Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Graduate Certificate
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

Faculty expertise covers a wide range of research fields, including analysis, ordinary and partial differential equations, dynamical systems, applied math (including numerical analysis), combinatorics, logic, topology and knot theory. With about 30 graduate students and 20 faculty members, there is lively interaction as well as extensive individual attention. All graduate students have individual advisers throughout their enrollment, starting from the time of admission. New students also receive peer advisers. In addition, research seminars and the department colloquium series help students explore potential research areas.

Offered are three degrees: an M.A. in mathematics, an M.S. in applied mathematics and a Ph.D. in mathematics. Teaching assistantships are available for full-time Ph.D. students. Each assistant gains teaching experience with a moderate workload, leading recitations for one introductory undergraduate course per semester.

The post-baccalaureate certificate for those who seek to strengthen their mathematical backgrounds—at the advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate levels—is offered to better position students in their careers or to prepare for graduate work in quantitative disciplines.


The PhD in Mathematics, MA in Mathematics, MS in Applied Mathematics, and Graduate Certificate in Mathematics are STEM-designated programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:
Fall  - Ph.D.: December 1;
        - M.A. and M.S.:: April 1 (February 1 for Master's applicants who wish to be considered for fellowships)
        - Certificate: July 1
Spring – November 1 (Certificate only; no Spring intake for Ph.D. and Master's programs)
Standardized test scores:
Ph.D., M.A., M.S.: GRE general test required; GRE subject test recommended (institutional code 5246). GRE general test waived for applicants who hold a J.D., M.D., or Ph.D.
Certificate program: GRE not required.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 
Minimum scores for the PhD and Master’s programs are:
  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 53;
Applicants to the Master’s program who do not meet minimum English language requirements may be eligible for our full-time Applied English Language program
Prerequisite requirements:
A bachelor’s degree in mathematics or comparable coursework.
Recommendations required: 
Ph.D.: Three (3) recommendations
M.A. and M.S.: Two (2) recommendations
Certificate: One (1) recommendation 
Prior academic records:
Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.
If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.
Statement of purpose:
Ph.D., M.A., M.S. - In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching experience you have had.
Certificate program: Statement of purpose is not required.
International applicants only: 
Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements. Please note: international students who require a student visa from GW are not eligible to apply for admission to the Certificate program. 
For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 215
Washington DC 20052
Contact for questions:
[email protected] ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday