Admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences depends on a candidate's ability and promise of achievement. To demonstrate both, applicants must submit undergraduate records showing above-average performance at a recognized school, and letters of recommendation from people thoroughly familiar with their abilities. Graduate Record Examination general scores and the subject test are required. For information about admission schedules and procedures, please consult the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
An entering graduate student should display competence in analysis and algebra, equivalent to the content of Washington University's Math 411-412 and 429-430 courses. Ph.D. candidates will also find a knowledge of topology (Math 417-418) to be very helpful. A student lacking in one or more of these prerequisites may have difficulty conforming to the expected timetable for the qualifying exams; time may be allowed to complete this preparation when appropriate.
International students must be proficient in English. Entering students whose native language is not English are expected to perfect their speaking and writing skills before beginning studies at Washington University. A student arriving at the University with an inadequate command of English may be required to take remedial English instruction at his or her own expense. It is best for all foreign students to arrive at Washington University in the early summer, several months before the fall semester begins at the end of August to ensure that these language requirements are met. Unfortunately, when a student's performance is evaluated it is difficult to separate lack of achievement from deficiencies in language. Thus poor language ability may seriously hinder a student's progress. In addition, a solid command of English is essential in performing the duties required of every graduate student.
The Department of Mathematics Extended Graduate Orientation Program is an optional, but strongly recommended, activity for the new graduate student in Mathematics. The purpose is twofold: to introduce incoming students to the style and pace of graduate courses, so as to have everybody up to speed when Fall classes begin; and help foster a cohesive and supportive social environment of graduate students, faculty, and staff, in which all can work most effectively. To find out more about this minicourse click here.