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Graduate Admissions Frequently Asked Questions


How will I know if my transcript is received?

Our program receives any uploaded transcript submitted in your ApplyWeb application. We will use the uploaded transcript for application review. Please be aware that Wolverine Access will show the uploaded transcript as “not received”.  This is because Wolverine Access only indicates the official transcripts received by the Rackham Graduate School. You do not need to send the official transcript until directed to do so by the Rackham Graduate School.

Do you admit during Winter or Spring/Summer Terms?

We only admit students for Fall term. The application opens in September and the deadline is in December for admission the following Fall.

Do you accept transfer students?

We accept applications from graduate students in other programs at other universities, but the application process is the same. We do not evaluate what courses may or may not transfer prior to a student being admitted.

I was awarded external funding, or plan to support myself. Will you conditionally admit me since I do not require department funding?

We do not conditionally admit students who do not require department funding.

Should I apply for the MS or PhD?

It is recommended to apply for the PhD program since it is generally fully funded as a Graduate Student Instructorship.  The MS program is completely self-funded.  TA positions (GSI) are reserved for our PhD students.

I would like to apply to both a Master’s and PhD program; do I need to submit two separate applications?

If you would like to be considered for both the Master's and PhD program, apply only to the PhD program and mention in your personal statement that you would also like to be considered for the Master's program. Please be aware that Master’s students do not typically receive funding. 

How do I know when my application is complete?

Initial review of most applications begins after the application deadline.  We manually review each application to ensure it is complete and will contact you if anything is missing.

What if I am missing something?

As we go through our review process after the deadline, we will notify you if you are missing something.

What are my chances of getting in?

We are unable to comment on the chances of a student being admitted to any of our programs at any stage before or during the admissions process.

What can I do to ensure I will be admitted into a program, or to increase my chances?

Before a decision is made on an application we can never guarantee a student will be admitted, regardless of what qualifications they have. This is due to the fact that each year the cohort of applicants varies greatly. We are unable to advise prospective students on how to make their applications more competitive for our programs. Students seeking advice should review the basic qualifications for the program they are interested in, and speak with an advisor at their current university on how to satisfy these qualifications.

When will you make a decision on my application?

Our Admissions committee makes decisions as they review applications.  As soon as they have made a decision on your application you will be notified by email.  The review process continues through April, and all decisions are made no later than April 15th.


Are the GRE General and Math Subject Test Scores required?

GRE General Test scores are no longer included in the admission process in accordance with a policy of the Rackham Graduate School.

GRE Mathematics Subject Test scores are strictly optional. However, if an applicant chooses so, they may submit them as a combined pdf file with their transcript or personal statement.


If I am currently attending a University where the language of instruction is English and I WILL receive a degree from this University (B.S., M.S., Ph.D.) do I need to take the TOEFL exam?

Please visit Rackham's website for information regarding the TOEFL requirement here.

How old can my TOEFL exam be?

Your exam is valid for 2 years.  It must be less than 2 years old before the application deadline date.

My TOEFL score is an 83 or lower, may I still apply?

For those who are required to take the TOEFL, we cannot review your application unless you have scored an 84 or higher- there are no exceptions to this rule. You are allowed to retake the TOEFL to try and get a higher score. As long as the exam has not expired, we will use the highest score you submit.

General Requirements:

What is the mathematical background of the typical PhD admit?

Students admitted to the Math PhD program have a background roughly equivalent to U of M honors mathematics undergraduates. A detailed list of requirements for a bachelor’s in honors mathematics can be found here

Students interested in the AIM PhD program can find admission requirements here.

What are the minimum academic credentials required from international applicants to your Ph.D. programs?

The exact description can be found on the Rackham Graduate School site here . Note that for applicants from the United Kingdom (excluding Scotland) we require the completion of a Bachelor’s (Honours) degree. For applicants from India, Rackham requires a Master's degree in all fields except engineering and technology. The Math program will, however, review applications from students enrolled in 3-year Mathematics programs at CMI (Chennai) and ISI (Kolkata/Bangalore). On a case by case basis, admission may be granted.

Financial Aid:

Do I need to apply for financial aid separately?

All applicants are considered for departmental financial aid automatically. Applicants are welcome to pursue external sources of funding.

How many of your students do you support?

Unless a student is self-supporting, our Ph.D. students are generally supported by either Graduate Student Instructorships, Research Assistants or fellowships for five years. Master's students generally do not receive support from the department.

AIM or Applied Math:

I am interested in doing Applied Mathematics. Should I apply to the AIM program?

Applied Math is part of our Mathematics PhD and Mathematics MS programs.  Those interested in doing Applied Math AND an Interdisciplinary Field outside of Mathematics should apply to an AIM program.

I know that I want to apply to the AIM program but do I need to know what my interdisciplinary field is before I apply?

No, many people have ideas of what they want to do and you should certainly list those in your statement, but we do not expect everyone to know exactly what they want to do.

Actuarial Science:

I want to apply to the Actuarial Science program. Which program do I apply to on the application?

The Actuarial Science program is part of our Mathematics Master's program, so you should apply to that particular program.  It is NOT part of the AIM MS program.

Do you have an Actuarial Science Ph.D. program?

No, only a Master’s program.