The University of Chicago | Graduate Admissions

Mathematics - PhD

Division: Physical Sciences
Degree Type: PhD

Program Description

The Department of Mathematics at the University of Chicago opened its doors in October of 1892. It has long been one of the top research departments in the world. The Department provides an intense, challenging, and stimulating intellectual atmosphere for students and faculty.

The graduate program offers a PhD in mathematics. While PhD students obtain a master of science along the way, students are not admitted with this as their final objective.

In addition, the Department offers a separate Master of Science in Financial Mathematics degree (MSFM). See the Program on Financial Mathematics for more information.

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  • Department of Mathematics
  • 5734 South University Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60637
  • Phone: 773.702.7100
  • Website: (It is suggested that you visit our website for detailed information regarding the Ph.D. Program in Mathematics)

Application Method

Applications should be initiated through the online application.


Deadline for admissions and financial aid: December 15

Degree Objective

The Department admits applicants only for the PhD degree.

Application Requirements

  1. Application for admission with all questions answered
  2. Official transcripts and official translations from all institutions attended
  3. General GRE score
  4. Mathematics Subject GRE score
  5. 3 letters of recommendation
  6. TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants only)
  7. Statement of purpose
  8. Nonrefundable application fee


Admissions Decisions

Admissions decisions are released in early March. No decisions will be given by phone or email.

Program Requirements

All first-year graduate students, except those in the Applied Mathematics Program, are required to demonstrate proficiency in each of the nine basic courses, either by passing the course or by passing a placement examination on the material of the course. Students who fail to pass one or more of the first-year courses will be required to do additional work in the particular subject(s) or take the course(s) again. Each student is also required to pass an exam in a scholarly language other than English (usually in French, German, or Russian).

As a prerequisite for candidacy for the PhD, and as evidence of the student's capacity for research, students are required to make an oral "topic presentation," along with a brief written report. These presentations cover material that is chosen by the student in consultation with members of the Department and is studied independently. The topic presentation is normally given by the end of the Winter Quarter of the student's second year of graduate study.

After successful completion of the topic presentation, the student is expected to begin research towards the dissertation under the guidance of a member of the faculty. The remaining requirements are (a) to complete a dissertation containing original, substantial, and publishable mathematical results; (b) to present the contents of the dissertation in an open lecture; and (c) to pass an oral examination based on the material of the dissertation and the field of mathematics in which it lies.

Costs & Financial Aid

All students who are offered admission also will be offered a full financial aid award that includes a full-tuition scholarship and a living stipend. There are no teaching duties during the first year. Financial aid is guaranteed to admitted students for up to five years, subject to satisfactory academic performance and satisfactory performance as a teacher. Aside from the Financial Data Form included with the online application, no special financial aid form or GAPFAS application is necessary.