Graduate Program Overview

The department offers Ph.D. degrees in both mathematics and statistics. Mathematics and statistics form separate programs within the department; students are admitted either to one program or the other, and permission is required to change programs. We also offer M.S. degrees in applied mathematics and in statistics (these are separate degrees). Note that the M.S. in pure mathematics is normally only offered to students on the Ph.D. track; we do not generally admit students whose objective is a masters' in pure mathematics. The applied mathematics M.S. program is formally a separate program, with its own requirements and admissions process. It is possible to apply for both the Ph.D. and M.S. in statistics with the same application.

A complete description of the requirements for each of these degrees can be found in the Graduate Handbook.

More information about graduate options in statistics can be found here.

Information on a fifth year MS in Statistics for Five College students can be found here.

For more information about the applied math master's program, click here.


The permanent faculty teach most of the graduate courses and provide formal and informal supervision of graduate students' careers. Students also learn a great deal from interacting with each other both in and out of class. The department also has at any time a number of temporary postdoctoral visiting assistant professors. They are usually from one to three years past their Ph.D., and provide a useful bridge between students and areas of current research.

The Department currently has 78 graduate students, of whom approximately 40% are women and half are from outside the U.S. We actively seek to increase the proportion of women and of minority students. Foreign students with strong mathematical preparation and a good command of spoken English are encouraged to apply.

Life in the Department

The early part of a graduate student's time will be spent on coursework. The early courses provide the background necessary for further study in mathematics, and prepare students for the basic qualifying exams. Students then take more advanced courses which go deeper into particular areas; a second round of more advanced qualifying exams are based on these courses. Sample qualifying exams can be found here. A diverse group of "topics" courses are offered every year to introduce students to areas in which our faculty are currently working. Students can also take directed reading classes with faculty.

Outside of formal class instruction, there are other ways students can participate in the mathematical life of the department. There are a wide variety of seminars covering the range of pure and applied mathematics and statistics, and students are encouraged to attend them to become more familiar with current research. Talks in the department colloquium are meant for a general mathematical audience, and so are generally more accessible to graduate students, and the T.W.I.G.S. seminar features talks by faculty which are specifically aimed for graduate students.

Department Seminars

See the Seminars & Weekly Colloquium page.