Admissions

To apply for admissions and financial aid, or for additional information on admissions requirements for the Ph.D. program in pure mathematics, please go to the appropriate Graduate School of Arts and Sciences web site listed below. All other inquiries may be directed to the Graduate Program Administrator of the Mathematics Department.

Graduate Program Administrator

Marjorie Bell
617-496-5211
mbell@math.harvard.edu
Science Center Room 331
1 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

The Department values diversity among its members is committed to building a diverse intellectual community, and strongly encourages applications from women and minorities.

Preparing the Application
The statement of purpose for graduate applications is carefully weighted by the admissions committee. The applicant’s statement should convince the committee that he or she is able to communicate effectively and with a deep understanding of mathematics. It is not intended to be a biographical sketch or a reflection on one’s decision to enter the field.

Three letters of recommendation are required. Letter writers should be faculty or others qualified to evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate study in mathematics. The letters must be submitted online and by the application deadline.

Applicants should include any research papers, publications, and other original works they would like to have evaluated by the admissions committee.

The GRE Mathematics Subject Test scores are optional for Fall 2021 admission, however students are encouraged to take the test and submit scores where possible. Applicants should check on the ETS website for test dates in their area to ensure the scores will be submitted before the application deadline. An official score report should be sent to Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences using code 3451.

While the admissions committee reviews all applications submitted before the deadline, missing math subject test scores provide one less data point available to evaluate the application. Depending on the strength of the application, the missing subject test scores may put the application at a disadvantage.

Applicants whose native language is other than English and who do not hold the equivalent of a US Bachelor degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction must submit scores from the Internet Based Test (IBT) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

The Graduate School requires applicants to upload an electronic copy of undergraduate transcripts. Hard copies of official transcripts are not required at the time of application.

Ph.D. Program in Pure Mathematics
The department does not grant a terminal Master’s degree, but the Master’s can be obtained “on the way” to the Ph.D. by fulfilling certain course and language exam requirements.

In general, there is no transfer status application to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences or to the Department of Mathematics. No formal credit is given for an MSc or MA earned elsewhere. All applicants are considered to be applying as first-year graduate students. The only difference Master’s study may make is to better prepare students for the Qualifying Exam.

All graduate students are admitted to begin their studies in the fall term. The department plans on an entering class of about twelve students. Since the admissions committee receives in excess of two hundred applications, the competition is keen.

Funding Graduate Study
Applicants are urged to apply for all funding available to them. If no outside funding is available to the applicant, financial aid in the form of scholarships, research assistantships, and teaching fellowships is available. In general, students who do not have outside support will get scholarship support in their first year, but students are required to act as a teaching fellow for one-half course (i.e. for a one-term course) in their second through fifth years.

The department strongly recommends applicants to seek out and apply for all sources of financing available to them for graduate study. Recommended sources for funding US graduate students are NSF Graduate Fellowships and NDSEG Fellowships. Applicants from the UK are urged to also apply for the Kennedy fellowships and applicants from UK, New Zealand, Canada and Australia for Knox fellowships. International students may apply for the Fullbright IIE or any home country fellowships available for study abroad.

Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) offers programs for both the Master’s degree and the Ph.D. degree in Applied Mathematics. Please visit the SEAS website for more information on degrees in applied mathematics at www.seas.harvard.edu