Stanford University

Graduate Admissions

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.

Application Information

  • Deadline: 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.
  • 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.
  • Click here to start your application but first read the Steps for Applying section below.

Contact Information

  • Before contacting the department, read the information on this page, including the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page. 
  • Before contacting the department, read the information on the University Graduate Admissions website.
  • Please do not contact the department to see if your application materials are complete, please use the Application Activity Status Page (see instructions on the Current Applicant Information page).
  • Only if your question is not answered on this page or the pages mentioned above, please send an email to: mathgradadmissions@stanford.edu.

Steps for Applying

  1. Review all information and instructions on this page. Read through the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page.
  2. Review the information and instructions on the University Graduate Admissions website.
  3. Submit your application online. Make sure you have all required items listed below.
    The link to the online application is on the University Graduate Admissions website.
  4. Have ETS send your official test scores to Stanford University. (For applicants to Autumn 2021 this would only be the TOEFL if applicable.)

Required Items:

  • Statement of Purpose (uploaded to online application)

  • Soft copy of transcripts/academic records (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 after you enter and save their information in the application. The admissions committee will start their review shortly after the deadline so ask your recommenders to submit their letters by the application deadline so they will be included in the review. 
  • TOEFL Scores (Only if applicable)
  • Application Fee or Fee Waiver

Items that are NOT required:

  • GRE General Test Scores (No longer required as part of the application)
  • GRE Mathematics Subject Test Score (Not required for applicants to Autumn 2021)
  • Official transcripts (If you are offered admission to Stanford and accept the offer, you will be required to submit official transcripts at that time.)
  • Please do not upload research papers to the online application. Instead, please ensure that you have a letter of recommendation that addresses your papers, and/or provide a short description of the paper in your statement of purpose. You may also include a link to your papers in your statement of purpose if you would like.

Fellowship Opportunities

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 14, 2020, 1:00 PM Pacific Time, and separately apply to the Mathematics department by our application deadline noted above.

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.

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.

The Hertz Graduate Fellowship Award supports graduate students working towards the Ph.D. degree in the applied physical, biological and engineering sciences including mathematics.

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 (NSERC) Scholarships provide financial support for studies in a master’s or doctoral program.

The Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) provides scholarships and grants for students and researchers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Program Questions

For 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

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.

Both pure and applied mathematics can be studied. There is no separate applied mathematics program. See the Research Areas page for information about areas of faculty research.

Five years is the typical amount of time it takes to complete the program. See the PhD Program page for the timeline of progression through the degree.

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 Opportunities section above for some of the opportunities available, including some of the fellowships received by our students in recent years.

Application Questions 

No, we do not accept late applications.

A committee of several math faculty members reads the files. The composition of the committee varies each year.

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.

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.

Unfortunately the admissions committee doesn'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.

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.

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold before enrollment at Stanford, a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association. 

Applicants from institutions outside the U.S. must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing. See minimum level of study required of International applicants.

Yes. The committee begins reviewing applications shortly after the application deadline so it's important to have all materials submitted by the deadline, including letters of recommendation. 

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.

No. Students are admitted into the PhD program for Autumn quarter only.

ETS Exam and Score Questions

Please note: The GRE Mathematics Subject Test is not required for applicants to Autumn 2021. The GRE General Test is not a required application item. 

The GRE Mathematics Subject Test Score is not required for applicants to Autumn 2021. 

For applicants to future years: We do not have a cutoff. Most admitted applicants have a GRE Mathematics subject score of above 800.

Yes, for applicants to Autumn 2021 the GRE Mathematics Subject Test Score is not required. 

For applicants to future years: GRE Mathematics Subject scores are required of all applicants. There are no exceptions.

General GRE scores are not required. 

The TOEFL requirement is set by the University and is required for applicants whose first language is not English unless they qualify for an exemption or a waiver of the requirement. Please see the University Graduate Admissions Required Exams page for information about whether you need to submit TOEFL scores or qualify for an exemption or waiver.

For complete TOEFL requirements please see the University Graduate Admissions Required Exams page.

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.

Please see the ETS (Educational Testing Service) website (www.ets.org) for scoring information.

The GRE Mathematics Subject Test Score is not required for applicants to Autumn 2021. 

You must have taken the exam 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 mathgradadmissions@stanford.edu 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 TOEFL test you should allow two weeks from your test date for the official scores to arrive at Stanford.

The GRE Mathematics Subject Test Score is not required for applicants to Autumn 2021. 

For applicants to future years: 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

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 will be used for the admissions committee's review and it will not adversely affect the review. Please do not contact the department to see if your official scores have been received.

Admission Decision Questions

Admission decisions are made between late January to late February.

We will notify all applicants via email once decisions have been made. Please do not contact the department to see if a decision has been made unless you haven’t heard by early March.