1. What are the most important factors in admission decisions?

Transcript (do you have a strong enough background to succeed in grad school at Maryland?), Letters of recommendation, GRE Subject score. If you are an international applicant, the TOEFL (or IELTS or PTE) score is important.

2. How many students are accepted?

In a recent year, 190 people applied, 30 were offered admission, and 14 accepted our offer.

3. Do you admit students for the Spring semester?

The Mathematics PhD program only accepts students for Fall admission. The Mathematics Statistics program accepts students during the Spring and Fall semesters; however, there is no funding for PhDs for Spring admits. Furthermore, there is no funding for MA students at all. 

4. Do you admit students who are aiming only for a Masters degree?

In Math we admit students only for PhD degree. For Statistics, if you are considering going for a PhD degree, you should apply directly to the PhD program. We do offer a MA without Thesis for Statistics/Stat BB. 

5. Do I need the GRE Subject test? 

For the Fall 2023 application cycle onward, GRE Subject Tests and GRE General Tests are strongly encouraged but are not required. If you are only able to sit for one exam, please take the GRE Subject Test.

6. If I choose to take the GRE subject test, what score should I have?

There is no minimum score, since other factors also play a role, but your chances decrease significantly if your score is much below 700.

 7. What grade point average do I need? 

We would like to see transcripts with mostly A's in your mathematics courses.

8. What score do I need on the TOEFL?

For the TOEFL, we want a total score of at least 105, with at least 23 on the speaking portion. Occasionally, we accept someone who misses by a point, but this is rare. We never accept someone with a total score below 100.

We now accept IELTS or PTE in place of the TOEFL. For the IELTS, we want a score of 7.4 or higher. For the PTE, we want a score of 72 or higher.

9. I am a student from a non-English-speaking country who received a Masters degree in the US or other English-speaking country/school. The Graduate School has waived the TOEFL requirement. Do I still need the TOEFL?

Your TOEFL scores will be technically waived for your application since you received education in the United States. However, if admitted, you would still need to take a mandatory English evaluation and could potentially need to enroll in an English course. You could avoid the mandatory evaluation by sending in TOEFL scores with at least 26 on the speaking.

10. I have a transcript from my institution that is encrypted. What should I do?

Do not upload an encrypted transcript to the application. It will upload as a blank document and will not be able to be used for evaluation. Please print the document out, scan it, then upload the scanned version. 

11. What if I don't know what area I'm interested in? Am I allowed to change areas when I get to graduate school? 

You probably have some idea what direction you might be headed, for example, analysis, algebra, logic, geometry, etc. It's best to list one or two areas, since "undecided" could result in your application not being considered as carefully by admission committee members who are assigned applicants in their field to review. You can of course change your area of interest while in graduate school. There are areas of mathematics that you might currently not know anything about, but after taking a course you decide that's what you really want to do. The first two years of grad school are usually spent expanding your horizons and figuring out what area you want to pursue.

12. What if some of my application materials arrive late?

When materials arrive after a file has been reviewed, sometimes it gets missed. So, a few days late is often no problem, but a few weeks late could hurt your chances. Please do your best to get materials in by the deadline. 

13. What should be on the Personal Statement and/or Supplementary Application Essay?

We want to know your mathematical interests in addition to your interest in attending the University of Maryland. For example, including which professors you are interested in working with, research projects you have completed, your future career interests, or exciting Mathematical ideas that interest you are all appropriate topics to discuss in the personal statement.

 If there is something in your record that is going to raise questions (for example, it's been ten years since you were an undergraduate), answer those concerns if appropriate. If this applies to you, you can also discuss your community involvement or service, leadership, or overcoming social, economic, or physical barriers. There is no required length for the personal statement, it can be a few sentences long or a few pages.


14. What do I include in the writing sample?

The writing sample is optional and is a space for applicants to share any publications or written mathematical papers with the admissions committee.

15. What courses should I take to be ready for grad school?

For almost all areas of math, we want to see real analysis (epsilon-delta proofs, compact sets, Cauchy sequences, etc.) and a theoretical linear algebra course (not just row operations on matrices; there should be linear independence, diagonalization theorems, minimal polynomials). For pure math, a good course in abstract algebra is recommended. For more applied areas, some partial differential equations or complex analysis is good. Generally, the more math, the better. If you are at a school that offers grad courses, then taking a grad course (and doing well) increases your chances. If your school doesn't offer grad courses, then take as many upper-level courses as possible.

16. How do I support myself during graduate school?

All of our accepted students (except a few who are supported by employers) are offered support by the University, usually in the form of a Teaching Assistantship. This covers your tuition and pays a salary of around 27000 dollars per year. First and second year students usually receive an additional 5000 dollars per year. Additional opportunities for summer funding and research fellowships may be available. Teaching Assistants teach 4 to 6 hours per week, depending on the course. The total time commitment is around 12 to 15 hours per week. Some more advanced grad students are supported as Research Assistants, with funding usually coming from the advisor's research grant.

17. When are accepted students notified for the Fall Semester?

Acceptances are made from February through mid-April. You will receive an official notification through email and through the graduate application portal when a decision is available.

18. How long does it take to get a PhD?

The median time is around 5.5 years.

19. What percentage of the students complete the program?

Our recent estimate is that around 75% of entering students will complete their PhD.

20. What do students do after they graduate? (besides celebrate)
See the list of recent jobs.

For application FAQs (technical questions), please see: https://gradschool.umd.edu/admissions/admissions-requirements