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How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in the NC State Department of Mathematics. In addition to this page, please consult our program pages, the Graduate Student Guide for Mathematics, the Graduate School Admissions Frequently Asked Questions page, and the Graduate School International Admissions Frequently Asked Questions page.

Admission semesterDeadline
Fall (for funded first round PhD offers and invitation to recruitment weekend)January 18
Fall (for funded PhD offers)March 15
Fall (international master's students) March 15
Fall (master's students and certificate students)June 1
Spring (master's students and certificate students)November 25
Summer 1 (certificate only)March 25
Summer 2 (certificate only) May 10

The Department of Mathematics accepts applications from U.S. citizens, permanent residents and international applicants. Admissions to the M.S. and Ph.D. programs are normally in the fall semester. Spring admissions are mostly for certificate candidates. Only under exceptional circumstances will applicants to the M.S. and Ph.D. programs be considered for spring admission. Summer admissions are only for certificate candidates.

Application Requirements and Submission

Online submissions

The application must be submitted online through the NC State Graduate School Online Application. The application includes contact information, previous degrees, and various supplemental documents. In addition the applicant should submit an application fee with the online application.

In exceptional circumstances of financial hardships, a limited number of application fee waivers are available to US citizens and permanent residents. Contact the director of graduate studies for questions about fee waivers.

Supplemental documents

Supplemental documents must be submitted electronically. Do not send hard copy documents to the Mathematics Department or to the Graduate School. The following supplemental documents are required.

Transcripts. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in mathematics or a closely related field. The Graduate School requires applicants to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The department does not have a minimum GPA requirement.

Applicants must upload one unofficial transcript from each college and university they have attended. Each transcript must include all courses completed and the degrees and dates awarded, if applicable. One unofficial transcript from each institution should be submitted online. If an applicant is accepted and enrolls, official transcripts will be required later.

Personal statement. A written statement describing your academic and career goals, as well as special interests in the area of mathematics, is required. The statement should not exceed two pages and should be uploaded online.

Letters of recommendation. Three letters of recommendation are required. Recommendation letters should be written by people who know the applicant’s academic record and potential for graduate study. The most relevant letters will be from professors in mathematics or a closely related field who have supervised the applicant in class or research. The applicant provides email addresses for letter writers to the application system. The letters should be submitted online by the letter writers.

GRE General Exam Scores. We are no longer requiring GRE general test or subject tests scores for admission to the PhD or masters program. Students can choose to submit GRE scores with their application if they wish.

GRE scores are recommended but not required for applicants to the certificate program. However, GREs are required of all admitted certificate students by the end of their first semester, since they play a role in advising.

English language proficiency. All non-U.S. citizen applicants (i.e., non-resident aliens and permanent residents) must demonstrate proficiency in English at a level necessary to be successful in a graduate program at NC State. This requirement can be met by providing either Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Duolingo English test scores. The test must have been taken within two years of the date of anticipated admission. The minimum scores are:

ListeningReadingWritingSpeakingTotal/band score
TOEFL18181818 for admission
23 for TA
26 for lecturing TA
IELTS6. for admission
7.0 for TA

The TOEFL, IELTS and Duolingo test will be waived if the applicant is a citizen of a country where English is an official language and the language of instruction in higher education. The test requirement will also be waived if the applicant has successfully completed at least one year of full-time study in a degree program at a four-year U.S. college or university.

Prerequisite courses

Applicants to the master’s and Ph.D. programs are expected to have had the equivalent of:

MA 405 (Introduction to Linear Algebra and Matrices, with Proofs)
MA 407 (Introduction to Modern Algebra)
MA 425–426 (Mathematical Analysis I and II).

Students who have not had the equivalent of MA 426 may make this up while in graduate school by registering for MA 591M.

In addition, a range of other undergraduate level math classes are essential for developing a strong background in mathematics to prepare you for graduate school. Relevant undergrad courses, based on your interests, might include: numerical analysis, combinatorics, topology, differential equations, mathematical modeling, biomathematics, geometry. Familiarity with mathematical software is very useful for many specialities.

Financial support and funding opportunities

All applicants are considered for financial support through departmental and university fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships. The majority of our graduate students receive some type of financial assistance. Offers of admission to the PhD program come with a guarantee of 5 years of support, assuming satisfactory progress through the graduate program.

Teaching Assistantships. The normal teaching assistantship (TA) is half-time (20 hours per week). A student supported as a TA typically takes nine hours of graduate coursework and teaches one course or two-four recitation sessions each semester. Until TAs have 18 hours of graduate course credit and receive additional training, their duties consist of assisting in labs, holding recitation sections and assisting faculty.

Research Assistantships. A student research assistant (RA) is paid to work on a research project with a faculty member. RAs normally take a nine-hour course load. In most cases, their project is directly related to their thesis work. Research assistantships are paid from individual faculty research grants. RAs are paid at least the rate for half-time TAs and often more. Many students move from TAs to RAs as they progress through the program and choose advisors and research topics.

Internships. Some students become involved in research projects that involve spending some time, usually during the summer, at a company or research institute. During this period they may be paid as an RA or as an intern. The salary of an intern is determined by the host institution.

Fellowships. A fellowship provides support to the student without required duties. Fellowships range from supplemental ones, which supplement the pay of a TA or RA, to fellowships that pay $22,000–34,000 a year. Some students arrive with fellowships previously awarded, while others apply after they are at NC State. Many fellowships are awarded every year; the numbers, types, application dates, and amounts vary greatly. Announcements will be emailed to all graduate students when each fellowship begins receiving applications.

Financial Aid. TAs, RAs and most fellowships are based on merit, not on need. There is some need-based support through the Graduate School. All supported and partially supported graduate students receive free health insurance and free tuition but must pay student fees. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are required to make a good-faith effort to obtain North Carolina residency for tuition purposes by the start of their second year at NC State.