Suggested application timeline

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many changes in the testing and application process.  Graduate programs may have adjusted their application schedules, so be sure to carefully review the deadlines for particular programs.

May to September

Research and begin selecting schools.


To decide which program is the best fit, potential students should consider their own qualifications (including their GRE scores, their GPA, and their mathematical preparation) as well as the methodological approach, fields of specialization, predominant ideology, size of program, program culture (cooperative, competitive, etc.), typical time-to-degree, required examinations, financial aid, emphasis on mathematics, job prospects, and location of the programs to which they apply.


Practice for the GRE.


This could include using an online preparation website, a printed or electronic study guide (widely available at bookstores), or taking a specific course. The test is administered by Educational Testing Service, and their website ( provides extensive information on the GRE.


Take the GRE and solicit letters of recommendation.


Contact individuals to solicit letters of recommendation. Potential factors to consider when soliciting letter writers are the degree to which he/she can assess your potential abilities in graduate school (including your mathematical background and your analytical skills) and his/her prestige. Non-native speakers may also want to have supplementary letters addressing written and verbal communication skills.


Re-take the GRE (if needed) and prepare applications.


Stronger applications use professional and concise language and have clearly organized materials. Potential students may want to have a third party (e.g., advisor or letter of recommend writer) review and critique their application.

December to early January

Applications are generally due around this time.

February to April

Acceptance decisions are released.


Graduate programs begin.


Naturally, some programs have different schedules, so be careful to review the deadlines for the particular programs to which you are applying.