FAQs about Applying for Grad School


Q: What graduate degree programs are offered?
A: The department offers graduate programs leading to the degree of M.S. in mathematics, M.S. in applied mathematics, M.S. in statistics, Ph.D. in mathematics, and Ph.D. in applied mathematics.  About three quarters of the graduate students in the department plan to earn a Ph.D. degree.  Most of the remaining one quarter of the graduate students are working toward the M.S. in statistics degree. 
Q: What are the requirements which students in the programs must fulfill?
A: Please see the Mathematics Graduate Student Handbook.

Q: How do I apply and what are the minimal admissions requirements? 
A: There is a link to the online application on the College of Arts and Sciences web site at http://cas.lehigh.edu/grad.  Official transcripts and two letters of recommendation are required.  
The GRE General Tests are not required, but they are very strongly recommended.  The GRE Mathematics Subject Test score is also helpful, but it is less important than the General Test scores.  
The minimal undergraduate grade point average is 3.0, and there are no minimal required scores.   However, most applicants have high grade point averages, high GRE scores, and strong letters of recommendation.  A bachelor's degree or an equivalent degree is required. Most applicants to the Ph.D. programs have a bachelor's or master's degree in mathematics. Applicants to the M.S. in statistics degree tend to have bachelor's degree's in mathematics, statistics, or another quantitative field. 
Q: What mathematical background should I have in order to succeed in the Ph.D. program?
A: You will need to have undergone solid training in the basic areas of undergraduate (abstract and linear) algebra and undergraduate real and complex analysis.  During the first year of graduate study, most students take basic graduate courses  in which these subjects are treated at a rigorous and more advanced level, so it is important to have a strong background in these subjects at the undergraduate level. 
Q: What background should I have in order to succeed in the M.S. in statistics program?
A:  The student's undergraduate degree must include at least 9 semester-hours of calculus. Students who have not had any course in linear algebra, complex variables and advanced calculus are advised to take Lehigh's Math 205 (or 244), Math 208 (or 316) and Math 301 at the earliest opportunity.   It would also be helpful to have had some undergraduate probability and statistics courses, and some theoretical and applied mathematics courses.  
Q: What are the requirements for international students? 
A: International students submit the application forms as stated above. In addition, students whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL scores.  The minimal scores required 
for the iBT TOEFL are
        Reading:    21
        Listening:  15
        Speaking:  24
        Writing:     25
        Total:       85
Students who are offered a teaching assistantship must pass a Speak Test at Lehigh in order to continue as a teaching assistant. Further information can be found on the English as a Second Language web site at   http://www.lehigh.edu/~inesl/home.  

Q: When is the deadline for filing an application? 
A: The deadline for the fall semester is January 1 (late applications may be considered); however, the deadline for financial aid consideration for the fall semester is January 1 (although applications for financial aid are often considered after the deadline in some special cases).
Q: When are the admission and financial aid offers made?
A: Most students are sent a letter informing them of the decision concerning their admission to the program some time in January 1 (although late applications may be considered).  Financial aid (TA, RA, fellowships, and scholarship) offers are mostly made in January 1 (although late applications may be considered).  However, offers are occassionally made much later (even in July or August), so, before accepting an offer elsewhere, please contact us to check on the status of your application if you have not yet heard from us. 
Q: Is an interview required? 
A: An interview is not required, but please contact us if you would like to visit. 
Q: What are the credit requirements for the master's degree? 
A: The minimum requirement for the master' degree is 30 credits. 
Q: Is it possible to transfer credits towards a graduate degree? 
A: Transfer credits can only be applied towards a Masters degree. A maximum of 9 credits can be transferred.
Q: What are the tuition charges? 
A: Please see the web site for the Office of the Bursar

Q: Is financial aid available? 
A: Full-time students may apply for financial aid in form of fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships.  Most of the Ph.D. students have teaching assistantships which provide tuition remission and a stipend.   However, only a few new teaching assistantships are awarded each year.  Of the students who are not teaching assistants, most receive some partial scholarship support at some point during their graduate studies. Student loans are available through the Office of Financial Aid. Applicants who are teaching and who apply for addition coursework or a degree program may be eligible for a special educator tuition rate.
Q: Is on-campus housing available? 
A: Graduate student housing is available on campus and off-campus within close proximity of the university.
Q: Is it possible to take courses without being admitted to a degree program?
A: Applicants may request admission as non-degree students for a limited number of courses and credits. A non-degree application form is available on the College of Arts and Sciences web site.