Math and Applied Math Graduate Program

Math and Applied Math Admission Resources

Graduate admissions criteria for Mathematics

See also University admissions requirements

Thank you for your interest in the Mathematics graduate program at Iowa State University. We recognize the time and expense students must invest when they decide to apply for graduate study.

A major goal of our graduate program is to provide high quality research-based graduate training in Mathematics leading to a Ph.D. degree. The department also offers an M.S. degree. Given limited resources, this means that we can only admit the most outstanding applicants among those who apply. Admission decisions are based on a careful evaluation of completed applications on the basis of criteria which include academic credentials, quality of undergraduate institution, letters of recommendation, research credentials (or potential), teaching experience (or potential), relevant work experience, aptitude test scores (GRE), written and spoken communication abilities, and any other significant accomplishments.

Applicants who do not satisfy the admission criteria outlined below are discouraged from applying unless their application presents evidence of otherwise exceptional credentials (e.g., research experience, outstanding academic performance). Applicants who satisfy the following criteria are not guaranteed admission (for reasons outlined above), but their application will be competitive enough to qualify for review by the graduate admissions committee.

  • Undergraduate work: A 4-year university degree is required (see below for details). A bachelor’s degree in Mathematics or a closely-related discipline is recommended.
  • Academic Performance: A cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) comparable to a “B+” average or 3.30 out of a possible 4.00, and ranking in the top quartile (25%) of the graduating class.
  • Standardized Aptitude Test Scores: Submission of the official Quantitative, Analytical, and Verbal GRE scores is required. Advanced/Subject GRE is not required, but strongly recommended. We will accept either the paper- or computer-based test scores.
  • English Language Proficiency: A minimum score of 79 on the iBT TOEFL, with at least a 20 on the speaking portion (21 or higher preferred) is required of nonnative English speakers. In lieu of the TOEFL, a score of 7.0 on the IELTS will be accepted.
Sung-Yell Song
Director of Graduate Education for Mathematics and Applied Mathematics