Skip to main content


Is there a separate Applied Math PhD or Masters degree?

Currently there are not separate degrees for Applied Mathematics. Graduate students in Applied math can attain a Masters of Science or a PhD in Mathematics.

Can I decide to study applied math after one or two years as a graduate student in the math department, or must I declare my intentions immediately?

You can decide at any time. We have tried to develop a program of study which allows a great deal of flexibility.

Are separate applications required for the Applied Math program?

No, a single application to the graduate program in Mathematics is sufficient. We would recommend that you contact Jingfang Huang if you are planning to apply and would like to study in applied math.

Can I do a thesis project with professors from outside the Math Deptartment?

Your primary thesis advisor must be a member of the Mathematics department in order to attain a degree in Mathematics. However, we require that an applied math thesis committee contain at least one member from outside of the applied math group.

What courses are required for admission?

We have no formal course requirements for admission. All files are judged as a whole on many factors including undergraduate courses taken, undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, personal statements, research experience, and any other relevant information in the application file.

Is the GRE mathematics subject test required for admission?

The GRE subject test is not required for admission, but it is recommended. (Also see the answer to the question above). Students who are specifically interested in Applied Math and have elected to take the GRE subject test in a related field (e.g. Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Biology, etc.) should report those scores instead.

What undergraduate math courses will best prepare me for graduate study in Applied Math?

There is no perfect answer to this question, but courses in real and complex analysis, linear algebra, differential equations, and numerical analysis are good suggestions.

What is the typical stipend for graduate students?

The current basic stipend for a graduate student in the Mathematics department is around $16,000 as a teaching assistantship for the academic year. There are many departmental and University fellowships which allow students to earn higher stipends as well as summer teaching and research opportunities which pay an additional salary. Additionally, you are encouraged to apply to other fellowship opportunities, which often come with higher student stipends.

Should I submit a personal statement?

Yes. All applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a 1-2 page essay describing their background and interest in applied mathematics. Applicants can also use this opportunity to describe any research projects with which they have been involved.

Can I get a paper application form?

Yes, in theory, but in practice it is probably easier to find a way to apply on line than to convince the graduate school to send you one.

How many Applied math students are there?

It depends on how you count them, but you can get an estimate by counting those listed on our current students page.

What is the deadline for submitting an application for admission?

There is a two part answer to this queston. The official UNC Graduate School deadline for applying for next Fall is Jan. 1, 2008. Meeting this deadline will ensure that you will be considered for all University-wide Fellowships, the most prestigious and competitive form of graduate support. See the Graduate School deadlines page for more information. All admitted Graduate Students are eligible for these Fellowships, but they are completely independent of the financial support most students receive from the Mathematics Department.

Your application for graduate admission can be submitted after this date and will be forwarded to the Mathematics admissions committee. However, to ensure full consideration for admissions and a stipend, complete applications should be received no later than January 1. Admissions decisions in the Mathematics department (including Applied Mathematics) are made in January and February and offers usually go out by mid to late February.

Are there graduate programs in Statistics, Biostatistics, or Operations Research at UNC.

Yes, but in separate departments, see Statistics and Operations Research or Biostatistics for information.

Do graduate students have health insurance at UNC?

Yes. The UNC-CH Online Graduate Student Resource Guide is a very good resource, and contains a link to the Student Health Service webpage (click on “Health Care”).

Who should I contact for information regarding graduate study in mathematical biology?

A number of our faculty are involved in research in mathematical biology; interested students should probably first contact Laura Miller or Tim Elston. Students who are interested in mathematical biology are encouraged to apply to the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Training Program. To participate in this program through the math department, students should fill out separate applications to both the Department of Mathematics and BBSP.