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Frequently Asked Questions

What is your application deadline?

The application filing deadline is December 15, for matriculation in September.

What is the Department looking for in applicants?

The Department looks for research skills and potential, and focuses primarily on your research statement, recommendations, coursework and grades.

Do I need a master's degree before applying?

No, a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) is required.

Do you have rolling admissions?

No, we do not offer rolling admissions.

Do you offer a masters degree?

No, we only offer a Ph.D.

May I use MIT's graduate application?

No. The Math Department has its own online application.

Do you offer a distance learning degree or opportunities to pursue a part-time degree program?

No, there is neither a distance learning degree nor are there opportunities to pursue a part-time degree program.

What tests do you require?

GRE subject test in math. Non-native English speakers are required also to submit IELTS or TOEFL iBT. We prefer that all these scores be from exams taken this year, though we will still consider applications with older scores.

What are the GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS reporting codes?

For the GRE and TOEFL, MIT's school code is 3514. For GRE, use the Department code 0703, and for TOEFL use the Department code 72. (Other Department codes—e.g. 0702 for the GRE, and 54 for the TOEFL-iBT—will also reach us.)

IELTS does not require a code. Just write "Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology". No address is required as scores are reported electronically.

What about testing deadlines?

Applicants are expected to take the GREs by the mid December test date. Scores from test dates after this deadline will not be considered.

Do you have a minimum GRE test score requirement?

There is no minimum GRE test score required, but if the score on the math subject GRE is not very high, evidence of excellence must be present elsewhere in the application or in the letters of recommendation.

Do you have a minimum IELTS test score requirement?

The minimum IELTS score required for applicants to the Ph.D. program in the Department of Mathematics is 6.0.

What about waivers of the IELTS/TOEFL requirement?

If you will receive an undergraduate degree from an English-language university in an English-speaking country after attending it for at least three years, then you are not required to take the IELTS test.

What if I haven't taken the GREs?

GRE scores are the only standard means of comparing the entire applicant pool. Applicants without GRE scores are at somewhat of a disadvantage in the admissions process.

What if GRE scores or other important information becomes available after I've submitted my application? How do I update my file?

Please go to "new information" and, if necessary, add further details in the "comments" section.

When are letters of recommendation and transcripts due?

Official transcripts are not required unless/until you are admitted. All letters of recommendation and supporting documents should be received in the Department by December 15. Transcripts and other paper documents should be mailed directly to the Academic Services, Department of Mathematics:

Academic Services, Room 2-110
Department of Mathematics, MIT
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

Whom do I contact if I have questions about the application process?

Please send email to

Does the program offer financial aid? Are international students eligible?

Yes, all admitted students are offered financial aid, and this includes international students. For details, see our webpage on financial support.

What if I have some partial outside funding?

The Department supplements that funding up to the equivalent of full-time support as indicated above.

What is the average duration of the program?

It takes an average of four-five years to complete the program (even if you have a masters degree) — two years of coursework and approximately two years of research and writing of the dissertation.

When can I expect to be notified about an admission decision?

Offers of admission are made between late January and April 15, though the start date of this period varies somewhat from year to year. Information about decisions will not be given over the phone.

I'd like to visit MIT. May I meet with faculty?

If you've already been admitted, we encourage you to visit the school and meet with faculty and students. The department sponsors an Open House for all newly admitted students, generally in March. Prospective applicants are welcome to visit and meet informally with faculty. There are no official interviews.

Is there any way to pursue part-time non-degree study at MIT?

The MIT Mathematics Ph.D. Program administers to our full-time doctoral students. Part-time study is considered "Special Student status" by MIT, and is overseen by the MIT Graduate Student Office. Please see their website for more information.