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Department of Mathematics

palmetto tree by a gate

Graduate Applicants

All graduate students apply through the university's graduate school. Please contact us with any questions you have specific to our department.


The deadline for priority for Fall 2018 admission is Jan. 31, 2018. However, we will continue accepting applications after this date if space is still available. 


Basic Application Parts

  1. Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended for course credit
  2. Test Scores 
    1. General GRE: required; GRE math Subject test: Optional
    2. Applicants whose natvie language is not English must supply TOEFL or IELTS scores
  3. Two or more letters of Recommendation 
  4.  A Statement of Purpose (about your mathematics goals, interests, experiences, etc.,...) 
  5.  Supplemental Materials (if available). Examples include CV/resume, papers, preprints, etc.,...

Come for a Visit

If you've been accepted and haven't come for a visit already, we encourage you to do so if possible. We provide limited travel support for applicants who received assistantship offers from us.

We hope you'll be able to meet faculty and other students, explore the local area, sit in on classes, and join us for a seminar before you begin your studies at USC.


Optional Subject GRE

If you score above 600, include your test score in your application, it will strengthen it. On the other hand, a weak GRE Subject score (below 400) weakens your application considerably.


TOEFL Requirements

The University requires an Internet based TOEFL score of 80 or better (or equivalent according to concordance tables) for admission. For teaching assistantship, our Department requires an Internet based TOEFL score of 100 or better. If you completed a degree from an institution of higher education in the US or Canada, the university waives the TOEFL requirement.



We award a limited number of assistantships each year, usually about 10 to 12. In academic year 2016-17, the stipends were $17,500 for students who had not passed the qualifying exam yet; $18,000 for students who passed the qualifying exam but had not passed the comprehensive exam; $18,500 for students who had passed the comprehensive exam.

The department also provides 100 percent tuition abatement for TAs and we have limited summer support for TAs (between $3,350 and $4,400 depending on what course the TA teaches). First and second year students have the highest priority. In the last few years, we have been able to provide summer support to all first and second year students who requested it, so their stipend for the year was in the $20,850 - $ 22,900 range. Most of the third, fourth, and fifth year students are supported in the summer by research grants, internships, or employment outside campus.

The Math Department TAs teach one course a semester. Most first-year TAs teach Calculus recitations and labs. After their first year, most TAs teach a stand-alone course. Our graduates have shared that having teaching experience has been very beneficial for them to find a job.

Every year we have 4 to 6 students supported by research assistantships. Usually these are students in their third, fourth, or fifth year.

When comparing stipends, keep in mind that the cost of living in Columbia, SC is relatively low (housing is inexpensive).