Why study mathematics?

Because mathematics is a framework upon which humanity builds an understanding of the world.

Preparation for Graduate Study

Students who plan to attend graduate school in the mathematical sciences should speak to an advisor about the best preparation, depending on their goals. Students planning to enter a general mathematics graduate program are encouraged to take MATH 765MATH 766MATH 790 and MATH 791 .

Graduate Programs

The department offers a graduate program leading to both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. A broad range of programs is possible in algebra, analysis, combinatorics, control theory, dynamical systems, geometry, numerical analysis, probability, statistics, partial differential equations, set theory, and topology.

The Department of Mathematics has a long tradition of excellence. The first Ph.D. granted at KU was in mathematics in the year 1895. Since then, the graduate program has been a central part of the department’s research and teaching mission and an important component of its long-term planning. The department’s commitment to graduate education has boosted its recent growth in size and enhanced its reputation. Prospective students are encouraged to read additional information online.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admission

The minimum prerequisites for admission 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. A 3.0 cumulative grade-point average in undergraduate studies and a 3.0 grade-point average 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 KU courses numbered MATH 500, MATH 558, and MATH 590. It is also beneficial to students if they have minimum preparation in probability/statistics or numerical analysis (like KU courses MATH 627/MATH 628 and/or MATH 581). We also recommend that you take introductory courses in complex analysis, differential equations, and/or topology before considering graduate work in mathematics at KU (see for example KU courses numbered MATH 646 and MATH 647).

The department requires the general Graduate Record Examination for all incoming students. International students whose native language is not English also must fulfill English language requirements specified by university policies.

Applicants must submit a graduate application online. In addition the following required materials must be submitted online:

  • Transcript from each college or university the applicant has attended (an official transcript must be sent upon acceptance and completion of degree),
  • Applicant’s résumé/curriculum vitae,
  • A list of the textbooks used in the mathematics courses beyond the calculus level that the applicant has taken,
  • A statement of purpose indicating the applicant’s mathematical preferences and interests, and
  • 3 letters of reference.

Official GRE scores and official Test of English as a Foreign Language scores must be sent to the department.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. The minimum admission requirements do not guarantee admission. The graduate committee of the Department of Mathematics evaluates candidates and makes recommendations to the Office of Graduate Studies regarding admission. The number of students admitted to the program changes from year to year, and admissions are competitive based on all application materials.

There are no additional application forms for financial support. Students are considered for support based on merit. Most of the students accepted by the program receive an offer of financial support in the form of a Graduate Teaching Assistantship. The number of GTAs available is limited. Further information about applications and admission is available online.

Contact the department:

The University of Kansas
Department of Mathematics
Graduate Admissions Director
Snow Hall
1460 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 405
Lawrence, KS 66045-7514

admissions@math.ku.edu

The M.A. program is flexible and accommodates the different interests and backgrounds of students. Some of the courses required for the M.A. are common to the Ph.D. tracks, and we encourage students interested in an M.A. to take advanced Ph.D. classes among their selective course work. Many Ph.D. students earn an M.A. on the way to the doctoral degree. They have the option to do so after completing the qualifying examinations.A candidate for the M.A. must fulfill general requirements. At least 30 hours of appropriate graduate credit must be earned with at least a B average, and a research component must be included in the candidate’s program. Usually the research component is fulfilled by writing a thesis or by completing appropriate seminars, independent research, or advanced graduate courses. In addition, a candidate must complete one of these options:

Option 1

Pass the departmental Ph.D. written qualifying examinations and complete 30 hours of courses at the 700 level or higher, of which 12 hours are at the 800 level or higher.

Option 2

Complete the following courses and pass an oral examination:

MATH 800Complex Analysis I3
MATH 810Real Analysis and Measure Theory I3
MATH 820Introduction to Topology3
MATH 830Abstract Algebra3
MATH 831Abstract Algebra3
Select and at least 9 of the remaining 15 hours from courses numbered 700 or above9

The additional 9 hours may include the credit (a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 6 hours) used to fulfill a research component (e.g., enrollment in MATH 896, MATH 899, MATH 990, MATH 993, or advanced courses). An M.A. candidate must demonstrate an ability to communicate mathematics both orally and in written form. An M.A. candidate not selecting the thesis option (MATH 899) is expected to write a technical report as part of his or her research component. A candidate must give a short (30 to 60 minutes) presentation of her or his research in the first part of the oral examination.

Option 3

Complete 36 credit hours of courses numbered 600 or above:

MATH 727Probability Theory3
MATH 765Mathematical Analysis I3
MATH 781Numerical Analysis I3
MATH 790Linear Algebra II3
MATH 791Modern Algebra3

Complete a research component and pass an oral examination. At least 24 of the 36 hours must be in courses numbered 700 or above. Course equivalents to MATH 727, MATH 765, MATH 781, MATH 790, or MATH 791 may be substituted if approved by the graduate studies committee. An M.A. candidate may, with prior approval of the chair of the graduate studies committee, substitute up to 9 hours of courses taught in other departments. Also, the 36 hours may include the credit (a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 6 hours) used to fulfill a research component (e.g., enrollment in MATH 896, MATH 899, MATH 990, MATH 993, or advanced courses). An M.A. candidate must demonstrate an ability to communicate mathematics both orally and in written form. In particular, an M.A. candidate not selecting the thesis option (MATH 899) is expected to write a technical report as part of his or her research component. Also, a candidate must give a short (30 to 60 minutes) presentation of her or his research in the first part of the oral examination. A proposed program of study must be submitted to the chair of the graduate studies committee at the earliest feasible time, preferably during the second semester of enrollment. The degree is awarded only on the basis of an approved program, which can, however, be revised.