Master of Science in Applied and Computational Mathematics (On-Campus)

Frequently Asked Questions


What does your program have to offer & what will I be able to do with my degree?
Our students graduate with the knowledge, the experience, and the ability to be leaders in a society that exhibits increasing demands for competence in communication, computation, and quantitative analysis. Applied mathematics encompasses some of the most diverse and interdisciplinary research in the physical, engineering, and biological sciences, which is what is needed in order to address the problems that we face today and in our future. We offer a broad curriculum with graduate courses in applied mathematics to provide students with the tools they need to succeed. Many of our students go on to careers in industry at places such as Boeing, Microsoft, or biotechnology companies. Furthermore, some students use their MS degree to become instructors at community colleges or universities. Also, some students choose to apply to PhD programs with UW AMATH, other UW departments, or at other prestigious universities. Career resources, as well as a look at student pathways after graduation, may be found here.

How much is the tuition for the on-campus Master of Science in Applied & Computational Math program?The Master of Science in Applied and Computational Mathematics is a fee-based, self-sustaining program on campus.  Tuition is charged per quarter. Students will pay either resident or non-resident tuition rates, according to their eligibility. Part-time and full-time students pay the same quarterly rate. Current costs: Resident: $5,636/quarter (plus fees). Non-resident: $10,054/quarter (plus fees). Tuition and fees are subject to change annually.

Will I be offered a teaching or research assistantship? Is funding available?
Admission to this program does not include funding (TA/RA positions, scholarships, or fellowships). For questions regarding financial aid or student loans, please contact Student Financial Aid. A great starting place to learn more about finding funding is the Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) Blog

What is the difference between the various MS programs offered?
As mentioned above, the expected outcome for each MS program is that students graduate with the knowledge, the experience, and the ability to be leaders in a society that exhibits increasing demands for competence in communication, computation, and quantitative analysis. One difference is the online program has a limited selection of online classes as not all UW departments offer coursework online. Also, a key difference between each MS program is cost and fee-structure. Potential applicants can compare the costs for each program by reviewing the program’s page for detailed information. Lastly, our Applied & Computational Mathematics programs (both campus and online) are administered by Professional & Continuing Education (PCE).  PCE, which is part of the University of Washington, manages billing for the ACM program and assists with registration issues.  The Department of Applied Mathematics manages all aspects of our academics.  The transcript and diploma are awarded by UW. 

May I transfer between MS programs?

What is the recommended background for this program?
Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree in mathematics, applied mathematics or another branch of science or engineering. You should also have completed coursework in a calculus series (advanced calculus and/or real analysis strongly recommended but not required), differential equations, linear algebra, and numerical analysis or scientific computing. You should have the ability to program in Matlab, C, C++, Python, Fortran, or a similar scientific computing language.

What is the admission rate for this program?
The admissions rate is approximately 50%.

Can I apply for any quarter?
We only offer autumn admission.

When are applications reviewed?
The admissions committee will begin reviewing applications as early as December 1st, but everyone who applies by the deadline receives full consideration. The admissions page shows when applicants can expect a response.  We kindly request that you not email us to ask about the admissions decision unless you have not heard from us and February 15th has passed.

How do I strengthen my application?
Competitive applicants will have strong grades in relevant prerequisite coursework, well written personal statements, and letters of recommendation that speak to their mathematical abilities. 

Do I need to take the GRE general exam?
It is optional for students to submit the GRE General or Subject exam results. Scores are not required and the absence of such scores will not hurt the application of any applicant. 

What is the minimum score you consider in the GRE, if submitting?
We have no minimum. We consider your application as a whole.

What grade point average do you look for in potential MS students?
We would like to see students able to keep above a 3.2 out of 4.0 scale. We especially look at grades in upper level mathematics courses, such as our prerequisite courses.

Is this a full time program?
Students may attend part time with one class per quarter or full time at 10 or more credits per quarter.

How do I get involved in research?
Students may take AMATH 600 which is independent research or study with a professor- please see full policy.

What are the journal clubs?
Journal clubs vary according to each topic and club. Some journal clubs are organized by faculty. Generally, it is a way for students to further explore a topic of interest (such as fluid dynamics, numerical analysis, or mathematical biology) by reading journal articles and/or presenting findings to your group. Please contact the faculty or student in charge of each club to find out further details.

Do students take courses in other fields?
Yes. Students occasionally may take graduate level courses in pure mathematics, statistics, computer science, oceanography, engineering (several different fields), biochemistry, biology and many other fields.

Is there a thesis option?
While not a standard component of this program, students may choose to complete a MS thesis. The requirements to do so are in addition to the degree requirements. For students in the thesis option, an oral defense of the MS thesis is required. Additional details may be found here.

Is this a terminal degree? Is there a way to transition from the MS to the PhD program?
Many will enter this program with the intention of finding industry jobs after graduation. However, if a student is interested in continuing toward a Ph.D. degree in the department, the student is expected to submit an internal application to the Graduate Program Coordinator by the announced deadline. The Graduate Program Coordinator and the AMATH faculty will consider their application together with those of other applicants to the Ph.D. program. Students will be notified of their admission status (including possible financial aid) no later than April 15.  Students’ files will be evaluated with those of the external PhD applicants and admission is highly competitive.