Prospective Graduate Student FAQ

What does the math department look for from an applicant?

Admissions and financial support are based on several major factors: mathematical course background and grades, recommendation letters, and a personal statement. GRE scores are also considered (although these are optional for the 2021-22 application cycle). The profile described on the Admissions page is not a rigid requirement, but is intended only as a guideline. An applicant with an alternative background showing strength in other areas may be successful. Conversely, an applicant who meets these guidelines may nevertheless not be offered admission. The decision process involves a careful assessment of the applicant’s likelihood of success in the graduate program, based on all evidence supplied by the applicant.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Applicants are automatically considered for financial aid. Students accepted into the PhD program normally receive a full-tuition fellowship and a teaching assistantship. Students making satisfactory progress can expect to be supported for six years.

Teaching assistants teach two recitation sections each semester (this typically amounts to a total of two 50-minute class meetings per week), grade for approximately two hours per week, and spend 2 hours each week in the Math Help Room.

Are application fee waivers available?

Yes, application fee waivers are available based on financial need and/or participation in certain programs.

What is the difference between the Statement of Purpose and the Personal Statement?

In the Statement of Purpose (required) we ask you to discuss your academic and career objectives, your research interests, and your preparation. In the Personal Statement (optional) you can discuss your personal background, and any personal challenges or opportunities that have impact your decision to pursue graduate study. This helps us create a more holistic understanding of you as an applicant. If you have already written a single essay that addresses both of these topics, you should feel free to upload it as a Statement of Purpose rather than submitting separate documents. Not including a Personal Statement will not impact your application negatively.

How long does it usually take to complete your program?

Most students complete their PhD in five or six years, but in exceptional cases students have finished in as few as three years.

Can I apply for an MA degree?

We only accept students into a PhD program. You must be a current JHU undergrad to apply to the BA/MA program.

How many students will you admit to the program in the fall?

We usually have between 5 and 10 students entering the graduate program each year.

How many international students will you admit?

Typically around half of our graduate students are international students.

I am an international student who is currently studying in the U.S. Do I need to submit a TOEFL score with my application?

If you completed or are completing a Bachelor’s degree from a university in an English-speaking country, you do not need to submit a TOEFL score. Students in English-speaking graduate programs who did not complete an undergraduate degree in an English-speaking country must submit a TOEFL score.

Do I have to take the GRE subject test?

The GRE subject test is not required.

What are the Institution and Department codes for the GRE and TOEFL?

The institution code is 5332 for both the GRE and TOEFL. The mathematics department code for the GRE is 0703, and for the TOEFL is 72.

Can I submit copies of GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS score reports with my application and avoid the fees ETS charges?

All test scores are accepted from the testing agencies only.

Do you require that your official form be used for letters of recommendation?

The official form is a part of the online recommendation. Letters of recommendation are only accepted online.

Is it possible to submit more than three letters of recommendation?

At this time, our online system can only accept three letters of recommendation. If you wish to have additional letters considered, please have your recommender email the letter to

Do you admit students to the program in the spring semester?

No. Students are admitted for the fall semester only.

Can I receive a conditional acceptance to the PhD program?

The math department does not extend a conditional acceptance to the PhD program.

Where should I send any paper documents that support my application?

Paper documents should be sent to:

The Johns Hopkins University
Graduate Affairs & Admissions Office
Shriver Hall 28
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218