Graduate Mathematics Application Instructions
This page includes information for applying to admission and financial aid to the graduate programs of the Mathematics department. These are line-by-line instructions for the University of Utah’s online application system. The link to the online application system is at the bottom of this page.
Refer to our list of Frequently Asked Questions about the PhD program and the application process.
Questions about your background can be sent to Tom Alberts, Chair of the Graduate Recruitment Committee.
General questions about the application process should be sent to Paula Tooman, Graduate Program Coordinator.
Personal Background Section
These questions, which are required by university admissions, should be self-explanatory. We will send any communications directly to the e-mail address that you list here.
Additional Personal Information
These questions, which are required by university admissions, should be self-explanatory. Note that these questions are also required and set by university admissions.
On the dropdown list all of our programs are listed with the heading “Mathematics”. They are
- Mathematics Master of Arts
- Mathematics Master of Science
- Mathematics Master of Statistics
- Mathematics PHD
- Mathematics Teaching MS
You may only select one option. Note that:
- The Master of Arts degree and the Master of Science degree are identical except that the M.A. degree requires additional language proficiency. For more information see the graduate information page and click on the appropriate dropdown.
- The Master of Statistics degree has different requirements than the Master of Science degree. See the graduate information page or the university wide MStat page for more information.
- Requirements for the PHD degree can be found on the graduate information page and by clicking on the appropriate dropdown. The PHD program only accepts applications for the Fall term of the upcoming academic year.
- The Mathematics Teaching MS does not accept applications every year. Before applying check with the department to see if applications are currently being accepted.
Residency for Tuition Purposes
These questions, which are required by university admissions, should be self-explanatory.
Submit transcripts for all previously attended colleges and universities. For international applicants the admissions office has this page on acceptable documents.
College of Science
The questions you are asked in this section depend on the program you are applying for. The intent is to help our faculty get a better sense of what parts of mathematics you are most interested in studying.
Note that we do not consider the answers you give here to be firm commitments to a particular course of study. Students are free to change their research interests at any time.
PhD, Masters of Arts, and Masters of Science Programs
- Please tell us whether you are more inclined to study pure mathematics or applied mathematics. We typically group our research interests as either “applied” or “pure” by the following scheme:
|Applied Mathematics||Algebraic Geometry|
|Data Science and Machine Learning||Commutative Algebra|
|Materials and Fluids||Ergodic Theory|
|Numerical Analysis||Number Theory|
|Optimization and Inversion||Representation Theory|
|Partial Differential Equations|
- Some fields, specifically PDE and probability, often straddle both pure and applied.
- Choose up to three research interests that most align with your own research interests. We use your answers to help direct applications to various faculty members to review. For more detail on the department’s research interests you may refer to our list of research groups and the links therein.
- If you are primarily interested in Mathematical Biology please choose that option instead of Applied Mathematics. In our department “Applied Mathematics” means applications distinct from Mathematical Biology.
- List the names of any faculty members who you may be interested in as a potential supervisor. You may find our list of faculty research specialties to be useful in coming up with ideas. Typically only faculty listed as Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, or Professors are able to supervise students. Please use the format of First Name Last Name, … for listing potential supervisor names, this helps us direct the application to the given faculty member. An example of the correct format is
Aaron Bertram, Andrej Cherkaev, Firas Rassoul-Agha
- It is helpful if you include a list of all the mathematically related courses you have taken, along with a short description of the syllabus or textbook used in the course. This provides us with more information than is typically found on a transcript. Here is a sample document that you can use as a template.
Masters of Statistics Program
Applicants to the MStat program are asked a much narrower set of questions to gauge their specific interests.
- International students are required to submit their English-language proficiency scores in this section. See the Admissions Office website on English proficiency requirements for more information.
- GRE general scores are not strictly required for the application. You may submit unofficial scores if you wish.
- GRE Mathematics subject scores are not strictly required for the application. You may submit unofficial scores if you wish. Omission of the GRE test score will not negatively affect your application.
Under the Additional Materials section you are asked to submit a personal statement/statement of purpose. We evaluate these statements very carefully, and a well crafted statement is the best thing
Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose
We ask that you upload a Statement of Purpose in which you describe your educational and career objectives. We are more interested in hearing about your current interests in mathematics and why Utah is a good fit, rather than a lengthy description of why you decided to study mathematics. We especially like to read about:
- any undergraduate (or graduate) research experiences/activities that you may have participated in
- any prior roles as a teaching assistant or mathematics tutor
- any prior participation in activities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
- any circumstances which, in recent years, may have negatively affected your transcript
- which research group in our department you may be interested in joining
- any particular faculty member that you may want to work with
- if you are interested in participating in our Applied Math RTG (note funding from RTG grants is only open to US citizens and permanent residents)
- any of our current graduate student activities that you may be interested in participating in, like the Graduate Student Advisory Council, our chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics, or our chapter of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics
- any career ideas that you may have for your life after graduate school
We understand that any statements about future research and career plans are only tentative, and we do not view them as ironclad commitments. In particular, you are certainly allowed to change your research focus after joining our program.
This can be in any format but it is certainly advantageous if it is well organized and easily readable. This is a good place to list
- awards or fellowships you may have previously won
- prior research experiences or publications
- projects or theses you have completed, with the title and a brief summary of the contents
- previous conferences or workshops attended
- prior teaching, mentoring, or tutoring experience
- software or programming skills
- language skills
These are only a list of suggestions. We do not expect applicants to have all of the above experiences.
Additional Financial Materials/Fee Waiver Code
A small number of fee waivers are available for applications to the PhD program, especially for applicants interested in joining one of our NSF sponsored Research Training Groups. Preference is given to US citizens and permanent residents, and occasionally to students currently studying in the United States on F-1 or J-1 visas. Fee waivers for international students cannot be granted. To apply for a fee waiver please send an e-mail to Ms. Paula Tooman at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Application Fee Waiver.
Applications that make use of a fee waiver code without meeting the above criteria will be automatically rejected.
Our programs require three letters of recommendation submitted on behalf of the candidate. Enter their names and email addresses and the application system will provide the letter writer with a link at which to upload the letter. The most valuable letters are from professors of your advanced mathematics classes and mentors of research projects.
If there are any extenuating circumstances that make your application atypical it is helpful to ask your recommenders to also address these.