Prospective PhD FAQ

Qualifications

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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.

What is the GRE Score requirement?

Math GRE scores are weighed in the context of the applicant’s entire file of accomplishments, and therefore there is no precise minimal acceptable Math GRE score. Please let us know in your Statement of Purpose, or have your recommenders let us know, if you feel your GRE score is not reflective of your mastery of the undergraduate math curriculum.

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

Every application receives full consideration. It is up to the applicants to provide us with the best possible evidence of their potential. A missing Math GRE score may place an applicant at a disadvantage.

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.

Application Materials

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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.

How old can the GRE score be?

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.

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 January 1st 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 that date (December 15), is there any chance that I could be accepted?

The scores do not have to reach us by December 15th but they should be received by January 1st 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.

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. RA’s 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.