training (below) should contact the PhD Graduate Coordinator to register.

International students that did not attend a US institution for undergraduate studies are required to attend International Teaching Assistant (ITA) training mid-July to mid-August.

All international students are required to attend International Student Services (ISS) Orientation upon arrival.

International Student Services

UW-Madison has an active International Student Services (ISS) organization that offers workshops, events, and information for international students throughout their academic career. They will answer questions about visas, employment, dependents, and other issues.

Improving English Skills

There are various organizations at UW-Madison and the community for international students to improve their English, PEACEConversational English, Madison Friends of International Students (MFIS), in additional to the English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. There are also student-run organizations at the Wisconsin Involvement Network (WIN).

Graduate Student Life

Graduate Student Life is a microsite for new and incoming graduate students. It includes information on housing, transportation, living in Madison, being a student at UW–Madison, thriving in graduate school, and a section for international students.