How to Apply to a Graduate Program

Links for Prospective Graduates:

General Information

This page will discuss how to apply for admission and financial aid. For your information, the Department currently has financial support for up to 27 Graduate Teaching Assistants, and generally 5 - 10 new students are admitted with teaching assistantships each year. Stipends for the 2015-2016 academic year range from about $12,700 for M.S. students to about $17,000 for Ph.D. students. There are also usually a few research assistantships, funded from external grants. All graduate assistants receive a waiver of all tuition and most fees (excepting about $1200 in fees for the academic year), and a supplementary medical insurance plan. Limited forms of other financial aid, such as half-time assistantships, partial tuition waivers and part-time employment at the Mathematics Department, are also available. However these normally require a substantial financial commitment on the part of the student, particularly for non-residents of the State.

The Department offers programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Students who have only an undergraduate degree should normally apply for the M.S. program. The Ph.D. program is intended for students who have an M.S. in mathematics or a substantially equivalent background. Some undergraduate programs outside the U.S., such as in Europe or China, often include substantial course work typically seen in the first year of graduate study, and students graduating from such programs can sometimes be offered provisional Ph.D. status with additional course work requirements. Students are invited to correspond directly with the Graduate Director for further information (see below) if they have questions about their qualifications for either of the programs.

The Application Process

WVU provides an online portal for submitting applications and transcripts, requesting online recommendations, and submitting supporting documents. This is available through the WVU graduate office website at If you are formally applying, this is the most convenient approach and the preferred option. Our assistantship application is available as a Word document, and can be filled out and uploaded electronically along with your application.

Applications should be completed by February 15 to ensure full consideration for financial aid in the subsequent Fall semester. Applications from students who do not require financial aid are welcome at any time, subject to University processing deadlines. Students may apply to begin in the Spring semester, but we normally do not award assistantships to new students who begin in the Spring, and course selections are limited since several key courses are year-long sequences that begin in the Fall.

The following supplementary materials are recommended in submitting your application:

  1. The Department's assistantship application form as pdf or as a word document (Word 97-2003)
    if you are applying for financial aid. Note that letters of recommendation requested on the form will be automatically solicited for students applying through the application portal.
  2. Potential for success in graduate study is often hard to judge on the basis of an undergraduate academic record alone, so we invite any additional information that might reflect on your likelihood
    for success in the graduate program. This is less of an issue in the case of students who have already demonstrated their ability to do graduate level mathematics through course work, publications,
    or through obtaining an M.S. degree.

Please note that a decision on admission can usually be made relatively quickly and is separate from decisions on financial aid, which are made at the department level. Decisions on financial aid may take longer and depend on the overall pool of applications and the availability of funds. Also be aware that processing times for international students can sometimes require several months.

If you have any questions, or for further information, please do not hesitate to contact us by mail, fax, phone, or e-mail.

Send application materials to:

Graduate Director
Department of Mathematics
West Virginia University
P.O. Box 6310
Morgantown, WV 26506

Phone: (304) 293-2011
Fax: (304) 293-3982