The Fall 2021 deadline for PhD applications is December 15, 2020. All application materials and letters should be submitted by this date. See below for specific requirements.
Applications received after the deadline may still be considered, but are not guaranteed full consideration. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
How to Apply
First complete the online portion of the application, including payment of the application fee. Under-represented U.S. minority applicants can apply for an application fee waiver. Applicants who are currently enrolled in a master’s program in the Illinois Department of Mathematics may use this form instead (to avoid paying another application fee).
We require transcripts from your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) institutions, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. (Please see this link for more details from our Graduate College; section 1 details the application requirements, and section 2 details the minimum requirements for admission.)
As part of the online application process you will be asked to upload a copy of your undergraduate transcript (and also graduate transcript if applicable) showing grades for the most recent semester at the time of application. We typically do not accept students with a grade point average below 3.25 on a 4.00 scale, and GPA is a significant factor in our decision.
Please arrange for three letters of recommendation to be uploaded to our online application system. Letters from professors who have taught you in mathematics classes or who have supervised you in a research project are the most useful. Both the content and the source of the letters can play a significant role in our decision.
Please include a 1-2 page personal statement as part of your online application. We prefer statements that are honest, specific, and brief, and explain why you are applying to our program.
The Department of Mathematics does not require any program specific questions or writing samples.
The GRE general test and mathematics subject test are not required.
Information for International Students
English requirements for international applicants
Students with high TOEFL or IELTS scores have a better chance of admission.
1. Minimum Requirement for Admission
All international applicants must satisfy the Graduate College English Proficiency Requirement for Admission. The Mathematics Department requires a minimum TOEFL iBT speak score of 22 (or IELTS 6.5 speaking score) and a minimum TOEFL total of 95 for admission to the PhD program. Some applicants are exempt from the English requirement for admission. Even those students will increase their chance of admission if they submit recent TOEFL or IELTS scores. If you do not have an exemption as listed above and have a TOEFL SPEAK score less than 22, then do not apply.
2. Minimum Requirement for Teaching Assistantship Funding
Teaching assistants must meet a higher standard: proficiency in spoken English, as measured by the Internet Based TOEFL (iBT), the IELTS, the TSE (Test of Spoken English), or the university-administered EPI (English Proficiency Interview). Students who do not satisfy this requirement can still be granted a Teaching Assistantship in Mathematics with duties outside the classroom (e.g. grading) for the first two years, provided they enter with a TOEFL iBT speaking sub-section score of 22 or 23. After two years, continuation of the Teaching Assistantship depends on whether the student has successfully demonstrated proficiency in spoken English.
Declaration of Finances
International students must submit the Declaration and Certification of Finances form before a visa can be issued. We do not need this form in order to decide on your application. If you are later offered admission and accept the offer, then you must submit the form promptly along with the required bank statement, before you can be admitted to the university and get a visa. The bank statement must show resources for the full cost of education and living expenses. If you are offered a teaching assistantship, then a bank statement showing about US$1,700 to cover any additional cost of living will be sufficient. Please note that you are not required to pay this amount, only to show evidence of such finances in a bank account.
To repeat: we do not need this documentation now in order to review your application.