How to join our graduate program
Watch a video tour of graduate student life in Mathematics, and read our brochure. Check out our PhD graduates and their jobs and see our brochure on the actuarial science program if that is your interest.
Consult the program information below for
- PhD in Mathematics
- PhD Concentration in Actuarial Science and Risk Analytics
- MS in Mathematics
- MS in Applied Mathematics
- MS in Actuarial Science
- MS in Teaching of Mathematics
Click the links at right to apply for admission and funding (tuition waivers, teaching and research assistantships, fellowships).
Meet some current graduate students...
Anton Bernshteyn |
Vanessa Rivera-Quiñones |
Ashish Kumar Pandey |
Cara Monical |
Yun Shi |
PhD in Mathematics
Applicants should possess a strong background in undergraduate mathematics. The PhD usually requires four to six years of study. In 2013-2015, the mean time to degree was 5.75 years, and 88% of our PhD graduates took 6 years or fewer. The principal stages are:
- Comprehensive Requirements
- Preliminary Examination (Thesis Proposal)
- Doctoral Thesis
Students who wish to earn a doctorate should apply directly to the PhD program. Students can usually earn a Masters degree along the way to the PhD.
For detailed degree requirements, please see the Guide for Graduate Students in Mathematics.
PhD Concentration in Actuarial Science and Risk Analytics
The Concentration attracts students with strong interest in financial risk analytics and actuarial applications of mathematics, and equips them with advanced analytical tools for professional and academic careers. Students in the Concentration complete coursework or professional exams in Probability, Risk Modeling and Analysis, Mathematical Statistics, Theory of Finance, and Actuarial Models for Life Contingencies or Financial Economics. Concentration students are not required to take graduate abstract algebra.
MS in Mathematics
This MS in Mathematics program allows students a wide range of course choices and can offer good preparation either for a job in industry or for pursuit of a doctorate in mathematics at another university. It is rare, though not impossible, for students to enter the PhD program at the University of Illinois after finishing the MS in Mathematics. The degree requires 32 credit hours and can normally be completed in 18 months. A master's thesis is optional. Students may begin the program in either the Fall or the Spring semester. Financial aid is generally not available, although students in this program are occasionally hired as teaching assistants after they are enrolled.
For detailed degree requirements, please see the Guide for Graduate Students in Mathematics.
Students entering the program should have completed at least six courses in mathematics at the junior-senior level (beyond calculus). It is strongly recommended that the entering student has taken courses that cover the syllabi of the following:
- Math 417 - Introduction to Abstract Algebra
- Math 447 - Real Variables
- A course in computer programming
MS in Applied Mathematics
The MS in Applied Mathematics program is intended for students wishing to pursue a career in applied mathematics. It is also suitable as preparation for a PhD program in Applied Mathematics. It is rare for students to enter the PhD program at the University of Illinois after finishing this degree. Students may choose one of three tracks: Optimization and Algorithms, Applications to the Sciences, Computational Science and Engineering. This degree program requires 32 credit hours and can normally be completed in 18 months. A master's thesis is optional. Students may begin the program in either the Fall or the Spring semester. Financial aid is generally not available, although students in this program are occasionally hired as teaching assistants after they are enrolled.
For detailed degree requirements, please see the Guide for Graduate Students in Mathematics.
Students entering the program should have completed at least six courses in mathematics at the junior-senior level (beyond calculus). For the Optimization and Algorithms option, it is strongly recommended that the entering student has taken at least one course in each of linear algebra, real analysis, and probability or statistics and has taken a course in theoretical computer science other than a programming course. For the Applications to the Sciences and Computational Science & Engineering options, it is strongly recommended that the entering student has taken at least one course in each of linear algebra, real analysis, probability or statistics, and differential equations and has training in computer programming.
MS in Applied Mathematics – Actuarial Sciences
This program prepares students for actuarial science careers; it provides background for much of the material on the basic professional actuarial examinations. Admission to this program does not require an undergraduate degree in actuarial science, but students who have not already passed the first actuarial exam (probability theory) should be prepared to sit for it during their first semester. A student who enters with a significant actuarial background will also be able to continue with more advanced course work in actuarial science, mathematics, statistics and finance.
A student successfully finishing the program will typically have mastered the material covered on most or all of the basic actuarial exams (Exams P, FM, MLC, MFE, and C), and will have had an opportunity to study some finance, economics, or other areas of potential application to actuarial work. The program requires 32 credit hours and can normally be completed in 18 months. Financial aid is normally not available; however, a small number of students who are native speakers of English or who have satisfied the English Proficiency Requirement for International Teaching Assistants may be offered a teaching assistantship, which provides a full tuition waiver (regardless of student's residency classification), partial fee waiver, and a stipend sufficient for living expenses in Champaign-Urbana. Students may begin the program in either the Fall or the Spring semester.
For detailed degree requirements, please see the Guide for Graduate Students in Mathematics. For information on actuarial science courses, faculty, and social and networking activities organized by students, see the Actuarial Science Program page.
It is required that the entering student have taken the calculus sequence and at least one course in probability or statistics. Some training in computer programming and exposure to economics or finance are also helpful.
MS in the Teaching of Mathematics
The MS in the Teaching of Mathematics is intended for those who wish to teach at the high school or community college level. It does not lead to certification to teach in public schools. The program requires 32 credit hours and can normally be completed in 18 months.
A teaching assistantship and full tuition waiver (plus partial fee waiver) will be offered for three semesters to all admitted applicants who are native speakers of English or satisfy the English Proficiency Requirement for International Teaching Assistants.
For detailed degree requirements, please see the Guide for Graduate Students in Mathematics.
Students entering the program should have completed at least six courses in mathematics at the junior-senior level (beyond calculus). It is strongly recommended that the entering student has taken courses which cover the syllabi of the following:
- Math 402 – Non Euclidean Geometry
- Math 417 - Intro to Abstract Algebra
- Math 444 - Elementary Real Analysis
- A course in applied statistics/probability
- A course in programming or computer science
Mathematics Graduate Office
267 Altgeld Hall
E-mail: math-grad@illinois.edu
Telephone: 217-333-5749