Thank you for your interest in the University of Rochester’s mathematics graduate program. Below is information on:
Ready to join the mathematics graduate program? Apply online today.
Foundational Knowledge for Incoming Students
It is important the all incoming graduate students have a good foundation in the following areas:
- Mathematical maturity—Familiarity with the axiomatic approach, induction, and proof by contradiction
- Set theory—Subsets; unions and intersections; countability and uncountabilty; de Morgan's laws; Cartesian products; equivalence relations and equivalence classes
- Algebra—Definition of a group and a normal subgroup; some familiarity with homomorphisms, their kernels and cokernels
- Linear algebra—Vector spaces, matrices, determinants, linear transformations, eigenvalues, eigenvectors and eigenspaces
- Analysis—Limits and continuity; lim sup and lim inf; the Riemann integral; epsilon-delta proofs; open, closed, and compact subset of Euclidean space; uniform convergence and uniform continuity; working knowledge of inequalities; partial derivatives and multiple integrals
Students are admitted only in September. Completed applications should be received by January 1.
TOEFL scores are required of international students whose native language is not English. The minimum TOEFL scores required are: 100 (IBT) with minimum of 21 on speaking portion, 250 (computer-based) or 600 (paper-based). Your TOEFL scores will be sent directly to the department. To have ETS send your TOEFL results to the Arts, Sciences, and Engineering graduate program use school code 2928.
Applicants may choose to take the GRE General and Math Subject exams, or submit scores from previous years. However, due to safety concerns there is no expectation that GRE scores will be part of any application, and applications without GRE exam scores will be given full consideration without prejudice.
Graduate students in good standing are supported for at least four years. A fifth year of support is typically available for students who are making satisfactory progress in the program.
Most entering students are appointed teaching assistantships, which includes a full tuition waiver and a stipend of $20,000, depending on teaching duties. The stipend is awarded for nine months of work (10 hours of service per week). In addition, the mandatory student health fee is paid by the University.
Each teaching assistant is expected to hold three 50-minute recitations (all for the same course) per week. Undergraduates attend one of these recitations a week, in addition to the regular lectures given by a faculty member. During the recitation TAs answer questions and help students with homework problems.
In addition to this, duties include:
- Preparing for recitation
- Grading quizzes
- Helping grade midterm and final exams
The math department also maintains a study hall for undergraduates who need extra tutoring. It is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is manned by our graduate students.
Each TA is expected to sign up for a one hour slot. The total time for all "duties" averages out to be about 10 hours per week. Textbooks and solution manuals used for the course are loaned to the TAs each semester.
If you are an incoming foreign student, you may be assigned as a grader (for 200-400 level courses) for one or two semesters. Your ability to speak English will be evaluated and if it is good, we will assign you a teaching assistant position. You will receive a stipend during this time.
Graduate students who become very good teaching assistants are eligible to apply for summer teaching positions (the pay is approximately $5000). Summer courses include:
- Basic calculus: MTH 141-143
- MTH 163: Differential Equations
- MTH 164: Multidimensional Calculus
- MTH 165: Linear Algebra with Differential Equations
- MTH 235: Linear Algebra
Summer classes are small and are held for six weeks, four days a week. Summer research fellowships may also be available once a student begins research with a specific advisor.
Dean's Teaching Fellowships are given to advanced graduate students on a competitive basis. The criteria for selection include academic performance and a genuine commitment to teaching. A Dean's Teaching Fellow is given the opportunity to teach one regular course per semester in close consultation with faculty. The fellows receive a stipend of $1,500 per semester.
After reviewing the information on our graduate program, if you have any additional questions, please contact Kimberly Toal.