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Graduate Applications and Admissions

Please read all the information below before applying. When you are ready to apply you can go directly to the Apply Online web site.

General Information

  1. Prerequisites for admission
  2. Application forms and application materials
  3. Application fee
  4. The admission process
  5. Admission as a provisional student
  6. Deadlines (both for the fall and spring semesters)
  7. Financial support
  8. Scholarship opportunities

Additional Information for International Students

  1. GPA for international students with a different grade system
  2. English language requirements
  3. Visas
  4. Housing, health insurance, introductory orientation, and other links

General Information

  1. Prerequisites for admission

    The prerequisites for admission to the graduate program in mathematics at KU are an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a program of study in mathematics and a record of achievements that shows strong promise of success in graduate school. In particular, a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in undergraduate studies and a 3.0 GPA in mathematics are required for admission. A prospective student should have taken courses in mathematics at the undergraduate level in abstract algebra, linear algebra, and advanced calculus or introduction to analysis. Such courses should be comparable to our undergraduate courses numbered 500558, and 590. It is also very beneficial to have some preparation in probability/statistics or numerical analysis (like our courses 627/628 and 581. Although not required, we also recommend that you take introductory courses in complex analysis, differential equations, and/or topology (comparable, for example, to our courses numbered 646 and 647).

    The department requires the general GRE exam for all incoming students. The test is also used by the Graduate School and other university units in evaluating students for certain very competitive internal fellowships. (See the page about Fellowships on this site.) The Department does not require the Mathematics Subject GRE. However, you may submit your score if you wish.

    In addition, international students need to fulfill the English language requirements described below.

  2. Application forms and application materials

    All applications should be submitted online. There is additional information for prospective students on the Graduate School website; we suggest you read this before applying.

    The following required materials must be submitted online:

    • Transcript from each college or university the applicant has attended. (An official transcript will need to be sent upon acceptance and completion of degree.),
    • Applicant's résumé/curriculum vitae,
    • A list of the authors and titles of textbooks used in the applicant's mathematics courses beyond calculus,
    • A statement of purpose indicating the applicant's mathematical preferences and interests, and
    • Three letters of recommendation, submitted directly by the recommenders.


    Admissions Director of Graduate Studies
    Department of Mathematics
    University of Kansas
    405 Snow Hall
    1460 Jayhawk Blvd.
    Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7594
  3. Application fee

    For domestic students, the fee is $65. For international students, the fee is $85. Unfortunately this fee cannot be waived.

  4. Admission process

    In general, graduate students are admitted in the fall semester. Our program and course sequences are designed with that in mind. The Graduate Committee of the Department of Mathematics evaluates the candidates and makes recommendations to the Graduate School regarding admission. The number of students admitted into the program changes from year to year and admissions are made on a competitive basis. We consider candidates only after all application materials have been received.

    There are no additional application forms for financial support; students are considered for support based on merit.

    Most students accepted to the program receive an offer of financial support as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA). Nevertheless, the number of GTA positions available is limited and sometimes we cannot offer GTAs to all the students we admit.

    Although the admission process continues until the deadlines stated below we start making GTA offers by early February.

    Students with extremely strong mathematics background may be admitted in the spring semester. The admission procedure is otherwise the same as for the fall semester. It is much more difficult to get a GTA in the spring semester, since most are awarded in the fall.

  5. Admission as a provisional student

    Rarely, students with promising academic records who have not completed a full undergraduate mathematics major may be admitted provisionally. Provisional students are given a semester to make up courses, after which their status may be changed from "provisional" to "regular" at the discretion of the Graduate Committee.

    Provisional graduate students are not eligible for financial support from the Department of Mathematics. In addition, provisional admission is not available for international students seeking F-1 visa status.

  6. Deadlines for applications

    For Spring 2021 applications, all materials should be received by October 15, 2020.  

    For Fall 2021 applications, all materials should be received by January 31, 2021 to ensure full consideration for admission and financial support. 

    Certain competitive university fellowships, such as the Self Graduate Fellowship (SGF), have earlier deadlines. The Graduate Committee selects SGF nominees based on applications received by December 31, 2020.  

    All fall semester admissions decisions for international students will be made by May 1, 2021 (to allow time to process visa applications). Domestic students who wish to apply for fall admission after May 1 should first consult the Graduate Admissions Director.

  7. Financial support

    Most Ph.D. students are awarded graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs). These are half-time positions (20 hours/week). Most GTAs teach calculus; some teach pre-calculus. A GTA position includes tuition and fees, and an initial nine-month salary of about $18,371. International students must meet additional English language requirements to qualify for GTA positions; see below.

