The USC Mathematics Department is a dynamic community of scholars, innovators, and educators dedicated to mathematical excellence and advancing mathematical understanding. We take immense pride in our inclusive, diverse, and supportive research environment.

We seek all applicants who share our vision of and passion for mathematics. All applications require 3 letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a resumé or CV, official transcripts, and TOEFL scores (international applicants only). We do not require GRE tests.

Masters Programs

Our department offers 5 Master’s degrees allowing you to customize a program to meet your intellectual and professional goals. Our foundational courses prepare you to engage in our evolving roster of specialized topics courses taught by leaders of the field, placing the latest advancements in mathematical research at your fingertips.

All of our Master’s degree programs require 3-4 semesters of graduate-level coursework, after which students demonstrate mastery either through written comprehensive examinations or by writing a Master’s thesis with a faculty advisor.

We encourage all applicants who are California residents to apply for California State graduate fellowships.

Deadline for Fall admission is February 1.
Deadline for Spring admission is October 1.

Admissions FAQs

  • The application deadline for the PhD Programs is December 15. This is a hard deadline, and we cannot accept materials submitted to us after this deadline.

    The application deadline for Masters Programs February 1 for Fall admissions and October 1 for Spring admissions.

  • The mathematics department does NOT offer fee waivers for students.

    However, the USC Graduate Admissions Office has several categories of applicants who qualify for fee waivers. To see if you qualify, please visit this website: https://gradadm.usc.edu/lightboxes/us-students-fee-waivers/

  • Yes for PhD, No for Masters.

    Everyone, regardless of nationality or country of residence, admitted to our PhD Programs receives a comprehensive support package that includes full tuition remission, a competitive stipend, and health and dental insurance.

    We do not offer any financial assistance for our Masters programs. We encourage all Masters applicants who are California residents to apply for California State graduate fellowships.

  • U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are exempt. For other exemption qualifications, please see
    https://gradadm.usc.edu/prospective-international-students/english-proficiency/

    For international students requiring English Proficiency tests, we require a minimum of

    • 100 on TOEFL or
    • 7.0 on IELTS or
    • 68 on PTE.

    These minima apply to both PhD and Masters programs.

  • Not at all! The majority of our incoming PhD students, about 2/3, come from Bachelor’s programs while the remaining 1/3 come from Masters programs.

    All of our Ph.D. students have the opportunity to earn an “in progress” Masters degree, which is usually conferred in the second year of the program after satisfactory completion of the core course requirements. Students in either PhD program may choose been a Masters Degree in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, or Statistics.

  • Yes. We require applicants to have GPA above 3.0.

    The minimum GPA requirement for a student to receive a graduate degree, Masters or Doctorate, from USC is 3.0. For this reason, we will not consider any applicants whose current overall GPA or mathematics GPA falls below this minimum threshold.

  • Yes, and requirements vary by program.

    Every applicant is required to have one year of advanced Analysis (real, complex, or functional). Applicants for our Mathematics programs are also required to have one year of advanced Algebra (abstract or linear). Some of these courses can be planned for your final semester.

    Beyond this, we look holistically for a variety of advanced coursework to demonstrate mastery of foundational material.

  • Reviewers evaluate applications holistically, meaning every part is important and given due consideration. Different applicants have different strengths that distinguish them as excellent fits for our program. We look forward to reading about all of your achievements.

  • Unfortunately, no. The review committee cannot pre-screen applicants.

    Our program is highly selective, but we do consider applicants holistically. If you exceed our minimum requirements for GPA and coursework, and you have a strong passion for mathematics, then we strongly encourage you to apply.