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Department of Mathematics

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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 Fall 2024 admission is February 28, 2024.

Basic Application Parts

  1. Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended for course credit
  2. Test Scores 
    • Applicants whose native language is not English must supply TOEFL or IELTS scores
  3. Two or more Letters of Recommendation 
  4.  A Statement of Purpose (your mathematics goals, interests, experiences, etc.) 
  5.  Supplemental Materials (as applicable).
    • Examples include CV/resume, papers, preprints, etc.

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 expect to award 11–13 assistantships in Fall 2024. The starting stipend (9 month salary) for new assistantships is $20,000. New assistantships will also get full tuition abatement. Subject to annual performance reviews of scholarship and teaching, these assistantships are renewable for up to 5 years.

In the last 10 years, we have been able to offer summer stipends to all students who prepare for the qualifying exams in the summer after their first year, and to most students who prepare for the comprehensive exams in the summer after the second year. Summer stipend amounts range between $3,500 and $4,500, depending on the teaching assignment. Many students in summers beyond their third year find support from individual faculty member grants or from external sources such as internships or other employment outside USC.

When comparing financial packages, keep in mind that the cost of living in Columbia, SC is very low.


Strong applicants are also eligible for two types of Fellowships.

  1. Presidential Fellowship: $8,000/year for 4 years.
  2. College of Arts Sciences Fellowship: $4,000/year for 4 years. 

Teaching responsibilities.

All graduate student assistants are expected to teach, except for those supported by faculty grants.

First-year, first-semester students will be teaching assistants for Calculus I or Calculus II. In the second semester of the first year and the first semester of the second year, students take 1-credit courses on math pedagogy (MATH 791 and 792) under the instruction of Dr. Sean Yee.

Starting in the second year, students who completed, or are taking, Dr. Yee's courses are eligible to be instructor of record for the following courses:

  • MATH 111 (College Algebra),
  • MATH115 (Precalculus),
  • MATH122 (Business Calculus),
  • MATH170 (Finite Mathematics),
  • MATH174 (Discrete Math for Computer Science).

On certain occasions, usually in Spring, experienced student instructors can be instructor of record for

  • MATH141 (Calculus I),
  • MATH142 (Calculus II),
  • MATH241 (Calculus III),
  • MATH242 (Elementary Differential Equations)
  • MATH374 (Discrete Math).


In recent years, our Ph.D. graduates have taken postdoctoral appointments at Arizona State, U. Delaware, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Max Planck, Penn St., Queens U., UC-San Diego, U. Southern California, Texas A&M, U. Utah, and Wake Forest. Our graduates have also taken jobs with Ernst & Young, Microsoft, Google, NSA, NASA, Texas Instruments, and Wells Fargo.

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