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Graduate Admissions

Last updated on August 25, 2021 for Fall 2022 Admissions.

The Department of Mathematics offers a PhD Program for students interested in careers using advanced mathematics. We typically admit 15-20 new PhD students each year.  We also have a small Master's Degree Program.  Combined we have about 90 graduate students.   Most of our students are funded by teaching assistantships (TA's), some are funded by research assistant ships (RA's), and some are self funded or have fellowships from outside of UW.   In addition to the degree program requirements linked above, applicants requesting funding should review the guidelines for TA and RA appointments.  

Here are some reasons to consider graduate study at the University of Washington:

  • We offer courses and research opportunities in most major fields of pure mathematics, as well as opportunities to collaborate with local companies, government labs, and with the departments of Statistics, Biostatistics, Applied Math, and Computer Science
  • Almost all of our PhD students are supported through Teaching Assistantships, which come with union negotiated salaries, tuition waivers, and free health insurance. TAs receive extensive training and mentoring, and a wide variety of different assignments are available, including opportunities to teach one’s own courses.
  • We encourage collaboration, and our graduate program is deliberately structured so that students are not in any sense competing against each other.
  • Our students' success rate is high.  Over the past decade or so, about 80% of our entering PhD students have graduated with PhDs.   
  • Most of our graduate students go on to jobs in academia, typically at very prestigious institutions,  or go into rewarding careers in industry, government, etc using their math skills.  
  • We have a seminar series focusing on Career Transitions to help students find a good path through the program and into their next role.  We regularly invite back alumni to offer advice and support to current grad students about their current jobs in industry and academia.   So far, everyone invited has accepted  enthusiastically.  
  • There is  an Advanced Data Science Option for the PhD, which can be very useful when students are applying for jobs in industry.  
  • The Mathematics Department believes that excellence in graduate education is enhanced by assembling a diverse and inclusive graduate student community that reflects a wide range of differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences may include race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, abilities/disabilities, gender identity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. See the Math Department’s Graduate Admissions Diversity Statement for more information.
  • Seattle is an attractive city, with great coffee,  endless opportunity for exploration, good public transportation, bike paths, abundant natural beauty, cultural events, and outdoor activities.   Temperatures are mild year round, and the city is not as rainy as its reputation suggests.   We get only 30 inches per year on average, but many winter days are partly cloudy and drizzly.  Many people who move here like the mild climate and decide they never want to leave.
  • We recognize that rent in Seattle is relatively high, but students do find housing in the city that they can afford within a reasonable commuting distance to campus.  

Applying to the PhD Program

Since all entry-level graduate courses are year-long sequences beginning in the autumn, applications for admission are normally accepted only for Autumn Quarter. Applications for admission with financial support (Teaching Assistantships or Fellowships) must be complete by December 10 for admission the following autumn.  If you do not need financial support, applications are due by May 2.

Follow the links below to read about admission requirements and application procedures.

Master’s Program    

We are in the process of revising the role of our Master’s Program.  Therefore, we will not have any funded positions in the Master's Program for the incoming class of 2022.  While we revise the Master's Program, it will mainly serve the following groups of people:

  • UW Math Majors who want to pursue a PhD and have mathematical talent, but whose background needs strengthening.   In the past, a few students in this category were funded with TAships.  Due to our changing situation, we do not intend to fund any master’s students this coming year.  Students admitted to the master’s program will be self supported.   
  • Students who are enrolled in other graduate programs at the University of Washington and who also want training in mathematics. The department typically provides no financial support for these students.
  • Students living in the Seattle area who want to explore graduate mathematics for professional reasons. The department typically provides no financial support for these students.

If you fall into one of the three categories listed above, please confirm your intentions to apply with the Advising Office.  They can be reached at gradmath@uw.edu.   Please review the details of the Masters Programs before submitting an application via the same UW portal as the PhD students.

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