Admissions

How to apply

Required Materials

Application and Fee

  • The application to the Mathematics Department graduate program is a two-phase process. First, complete the initial graduate application form through the Office of Admission application portal. This is a simple application form with no application fee which makes it easy to apply. The Mathematics Department faculty will conduct an initial assessment of your qualifications for graduate studies at ISU.
  • Pre-applications will be evaluated to determine if applicants meet our qualifications for admission. Applicants who meet the qualifications will be notified by the Mathematics Department and instructed to submit a formal application.  You may then proceed to the second phase which requires an application fee. In this second phase, you will provide academic transcripts and arrange for three letters of recommendation. Nonnative English speakers will provide an official report of a qualifying English exam. The GRE requirement is suspended for now.

Official Transcripts

  • One official set from every college attended. Be sure to include grades and credits earned along with degree received (if applicable). Foreign transcripts need to include an official English translation. Please send or email a photocopy or an unofficial transcript to the Math Office with other materials. Students can send one copy of official transcripts to Math and we’ll photocopy and forward official paperwork to Graduate Admissions. Please send a note that we need to do that. You will need to upload an unofficial transcript on the online application systems for the review process.

Statement of Purpose

  • A brief essay describing your academic and career goals and how this program will help you meet those goals. If you complete this as part of the online application, please do not need to send an additional statement.

Resume/Curriculum Vita

  • This can also be uploaded as part of the online application.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to your potential for graduate study in mathematics are required. These are submitted as part of the online application. Fill in the emails of your recommenders and then email is sent to them with submission instructions. Students who have attended REU or other similar programs, are encouraged to have a letter from their supervisor or program director. Letters from individuals not able to assess mathematics can be sent but should be above the required three letters and could be emailed or postal mailed to the department with the following form attached.. They can be submitted using the online application process or sent to the address below. If they are submitted online, a paper copy does not need to be sent. Graduate College Letter of Recommendation (PDF)

Supplemental Applicant Information Form

  • Mathematics requires this additional form which can be sent by postal mail or email. You can access the form in the following two formats: (PDF) (MS Word)

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores

Due to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, GRE scores will not be required for applicants seeking admission in Fall 2021. If an applicant has GRE scores, they can choose to self-report their test scores and have them factored into their admission decision. However, applicants will not be penalized for choosing not to submit GRE scores for Fall 2021.

  • Official Quantitative, Analytical, and Verbal GRE scores are required for all applicants. Advanced (subject) GRE in Mathematics is not required, but applicants are strongly encouraged to submit advanced GRE scores. Since it takes approximately 3-4 weeks for the official copy of your test scores to reach ISU and be processed, please take your test early enough to allow the scores to reach ISU prior to the application deadline. If you designate Iowa State University as one of the institutions to which scores must be sent by ETS (while making arrangements to take the test), the scores go directly to the Graduate Admissions Office and are entered into an online system available to departments. If you do not pay the application fee, we cannot access your scores and your application will be incomplete. You should include a photocopy in your application materials, but official scores are required for admission. Special instructions for current Iowa State students: Instead of GRE scores, ISU students should have taken Math 301 and Math 414 prior to application.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS

  • TOEFL Paper (PBT) – 550
  • TOEFL Internet (iBT) – 79
  • IELTS – 7
  • PTE – 53
  • Duolingo – 105
    • Unless English is the only official language of home country or
    • Bachelor’s or master’s degree earned from a US institution
    • We are accepting TOEFL iBT home edition exams and IELTS Indicator as a result of COVID
  • Since it takes approximately 3-4 weeks for the official copy of your test scores to reach ISU, please take your test early enough to allow the scores to reach ISU prior to the application deadline. If you designate Iowa State University as one of the institutions to which scores must be sent by ETS (while making arrangements to take the test), the scores go directly to the Graduate Admissions Office and are entered into an online system accessible by departments. Applications are not reviewed without a TOEFL score meeting the two minimum scores.

Other Information

  • Test of Spoken English (TSE) and Test of Written English (TWE) scores are not required.

What to send to our Mathematics Department (address below):

  • Copy of GRE scores (or listed on application, resume, supplemental information form)
  • Copy of TOEFL or IELTS score (or listed on online application). Include TOEFL Speak portion.
  • Statement of Purpose (if not submitted in online application)
  • Resume (if not submitted in the online application)
  • Supplemental Applicant Information Form (if not submitted in the online application)
  • Unofficial or photocopy of transcripts (if not uploaded in the online application)
  • Letters of Recommendation (if not submitted electronically)

What to send to Office of Admissions, 100 Enrollment Services, ISU, Ames, AIA 500011-2011:

  • Official Transcripts (all schools attended) (unofficial will work for the review with official submitted after admittance)
  • Official TOEFL (sent electronically by ETS)
  • Official GRE (sent electronically by ETS) Not required for admission in Fall 2021 
  • Financial Statement (international students only; can be sent after being admitted)

Do not send paper copies of Letters of Recommendation, Resume, and Supplemental Applicant Information Form to Graduate Admissions. They can be submitted online or emailed to kjmay@iastate.edu.

International students can include both sets of materials in one envelope and we’ll forward the correct materials onto Graduate Admissions. Make a note on the outside of the envelope or on an instruction page.

Department Contact

Kathy May Graduate Program Administrator & Accommodations Coordinator

Mailing Address: Mathematics Graduate Program 396E Carver Hall Iowa State University Ames, IA 50011-2064