In light of the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stanford Math Department reaffirms our commitment to perform individualized, holistic review of each applicant to our graduate program. We recognize that students may have faced significant challenges during the period of disruption caused by the pandemic, and we will take such individual circumstances into account during application review. Importantly, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Credit/No Credit and other grading options during this unprecedented period of COVID-19 disruption, whether they are made by institutions or by individual students. Our goal remains to form graduate student cohorts that are excellent and encompass a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds and experiences that enrich the graduate educational experience.
Please note: The GRE Mathematics Subject Test Score is not required for applicants to Autumn 2021.
- The application deadline for admission to Autumn 2021 is Tuesday, December 8, 2020, 11:59PM Pacific Time.
- Applications are not accepted after the deadline.
- Applications are accepted for admission to the Autumn quarter only.
- The application for Autumn 2021 will open in September 2020.
Applications are accepted to the PhD program only. The department does not offer admission to a Master’s degree program to applicants from outside Stanford or current Stanford graduate students.
For current Stanford undergraduate students only: The department accepts applications to the Coterminal Master’s degree program. Please see the Coterminal Master’s Degree page for more information.
Steps for Applying
2.) Review the information and instructions on the University Graduate Admissions website.
3.) Submit your application online. Make sure you have all required material.
The link to the online application is on the University Graduate Admissions website.
Items which must be included in your online application:
- Statement of Purpose (document uploaded to online application)
- Soft copy of transcripts/academic records (document(s) uploaded to online application)
- Names and contact information of your recommenders; minimum of 3, maximum of 6 (Your recommenders will receive an email with instructions for submitting their letters online.) Ask your recommenders to submit their letters by the application deadline.
- TOEFL Scores (self-reported)
- This is required of applicants whose first language is not English. If your first language is not English, you may be eligible for an exemption. Check the Required Exams page on the University Graduate Admissions website for more information.
- Application Fee or Fee Waiver
Items to NOT include:
- GRE General Test Scores
- GRE Mathematics Subject Test Score (Not required for applicants to Autumn 2021)
- Please do not upload your research paper(s) to the online application. Instead, please ensure that you have a letter of recommendation that addresses your paper(s), and/or provide a short description of the paper in your statement of purpose. You may also include a link to your paper(s) in your statement of purpose if you would like.
4.) Arrange for your official transcripts/academic records from each institution listed in your online application to be sent by the institution(s) to the Department of Mathematics.
See the University Graduate Admissions page about Transcripts (Academic Records) for full details and requirements.
- Electronic Delivery: The use of secure electronically-delivered transcripts that are pass code protected is necessary. Please check with the registrar’s office of your institution to see if they provide secure electronic certified transcript service. Transcripts sent as email attachments are not accepted. Use the email address email@example.com for electronic delivery.
- CollegeNET Document Service: Applicants from international institutions are encouraged to use the CollegeNET Document Service within the online application to request and submit authenticated transcript(s) and other academic documents.
- Have your institution(s) mail 2 hard copies of your official transcripts/academic records to the following address:
Department of Mathematics
450 Jane Stanford Way, Building 380
Stanford, CA 94305-2125
5.) Have ETS send your official test scores to Stanford University. (TOEFL only)
- Stanford’s ETS institutional code is 4704.
- A department code is not necessary, but it is fine if you gave ETS a department code in addition to the institutional code.
6.) Check the status of required application materials at the Application Activity Status Page on the University Graduate Admissions website.
Application Activity Status Page on the University Graduate Admissions website. (The link is on the left side of the page, the first item in the Quick Links box under the Apply Now button.)
- Please do not contact the department to see if your application materials are complete, please use the Application Activity Status Page.
- See the Application Status Questions below for instructions if any materials you have sent are not marked as received on the Application Activity Status Page.
Students in the PhD program who make satisfactory progress are fully funded for five years. Funding sources include department fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships.
In addition, applicants are encouraged to apply for fellowships outside the department. See below for some of the opportunities available, including some of the fellowships received by our students in recent years.
Knight-Hennessy Scholars is designed to build a multidisciplinary community of Stanford graduate students dedicated to finding creative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. The program awards up to 100 high-achieving students every year with full funding to pursue a graduate education at Stanford, including the PhD in Mathematics. To be considered, you must apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars by October 10, 2019, 1:00pm Pacific Time, and separately apply to the Mathematics department by our application deadline noted above.
China Scholarship Council-Stanford-AZ Fund Fellowship
Doctoral applicants from China are also encouraged to apply for a China Scholarship Council-Stanford-AZ Fund Fellowship following their admission to the PhD program in Mathematics. This Fellowship provides five years of financial support, round-trip international airfare, and visa application fees to selected students. To be considered, applicants must first be admitted to the Mathematics PhD program and then apply to the China Scholarship Council.
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship
The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships are awarded to applicants who will pursue a doctoral degree in, or closely related to, an area of DoD interest within fifteen disciplines including mathematics.
