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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Mathematics

Which Graduate School is Right for Me?

Selecting a School

  • General Guides
    There are a variety of sources of information about graduate programs in general. Here is one: Princeton Review Another is This website has a graduate programs finder that contains detailed school profiles. It also gives the user access to rankings. A Google search produces many such web sites.
  • Information About Mathematics Graduate Programs
  • Do Some HomeworkGet information from a lot of sources. Try the internet and the faculty and graduate students here in our Department.
    • Almost all mathematics departments have web pages. Links to a great many mathematics department's webpages are gathered at Mathematics Departments
    • Check out the bulletin boards on the the fourth floor of LeConte.
  • What to Find Out About a Program: the Mathematics
    • Faculty: What are the faculty research interests? A department it might provide links to each faculty member's homepage.
    • Research groups: What research areas are represented in the department? Department web pages often list these. Such groups might have their own web page describing their activities and programs (e.g., seminars, conferences, students).
    • Department activities: Are there regular colloquiums? Are there regular seminars? In what areas and how often do they occur?
  • What to Find Out: Practical Matters
    • Size and Composition: How big is the graduate program? Do most students pursue a Ph.D.? How many pursue a Master's degree?
    • Teaching Duties: Most mathematics graduate students are supported as teaching assistants. What are the stipends and what are the tuition and fees? What percentage of graduate students have teaching assistantships? What are typical teaching duties for teaching assistants? Do they lead calculus recitation sections? Do they teach stand-alone courses?
    • Exam Structure: Most graduate programs require beginning students to pass a battery of qualifying exams within a certain time period. What is the mater cover by and structure of these exams? What are the other degree requirements?
    • Track Record of Past Students: How many students graduate per year? Where have recent graduates been placed? In what research areas did recent graduates write their dissertation, and with whom? This kind of information is available on some department webpages.
    • The Department's Milieu: Are the people interesting? friendly? Do the graduate students like it there? Would you be comfortable in this group?
    • Living Conditions: Big city? Small town? Climate, geography, cost of living, will you like living there?