The PhD program of the Department of Mathematics at Northwestern University is in Pure Mathematics, broadly interpreted. If your interests are mainly in Applied Mathematics, we may not be a good fit for you. We do not offer a Masters degree program.
As is explained in detail at the web-site of the Graduate School, the following materials comprise the application:
- Completed application form. This is to be completed online. To receive full consideration, your application should be submitted by December 31. The online application form will open around September 13.
- Application fee. Your application will not be processed until this fee is paid. For circumstances in which the fee can be waived for domestic applicants (that is, US citizens and permanent residents), see this page. Feel free to contact us if you are uncertain whether you are eligible. The department will be able to offer a very limited number of fee waivers to international applicants. If you are an international applicant who wishes to be considered for a fee waiver, you should upload to CollegeNet your academic and personal statements and (unofficial) transcript, and arrange to have a minimum of two letters of recommendation uploaded. Only after these materials have been uploaded, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not send a message requesting a fee waiver prior to these materials being uploaded or your application for a fee waiver will be rejected by the department.
- Your academic statement of purpose. Be as specific as possible about your research interests and qualifications. If you have particular reasons for choosing Northwestern, be sure to indicate them.
- Your personal statement of purpose.
- A minimum of three letters of recommendation from professors familiar with your work at an advanced level (though you are welcome to submit up to four letters). These letters should be submitted by the letter writer through the online application system. It is your responsibility to make sure they are received in time.
A pdf copy of your transcript from all colleges and universities that you have attended or currently attend should be uploaded with your application. Please include a list of junior-, senior-, and graduate-level mathematics courses taken or to be completed before entering graduate school at Northwestern. For each course, identify the textbook used, if any, and a short list of topics covered. For international students, this roughly corresponds to courses in the last two years of predoctoral or undergraduate study. Unofficial transcripts suffice for the application, but in order to enroll after accepting an offer of admission, official transcripts must be submitted.
- The Department of Mathematics will not consider general or subject GRE scores in applications for September 2024.
- International students, other than those who have completed or will complete an undergraduate or graduate degree at an academic institution whose language of instruction is English, must submit as part of their application the result of the TOEFL, IELTS or MET exam. We require a level of performance equivalent to the C1 level of proficiency in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: that is, 95 for the TOEFL iBT, 7.0 for the IELTS, or 64 for the MET. For other proofs of performance at this level, please consult us before finalizing your application.
- If you are not sure whether your institution is considered to have English as its language of instruction, please feel free to contact us. Some examples of institutions for which the TOEFL or IELTS requirement is waived are HSE, Chennai Mathematical Institute, IISER and ISI.
- The Graduate School has a separate requirement for spoken English (currently a score of 26 in the spoken component of the TOEFL iBT, or 8.0 in the spoken component of the IELTS), which must be satisfied by the start of the second year in our graduate program, or you may not be permitted to continue in the program.
The application is entirely electronic. Applicants must not not send material to the Mathematics Department without first contacting the Graduate Admissions (email@example.com).