Master of Science in Applied Mathematics (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.
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 (ACM) 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 programs and assists with registration issues.  The Department of Applied Mathematics manages all aspects of our academics.  The transcript and diploma are awarded by UW. 
What background should an applicant have?
Applicants should hold the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, applied mathematics or another branch of science or engineering. You should also have completed coursework in calculus, 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.
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. 
Can I apply for any quarter?
We only offer autumn admission.
How can I request an application fee waiver? 
Step 1: See if you qualify for a UW Grad School application fee waiver and follow the instructions provided if so.  Step 2: If ineligible for the above waiver, the department offers a limited number of waivers. Waivers may be granted to applicants who identify as members of underrepresented or marginalized groups. Waivers may also be granted on a need basis. If requesting a waiver for these reasons, please email to explain why you are seeking a waiver (please include your citizenship).
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?
At minimum, students should have a 3.2 out of 4.0 scale. We especially look at grades in upper level mathematics courses, such as our prerequisite courses.
How many students do you accept in the MS program?
Each year, we admit around 25 new students. We generally see over 100 applicants.
Will I be offered a teaching or research assistantship? Are fellowships available?
Typically, each year a few students are admitted with funding and that information will be included in the admissions offer.  For other admitted students who did not receive funding at the time of admission, we do not guarantee funding; however, if we have available assistantships (RA/TA/SA) we will consider our Amath & CFRM MS students. The department assumes by default that all our MS students are interested in TA positions.  Students' application materials (from when they applied to UW), course grades, ​course needs, ​and feedback from professors ​may all be used in order to decide who will be offered TA positions. If a student has been selected for a TA position, that student will be contacted by the Graduate Program Advisor​​ in order to either accept or pass on the offer.​ ​ There may be special trainings to attend if hired.  We also hire a few hourly appointments each quarter, which do not come with a tuition waiver but are paid at $18/hour. Since a position is not guaranteed, we recommend you budget accordingly. For questions regarding financial aid or student loans, please contact Student Financial Aid. To search for positions outside our department, see HandshakeUW Hires, or the Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) Guide
How much is tuition?
Tuition rates do change frequently. You can find information regarding tuition at the Office of Planning and Budgeting website. This lists costs for residents (of Washington) and non-residents.  We are a Graduate Tier 1 program. For information on estimating costs, please visit the financial aid cost estimate page. International students can find cost estimates on the graduate school website.
What GPA am I expected to maintain for satisfactory academic progress?
In order to be a candidate for the MS degree, you must maintain an overall GPA of 3.2 out of 4.0. Individual courses that are graded 2.7 and lower must be retaken to count toward the degree.
How many courses should I take each quarter?
Students in the campus program should plan to attend full time, specifically taking 3 classes (12-15 credits) per quarter.  The program is typically finished in one academic year. 
Do students take courses in other fields? What fields do they take courses in?
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.
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.