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Graduate Program Admissions Requirements

Admission to the University of Washington Math Department graduate program is highly competitive, and is based on an assessment of your ability to complete a graduate degree. The minimum requirements to be considered for admission to any UW graduate program are a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution, and an overall grade-point average of 3.0 (B) in your most recent two years of study. To have a realistic chance of completing a graduate degree program in mathematics, you should have received grades of at least 3.5 (A–/B+) in most of your mathematics courses.

For admission to the Mathematics Department, at least 5 full-year courses (30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours) in mathematics are required beyond precalculus. Every entering mathematics graduate student should be thoroughly familiar with the following basic subjects:

  • advanced calculus (one variable and multivariable)
  • differential equations
  • linear algebra

Rigorous advanced undergraduate courses in both of the following subjects are required for admission to the PhD track. Ideally, these will be full-year courses with a strong emphasis on writing proofs. Applicants to a Master's program should have had a course in at least one of these:

  • abstract algebra (groups, rings, and fields; Galois theory is desirable, but not required)
  • real analysis (theory of differentiation and integration, uniform convergence, and metric spaces; Lebesgue integration is desirable, but not required)

In addition, courses in the following subjects are recommended for PhD applicants but not required:

  • complex analysis
  • topology
  • differential geometry of curves and surfaces

Promising PhD applicants not meeting the requirements for admission to the PhD track are sometimes offered admission to the Master's program, with an option of applying to transfer to the PhD track at the end of their first year.

For more information about the University's requirements for admission to graduate school, see the UW Graduate Admissions Web page.