Our students come from diverse backgrounds, and from all over the world. The Washington University Math Deparment encourages students to study at a pace that is adapted to their level of preparation, and to go as far as they can in their chosen direction. In addition to gaining proficiency as researchers we want our doctoral candidates to foster the development of the discipline. Thus we ask them to take an active role in discussions, seminars, and classes. We ask them to conduct themselves as members of a community of scholars. More than that, we ask them to do their part---along with the faculty---in maintaining high standards of undergraduate education and to carry a share of teaching and related duties. Such activities, of course, are mutually beneficial; they benefit other students and the University, and they benefit the graduate students by furthering their growth as teachers.
We do not burden our graduate students with heavy duties as teaching assistants. Students therefore have considerable time and freedom to pursue their education. Special incentives and scholarships are available for U.S. residents, but all students are supported generously.
As an emblem of their admission into the "community of scholars," all graduate mathematics students at Washington University are given memberships in the American Mathematical Society.