Application Instructions


Thank you for considering applying to our graduate program in Mathematics. Please read all instructions thoroughly before starting this process. The seven steps below detail what you will need to do. Feel free to contact the Graduate Office if you have any further questions not answered here.

International and domestic students have some different requirements. These are very important to take note of.

Current and former OSU Graduate students usually do not have to re-apply to OSU Graduate Admissions. You will instead need to submit your materials electronically directly to the Math Graduate Office. Additionally each degree type has certain specific requirements to take note of as well.


The Department of Mathematics accepts applications only for the Autumn semester of the following year. The deadline for Regular applications is 15 December 2014. We will accept Standby applications through 28 February 2015. However, due to the volume of applications we receive and the time limits we have on making fellowship funding decisions Standby applicants are reviewed on a space-available basis only. Documents such as transcripts, test scores (GRE and TOEFL / IELTS), and letters of recommendation can arrive beyond the deadline.  However, the graduate recruitment committee can only make decisions based upon complete applications. All documents are to be submitted electronically via the Graduate & Professional Admissions website.

If interested in both the MMS and PhD programs you may apply to both, however, it will require separate applications to be submitted and paid for.

University Requirements

There are university-wide minimum requirements which are non-negotiable:

  • 4-year Bachelors (or higher) degree from an accredited college or university. 3-year undergraduate degrees are not recognized by OSU as meeting this requirement.
  • Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) in the 75th percentile of the grade scale. For example: the GPA has to be at least 3.0 on a standard 4.0 grade scale.
  • International students must provide proof of English proficiency within the last two years with one of the following:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 79 for the internet-based test or 550 for the paper-based test
    • International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) exam with score of at least 7.0
    • Exempted are students who are citizens of, or have received a Bachelors or higher degree from the following countries: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, the United States, and Wales. US Permanent Resident Aliens (so called "Green Card" holders) are exempt from this requirement if they have been in this status for at least one year prior to their term of enrollment.

Step 1

The application process begins online at the Graduate Admissions website.  In the application, prospective students will be asked to provide:

  • Contact, demographic and citizenship information
  • Educational history
  • Test scores & degree desired

Please enter your name exactly as it appears on the biographical information section of your passport. Failure to match that can cause the inability to obtain a US educational visa later on.

If you are a domestic applicant and wish to be considered for underrepresented groups/minority-based fellowships you will need to answer the Ethnicity portion of the application.

Step 2

  • The campus for all applicants is Columbus
  • When selecting the program, your choices are Mathematics - PHD or Mathematics - MMSOnly MMS has a subplan option to select from: Mathematics Biosciences, Computational Sciences, and Mathematics for Educators
  • Ultimate Degree Objective is optional
  • Minority students (US citizens only) are strongly encouraged to indicate their ethnicity and race. This information is REQUIRED in order to be eligible for possible Graduate Fellowships which provide full funding without teaching obligations for the first year
  • Your permanent mailing address is important as that is where all admissions documents will be sent (except for International students)
  • The email address you enter is critically important, please ensure that it is correct and check it regularly

Step 3

The admissions site also provides an opportunity to request electronic references ( letters of recommendation).  In the application, prospective students will be asked to provide the recommenders':

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Institution address
  • Phone number (with country dialing codes)

Recommendations may be sent by mail instead by using the online reference form which is available on the Graduate Admissions website, Supplimental Application Materials link.

Step 4

Applicants must attach the following documents to their application. Please limit each to a maximum of 3 pages if possible.  

  • Statement of Purpose 
  • C.V. / Resume
  • List of Mathematics Courses (with Year TakenInstructor / Textbooks Used / Grade Received)
  • Other Relevant Documents (Optional) Please do not send an entire thesis or a book. Limit to maximum of 10-15 pages overall. 
  • If an International student, a scan of the biometric information page of your Passport. This is not required immediately but if admitted wil be to proceed with the university admissions process.

Step 5

Applicants are required to submit one academic transcript from all previous and/or currently-attending colleges/universities.  Applicants have the option to upload transcripts when submitting the online application, or via email at Graduate Admissions. The scans should...

  • be of actual transcripts, not advising reports or web printouts
  • be in color and legible: if you cannot read the fine print then we cannot evaluate your credentials for the program 
  • include the back information section of at least one page of the transcripts

You may submit an updated version, if so desired, as newer grades become available. NOTE: If you list a school, we will need a transcript from that school. If your transcripts list another school (ie. transfer credit situation) we will need a transcript also from that additional school.


Step 6

Educational Testing Services (ETS) scores should be sent directly by ETS to OSU Graduate Admissions. The Institutional code for OSU is 1592 (please do not use the major field code).

GRE Math Subject Test Score required for all PhD applicants. This can be waived on rare occasions for significantly advanced students. The request is made to the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies via the Mathematics Graduate Office

GRE General Test Score required for all international students who are not exempt from the OSU English proficiency requirements. Not required for domestic students however,  a score is indeed required for all students who wish to be considered for fellowship competitions. 

Step 7

Once all fields have been filled and documents attached, applicants will be prompted to submit payment. By having selected the Mathematics MMS or PhD program you will be eligible for the specially reduced fee of $5.00

Once the application is completed, students should view their application status on the Graduate Admissions site. The Mathematics Graduate Office has to process all of the attached documents one-by-one so please do not worry about the incomplete status which remains on submitted materials until approximately February or early March.

Applicants who cannot use the online process should contact Domestic Graduate or International Graduate for additional assistance.


In general, one is always welcome to let us know that they would like to stop by and tour the department. When possible, we try to accommodate individual visits, however, understand this has no bearing upon our committee decisions. Admitted students will be invited to visit campus during spring semester in order to help make their decision by the national deadline of 15 April.