UCLA Mathnet Login

Frequently Asked Questions


Thank you for your interest in graduate studies in the Department of Mathematics at UCLA. Applications are accepted for the fall quarter only. The application deadline is December 15. The application review process begins late December; please ensure that all supporting documents, including reference letters and test scores, are received by that time. Please return to Graduate Admissions for more detailed information or email gradapps@math.ucla.edu for very specific questions.

1.Q:  I see on the website that the application deadline is December 15 but the application process begins late December. Does this mean the deadline is only for the on-line application and the letters of recommendation and the GRE scores may be sent later?

A:  The on-line University application must be submitted by December 15. We will accept scores, letters and other materials after the December 15th deadline, but your application package will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed if we do not have all materials by the end of the first week in January.


2.Q:  Will it help me to send more than 3 letters of recommendation?

A:  Not really.  Three letters are sufficient for the review committee to get a sense of your abilities and strengths. 


3.Q:  Is it better to have my official transcripts sent to you directly from the registrar of my school or should I have them sent to me and then include them as part of my packet to you with everything else?

A:  Either way is acceptable as long as they are officially sealed when we receive them.


4.Q:  I am a foreign student, but attended a school that had instruction in English. Can the TOEFL be waived for me?

A:   International applicants that have received a Bachelor’s degree or higher from a university located in the United States, or from another country in which English is both the spoken language and the medium of instruction are exempted from the TOEFL.  Please include this information in your application package.


5.Q:  What is the minimum TOEFL score you will accept?

A:  It is University policy that you score at least a 560 on the pencil and paper test, 220 on the electronic test, or 87 on the iBT.


6.Q:  Is the GRE subject test a requirement for Master’s applicants as well as PhD. applicants?

A:  Yes.


7.Q:  If I apply for the PhD. program and am not accepted, will I automatically be considered for a Master’s?

A:   You should apply for the program that best suits you, but we do occasionally consider candidates who fall short of a Ph.D. admission for the Master’s.  This is not automatic and must be requested at the time of application.  Keep in mind that the Master’s is usually a terminal degree and not a first step into the PhD. program.


8.Q:  What does the average successful applicant’s profile look like as far as GRE scores, grades, etc?

A:  Be aware that when we talk about a successful applicant, numbers are only one part of the total package. That being said; the minimum GPA is 3.5 for a PhD and 3.2 for a Master’s, and although there is no minimum GRE, you must keep in mind that admission is very competitive and the higher your score, the better.  On the average, those we offer admission to have GRE subject scores in or above the 80th percentile. Our GPA range is from about 3.6 to 4.0, though again there can be exceptions. Keep in mind that we look at the entire package and although we have a minimum, the average is higher. Also, there is no score at any level, which insures admission.


9.Q:  What kind of information should I include in the Statement of Purpose? 

 A:  The Statement is your opportunity to explain your reasons for pursuing graduate study in mathematics, and to let us get a sense of who you are.  You may mention any relevant facts about your education or experience with mathematics that are not apparent in the other materials you submit.  You might want to note what kind of mathematics you find interesting and wish to pursue in graduate school, and what you plan to do after obtaining a Ph.D. It may include information about your background, interests, or career goals, and how UCLA might help you meet those career and educational goals.  There is no specific length, but one or two pages are typical.


10.Q:  I am taking the GRE test later than recommended on your website.  Will my application still be considered if my scores arrive after the deadline?

A:  Your application will be accepted if we receive your scores by the end of the first week in January.


11.Q:  What part of the application package does the review committee weigh most heavily?

A:  Admission decisions are based on an applicant’s entire package.  Weaknesses in one area may be offset by strengths in another. The committee weighs many factors in addition to GPAs.  These may include the breadth of your undergraduate courses, your letters of recommendation, statement of purpose and GRE subject score.


12.Q:  I will not receive my Bachelor’s degree until after the deadline for application.  May I still apply?

A:  You may apply for admission to our program before your actual degree date as long as you have your Bachelor degree by the fall enrollment date.


13.Q: I cannot find the code numbers for my GRE scores.

A:  The UCLA code is 4837 and the Mathematics department code is 0703.


14.Q:  What can I do to increase my chances of getting into your graduate program?

A:   One of the most important things you can do is to get to know your professors. You want to have letters of recommendation that tell us knowledgeably and personally about your qualifications and abilities. Your letters of recommendation should attest to the fact that you have the potential and mathematical background to be a research mathematician. It is already expected that all applicants to UCLA have a solid preparation in undergraduate math, with strong grades and GRE scores, that allows them at a minimum to pass our Basic Qualifying Exam in their first year. What we would also like to see in addition is that you have potential for advanced mathematical research. This can be demonstrated through courses that are heavy in proof oriented math, honors and graduate courses, a senior research project, a senior thesis, or a summer REU program.


15.Q:  When will I know if I have been accepted into your program?

A:  You will receive an official letter by the first week of March.