Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is the minimum acceptable GRE Mathematics Subject Test  score?
Answer: There is not a minimum acceptable score for the GRE Subject Test.  However, most all of our successful applicants score above the 50 percentile. 

2.  Do I have to take the GRE Mathematics Subject Test?
Answer: Although we do consider  applicants that have not taken the GRE Mathematics Subject Test, we strongly recommend that candidates take the test since the results are one of the most important criteria in making our final decisions.

3.  What is the average GPA of the graduate students that have been matriculated?
Answer: We do not have an average GPA for our successful applicants since they come from all over the world, from many different GPA systems, and from institutions with different course requirements.

4.  Do  Master’s Degree students receive teaching assistantships?
Answer: No.  Financial aid is only offered to students admitted to the Ph.D. program.

5.  Do I have to fill out other forms to apply for financial aid?
Answer: No.  All successful applicants are offered Graduate Teaching Assistantships that are supplemented by a full University Tuition Scholarship (which includes a service-free award that pays all of the tuition costs and student health insurance coverage). Graduate Teaching Assistantships also include a stipend.

6.  What is the minimal accepted TOEFL score?
Answer: University policy requires a minimum score of 570 on the paper-based test or an 88 on the internet-based test.  See the Special Requirements for International Students section of the Graduate Catalog for more details:

7.  Do I have to take the TOEFL exam?
Answer: All international students who have not received a degree from an English-speaking university must  take the TOEFL exam.

8. Can I take the IELTS instead of the TOEFL exam?
Answer: TOEFL is the preferred, and official, language proficiency test. Consideration by the Graduate School of IELTS scores in lieu of TOEFL scores will be on a case-by-case basis with a minimum accepted score of 7.

9.  Do I have to send my official GRE and TOEFL scores?
Answer: We will consider applications with self-reported scores. However, all successful applicants must submit original scores before they can be admitted.

10. Do I have to send my official transcripts?
Answer: We do not require official transcripts unless an offer of admission is made and accepted by you. At that time, official transcripts should be mailed to:

Center for Data Management
Vanderbilt University
PMB 407833
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7833

11.  What are the teaching obligations of the graduate students?
Answer: See the Graduate Teaching Program web page.

12.  How many students do you matriculate each year? or How many international students do you matriculate each year?
Answer: Over the last 8 years we have had incoming classes ranging in size from 8 – 13.  All applicants are given equal consideration regardless of their nationality.

13.  What is the most important application criteria?
Answer: There is not one single criteria that is most important in deciding among our applicants, but transcripts (courses taken and grades received),  letters of recommendation and the GRE Subject score are all heavily weighted.

14.  Attached is my application information.  Can you evaluate my chances of being accepted into the program?
Answer: No.  We can only evaluate applications after we have received all of the requested information, including letters of recommendation and transcripts as well as the completed application materials of all the other candidates.

15. Where can I get help with my Graduate School Application?
Answer: See the Graduate and Professional School Application Help web page.

16.  Do you accept applications for the spring semester?
Answer: No

17. How do I check on the status of my application?
Answer: Once your application has been submitted, your log in will take you to your Application Status page. Use the Application checklist to verify which application requirements have been met and which are still outstanding.

18. Are there any undergraduate math classes that are necessary for acceptance into the Ph.D. program?
Answer: There are no mandatory classes, but the more upper level math classes (including graduate-level classes) taken will increase your chances of acceptance.