Hertz Graduate Fellowship Award
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Scholarships
Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies
Does the Math Department offer a Master’s Degree?
We do not offer a Master’s Degree to non-matriculated students. For outside (non-Stanford) applicants, the Mathematics Department offers admission to the PhD program only. A list of all graduate programs at Stanford can be found here: https://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/programs
What fields of mathematics can students study in the PhD program?
How many years of study is the PhD program?
If admitted to the PhD program, will I receive financial aid?
All admitted PhD students who make satisfactory progress are fully funded for five years. Funding sources include department fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships.
In addition, applicants are encouraged to apply for fellowships outside the department. See the Fellowships Opportunitiessection above for some of the opportunities available, including some of the fellowships received by our students in recent years.
I missed the application deadline. Can I still apply?
No, we do not accept late applications.
Who will review my application?
A committee of several math faculty members reads the files. The composition of the committee varies each year.
What do you look for in an application?
By and large, we like to see that you are eager to learn and can handle difficult mathematics. In most cases, this is evidenced by taking and doing well in advanced math courses (admitted students usually have close to perfect GPAs in math courses), as well as having close interaction with faculty who can testify to this.
If you are applying from a school from which we rarely get applicants, it is helpful if some of your recommenders can compare you to others who have gone on to comparable math graduate schools.
Do I need to have gone to an REU? Do I need research experience?
Although you’re certainly welcome to include letters from faculty mentors about research experience, we don’t expect you to have such experience or to have attended an REU.
Should I upload my research paper(s) to my application?
No. Unfortunately we simply don’t have the time that would be needed to look at research papers in any detail. Instead, please ensure that you have a letter of recommendation that addresses your paper(s). If you wish, include a weblink to the paper(s) in your statement of purpose.
I have an unconventional background, should I apply?
Although we do not formally require a math major, we do expect you to have a math background that is comparable to it. In such cases, please explain your experience carefully in your statement of purpose.
Do I need to have a Master’s Degree to apply for the PhD program?
Do letters of recommendation and official transcripts need to be received by the application deadline?
Should I send an updated transcript when my Fall grades are posted?
No. Your application will be reviewed with the transcripts you uploaded to the online application. We are not able to update the transcripts of applicants.
Are students admitted in the Winter and Spring quarters?
No. Students are admitted into the PhD program for Autumn quarter only.
ETS Exam and Score Questions
What Subject GRE score do I need?
We do not have a cutoff. Most admitted applicants have a GRE Mathematics subject score of above 800.
I missed the Subject GRE test date. Can I still apply?
No. GRE Mathematics Subject scores are required of all applicants. There are no exceptions. General GRE scores are optional and you may apply with or without them.
Do I need to take the TOEFL?
What TOEFL scores do I need to be eligible to apply?
How do I submit official test scores?
Official scores must be reported directly to Stanford from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Stanford’s ETS institutional code is 4704. A department code is not necessary, but it is fine if you gave ETS a department code in addition to the institutional code.
How do I know when my GRE and/or TOEFL scores will arrive at Stanford?
Is it okay if my Subject GRE or TOEFL scores arrive after the application deadline?
You must have taken the exams before the application deadline. Ideally you will be able to provide your self-reported scores on the application before you submit it. If you do not know your scores before the application deadline, you can indicate your test date on the application and answer “No” for “I have complete score information.” You will then need to send your self-reported scores to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you know them so that they can be added to your application.
It is OK if the official scores arrive after the application deadline. For the GRE Mathematics Subject test you must take it by the October test date. For the GRE General test or TOEFL test you should allow two weeks from your test date for the official scores to arrive at Stanford.
If I applied to the PhD program last year do I still need to have ETS send official GRE scores?
Yes. You must submit a complete application and application materials each time you apply to the PhD program. This includes letters of recommendation, test scores, and transcripts.
Application Status Questions
I sent hard copies of my official transcripts to the department but they show as unofficial on the Applicant Status Page. What should I do?
Official transcripts are sorted and marked as complete on the Applicant Status Page AFTER the application deadline. This process takes several days to complete. If we have not received your official transcripts after we have completed this process we will contact you. Please do not contact the department to see if your official transcripts have been received, check the Applicant Status Page (see step 6 above).
I had ETS send my official GRE and/or TOEFL scores to Stanford but they show as unofficial on the Applicant Status Page. What should I do?
Official scores are sent electronically to Stanford and matched to applicants’ records around once per week. If any identifying information on your ETS score report is different from your online application, your scores may not be matched to your record. As long as you self-reported your scores on your application, those can be used for the initial review. If we have not received your official scores by mid-December we will contact you. Please do not contact the department to see if your official scores have been received, check the Applicant Status Page (see step 6 above).
Admission Decision Questions
When are admission decisions made?
Admission decisions are made between late January to mid-February.
How will I be notified of my admission decision?
We will notify all applicants via email as soon as decisions have been made. Please do not contact the department to see if a decision has been made unless you haven’t heard by the end of February.