    Students who have passed the Ph.D. qualifying exams will normally receive additional summer fellowships. Other graduate students in good academic standing may be able to teach in the summer.

    The Department ordinarily does not award GTA positions to students in the M.A. program.

    Graduate research assistantships (GRAs) are very limited and usually attached to externally funded research projects of faculty members in the department. GRAs are generally awarded to Ph.D. candidates who are ready to be involved in research work.

    The following links provide additional information about GTA positions, benefits, and resources:

  8. Scholarship opportunities

    The Department and University offer several additional opportunities for financial support for PhD students.

    The Self Graduate Fellowship supports exceptional Ph.D. students in a number of areas, including mathematics, who demonstrate the promise to make significant contributions to their fields of study and society as a whole. Departments nominate applicants who have a record of academic excellence and who fit the Self Graduate Fellow Profile. Self Graduate Fellows receive a stipend of $30,500 per year for four years and participate in the distinctive Fellow Development Program. The program is limited to US citizens.

    In addition, the Department will award one Dean's Doctoral Fellowship and one University Graduate Fellowship to two outstanding doctoral students starting in Fall 2018. These are five-year fellowships that combine GRA and GTA appointments. Both fellowships include GRA appointments for the first year, and the Dean's Fellowship includes in addition a GRA appointment for the fifth year. The University Graduate Fellowship is designated for a first-year student from an underrepresented minority within mathematics (including women, first-generation college students, or students of Native American, African-American, or Latino/a heritage).

Additional Information for International Students

  1.  GPA for international students with a different grade system

    If you are an international student from a country with a grade/point system different from the one used in the US, we will do our best to interpret the grades in your transcripts in the context of your country. In this regard, it will help us if some of your letters of recommendations are from individuals who are familiar with the grade systems in both the US and your country, and if they address this issue in their letters. Roughly, you can translate your grades to the 0-4 point system according to the following conversion table:

A grade that represents a score of --- should be converted into
90% or more   4 points
80% or more but less than 90%   3 points
70% or more but less than 80%   2 points
60% or more but less than 70%   1 point
less than 60%   0 points

For additional information, please contact:

Admission Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Mathematics
University of Kansas
1460 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7523

E-mail: mathadmit@ku.edu
Phone: (785) 864-3651
Fax: (785) 864-5255
  1. English language requirements

    The University of Kansas requires proof of English proficiency for all international students and domestic non-native English speakers. These requirements cannot be waived under any circumstances.

    The following are acceptable means for verifying English proficiency for purposes of admitting international students and domestic non-native English speakers:

    • Graduation with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited English-medium U.S. college or university or a college or university in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, English-speaking province of Canada, or an English-speaking Caribbean country, with instruction conducted in English. Degrees earned online may not be used to verify English proficiency.
    • Receipt of an official copy (not student's copy) of an applicant's English proficiency standardized test scores (e.g., TOEFL or IELTS) achieved not more than two years prior to the semester of first enrollment.

    In addition, international students and domestic non-native English speakers must meet separate spoken English requirements to be eligible for appointment as a graduate teaching assistant (GTA).

    The minimum required scores are determined by the Graduate School and may be found here.

    All standardized test scores should be sent directly to KU, using Institutional code 6871 and Department code 0703. We cannot accept scores sent directly by applicants.

  2. Visas

    Once we have your completed (satisfactory) application, including your TOEFL or IELTS scores, and a recommendation for admission as student is made, the department will determine whether we can also offer you a GTA position. If so, the University will then mail you a letter confirming your admission to graduate study, and the Mathematics Department will send you separately an I-20 (immigration) form confirming your GTA appointment and your ability to support yourself financially in the United States.

    If the Mathematics Department cannot offer you a GTA position, and you still want to come, you must provide proof (in the form of certified bank statements) of your ability to support yourself financially for a full year in order to obtain an I-20 form.

    Once you receive your I-20, contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate to apply for the visa and to arrange an interview. In most cases, you will be granted an F-1 visa at the interview. If something goes wrong, get in touch with us immediately and we will try to help.

    The University of Kansas does not have any restrictions on the number of students who can be admitted from any particular country

  3.  Housing, health insurance, introductory orientation, etc...

    You can either live on or off campus. For first year international students, it is probably easier to live on campus. Check the Department of Student Housing web site.

    Information about health insurance can be found at http://iss.ku.edu/mandatory-health-insurance.

    International Student Services (ISS) maintains a comprehensive web site. You will find therein further instructions about the different types of visas and other matters of interest to international students.

    International Student Services runs a mandatory 5-day orientation session before classes start in the fall. Please see the ISS Orientation page for dates and to register. This is an excellent way to become familiar with how things work in the US.

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