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Prospective Students- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When should I apply?

We admit our new students for the Fall semester.  For full consideration for assistantships, applications should be received by January 1.

Do you ever admit students in Spring or Summer?

We rarely admit a student for Spring semester, but there are cases when support money becomes available. Decisions on Spring admissions are made in November. We don't admit students for Summer (but occasionally, a student admitted for Fall may begin in Summer to get a "head start").  If in doubt, please email us at

Do I need to send additional materials with my application, and where?

Along with your online application to the UGA Graduate School, you need to submit (or have submitted on your behalf) the following:

  • 1 unofficial copy of your transcript/academic record from each institution you have attended (upload with application)
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores, if required, sent directly to the Graduate School by ETS
  • 3 letters of recommendation, submitted electronically via the link provided to the recommenders by the Graduate School when you completed your online application
  • Personal statement, submitted with your online application or emailed to the Mathematics Department. Please be sure your name is on your personal statement
  • Department Supplemental Application / Background and Interest Form (must be submitted on line)
  • List of college math courses, textbook used (if known), grades received, and overall math GPA submitted with applicaiton or emailed to the Mathematics Department; see instructions.
  • Area of mathematics you are interested in studying (if known), and professors you are interested in working with or being contacted by (if any). Please include at the top of your Math Course List.
What is your ETS institutional Code (for sending GRE & TOEFL scores)

UGA Code is 5813

Do I need to take the GRE?

No, we don't require any part of the GRE

What are your minimum required TOEFL scores?

The Graduate School requires, for International TA's who are required to submit TOEFL scores to enter UGA (generally, those whose native language is not English and who have not received a degree from an institution in a country where English is the primary language), a minimum internet-based TOEFL (iBT) score of 80, with at least 20 on each of the Speaking and Writing sections. If submitting the IELTS: a minimum overall band-width of 6.5, with no single band (score) below 6.0.

Moreover, as per UGA Policy for Teaching Assistants, you must demonstrate a higher level of language proficiency in order to be eligible for an assistantship. The minimal requirements is a 23 on the speaking portion of the TOEFL (or 7.0 on the iELTS) plus assignment level 3 after placement exam), but ideally a score of at least a 26 on the speaking portion of the TOEFL (or 8.0 on the iELTS). More details can be found on on the UGA Center for Teaching and Learning TA Policy webpage.

How long are TOEFL scores valid?

TOEFL scores are accepted provided the exam has been taken within two years prior to the date of your application to the Graduate School. Applicants who have taken the older TOEFL tests are strongly encouraged to take the iBT, which is now offered world-wide. The iBT is offered infrequently in Athens, GA, and space is very limited for the test. The Mathematics Department and the Graduate School use the iBT scores to place international students in the correct level of English language skills/cultural orientation course when they arrive at UGA.

What should I write in my personal statement?

Your personal statement could say why you want to go to graduate school in mathematics and why UGA in particular, what area of mathematics you're interested in and why, what your career goals are, what math courses you have liked in the past, what research groups (if any) you have participated in, etc.

What percentage of your graduate students receive financial support?

All of our PhD candidates receive financial support. In recent years we have only been able to support a small number of Masters (including MAMS) students. Most of this support is in the form of Teaching Assistantships

What are the duties of a Teaching Assistant (TA)?

A typical first-year TA would do some combination of undergraduate grading and study hall. Second year TAs typically teach their own section of precalculus, combined with some grading and/or study hall. Later on, TAs usually teach their own calculus class.

Does my undergraduate degree need to be in Mathematics?

Not necessarily a bachelor’s degree in math but a math-heavy field, and we'd like to see courses on multi-variable calculus, linear algebra, etc. in a closely-related field (such as physics).

What math courses should I have taken?

A MAMS applicant should have had courses at least in multi-variable calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations; additional courses like advanced calculus or numerical analysis would be helpful. MA and PhD applicants should have taken courses roughly equivalent to a Mathematics undergraduate degree at University of Georgia, including at least two of abstract algebra, real analysis, and topology

Do I need to take the English proficiency exam requirement?
Do we admit Masters Applicants?

We welcome applications from those interested in pursuing a Masters degree, but please keep in mind that we generally cannot fund a Masters student with a Teaching Assistantship.  If you are considering self-funding, please let us know by emailing

What are we looking for in an applicant?

We look at the application as a whole, so this includes which math courses you've taken, which textbooks are used in those courses, grades earned in those courses, along with your Personal Statement, CV, and letters of recommendation which may highlight aspects of that coursework as well as activities beyond coursework.

Do I need to get an advisor before applying to the program?

We do not admit students to work with a specific professor, but instead we admit students to the entire PhD program and, after they have been here a few years usually, they choose an advisor.

Can I get an application fee waiver?

Our department doesn’t offer an application fee waiver.  The Graduate Office accepts waivers from a list (please see the following link

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