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How to Apply

Last updated on October 21, 2020 for Fall Admissions.

It is important to read all directions carefully before proceeding with your graduate school application. Since all entry-level graduate courses are year-long sequences beginning in the autumn, applications for admission are normally accepted only for Autumn Quarter. The application website opens around the beginning of September for admission the following autumn. In addition to the requirements below, see also the pages about Admission Requirements and International Applicants

** We know COVID messed up your last academic year, don't worry too much, we'll take this into account.  There is a place in the application to explain any unusual circumstances that you think we need to know.  

Deadline for applications requesting financial support:  All application materials must be received electronically by December 10, 2020 to be considered for admission for the following autumn quarter with financial support.

Deadline for applications NOT requesting financial support:   Applications for admission without support can be accepted until June 1, 2021.

Application Materials

The UW Online Application Portal is now open as of Sept. 1, 2020 for admission in the fall of 2021.  While completing the online application, all applicants will be asked to submit the following:

  • Unofficial Transcripts: Information regarding all prior undergraduate and graduate institutions attended, including unofficial transcripts from the relevant institutions. Admitted applicants will be required to provide official transcripts.
  • Advanced Mathematics Courses: Upload a PDF document containing a detailed list of all mathematics courses beyond the level of elementary calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra that you have taken or will take before you begin graduate work at the University of Washington. For each course completed, include the following information:
    - Course number and title
    - Grade obtained ("if in progress, note this in lieu of a grade")
    - School
    - Instructor
    - Dates
    - Title and author of textbook(s) used
    - Material covered (about as much information as would appear in a college catalogue.)
  • Mathematical Background Questionnaire: This questionnaire asks whether, and in what courses, you will have acquired familiarity with the following mathematical topics:
  1. Finite abelian groups
  2. Cosets and quotient groups
  3. Unique factorization domains
  4. Galois theory
  5. Uniform convergence
  6. Metric spaces
  7. Compact sets, connected sets
  8. Theoretical development of differentiation and Riemann integration
  9. The inverse and implicit function theorems
  10. Lebesgue integration
  • Resume or CV: Upload a 1-2 page PDF document to the application website. The following components should be included: employment history (including internships, part time jobs, research assistantships, and teaching experience), special math programs you have participated in (such as Research Experiences for Undergraduates or Budapest Semesters in Mathematics), honors and awards, publications, special skills, and present position or activity.
  • Video Presentation:  (Optional)  Submit a link to a 5 minute video presentation of yourself presenting a math topic of your choice on any part of calculus, differential equations, or linear algebra.   We understand that everyone applying to graduate school has different interests and backgrounds.   This video will give us a way to learn something about your interests, teaching style, creativity, and enthusiasm for mathematics.   If your native language is not English and you would feel more comfortable making this video in your own language, feel free to do so.  We have a diverse faculty so we will be able to find someone to help us assess the presentation in most of the common languages used at universities.   No need to worry about the photography quality for the video, one take should suffice.  You could record it with a phone or laptop.  Either post it on youtube or another website.  You will be asked to include the link with the application questions.   Please note, this is just one of multiple options that you can chose to present your background and knowledge.   See the other optional application questions below.
  • Application Questions: On the application website, you will be asked to answer the following questions in your own words and upload the answers in a PDF document. These questions are in lieu of the traditional “personal statement” or “statement of purpose.” Suggested length for each answer: 250 words or less.  Be assured that, "optional questions" are truly optional, but we expect you to answer some of them to give a more complete picture of your readiness for graduate school.  We do not expect you to answer every question.  A selection of 3-5 of them will suffice.  Choose the ones that will highlight your background and expertise in your opinion. 
  1. Almost all of our PhD students are supported as Teaching Assistants. Do you want to apply for such support? If yes, please explain your prior work experience.  If the answer is no, please briefly explain your plans for paying tuition and living expenses.
  2. Why do you want to pursue a graduate degree in mathematics, specifically at the University of Washington?  And, if you are applying for the Master’s program, please explain why you chose that instead of the Ph.D.
  3. (Optional) If you created a video presentation, where is it posted so we can access it?
  4. (Optional) Describe a recent mathematical experience that influenced your decision to apply to graduate school in math.
  5. (Optional) What academic or scholarly experience has been most challenging for you, and how did you handle it?
  6. (Optional) Describe any experiences in your personal history that have influenced your intellectual development, interests, career plans, and goals, such as family, educational, cultural background, economic background, prior work experience
  7. (Optional) Have you initiated or participated in activities that work to increase participation of underrepresented populations in the mathematical sciences?
  8. (Optional) Is there anything else you would like us to know about you that we should consider as part of your application?
  • GRE Scores:  This year we have changed our policy on GRE scores on a trial basis. Neither the GRE General Test nor the GRE Mathematics Subject Test are required to apply.  If you do take any of the GRE exams, you may submit your official scores.   We believe the preparation for the GRE subject test is helpful for reviewing the undergraduate material you will need to know as a TA for our program.  There are free test prep materials available on the GRE Math Subject Test Website.
  • If you choose to submit your GRE scores, you will need to arrange for ETS to electronically send the official scores directly to UW using Institution Code 4854. (Department code is not required.) In order to meet the application deadline, you need to take the tests prior to December 1. Once your application is submitted, the official scores should appear within 48 hours.
  • Letters of Recommendation: You will be asked to enter the names and contact information (affiliation, email, phone), for at least three letters of recommendation and to then activate requests for the letters of recommendation. Please ask your recommenders early enough so that they can submit their letters by December 10.
  • Application Fee: There will be a nonrefundable $85 application fee to process your application by the University of Washington Graduate School Admissions Office. The fee is paid online using a Mastercard or Visa in order for your application to be complete.  See the Graduate School’s application page for more details.   If the application fee poses financial hardship, US applicants who qualify on the basis of need can request a fee waiver from the Graduate School as part of their online application, provided the application is completed at least seven days before the Math Department’s December 10 deadline.  International applicants are not eligible for fee waivers.  Fee waiver information is also available on the Graduate School’s application page.
  • International applicants who are not native English speakers are also required to provide evidence of English proficiency in order to receive financial support.   Please see International Applicants for details regarding the English proficiency requirements for graduate admission and TA appointments.
  • TOEFL Scores: If you are required to submit TOEFL scores as an international applicant, request ETS to electronically send your official scores to the University of Washington using Institution Code 4854. (Department code is not required.) In order for your scores to arrive by the December 10 application deadline, you need to complete the tests no later than December 1.

The Mathematics Department accepts applications for Visiting Graduate Student status, but the application procedure is somewhat different; see the relevant page for more information.

If you have further questions about applying to our program, please contact us at  Thanks for your interest in our programs. 

Apply now by going to the admissions portal: Online Application Portal, make an account for yourself and follow the instructions on the application.  We do not accept paper applications or recommendation letters.