Helpful tips to prepare for graduate study in Mathematics :

  • Things to do during your junior year:
    • Get Information About Programs. Gather information. Talk to classmates and faculty, and do an online search.
    • Determine Admissions Requirements. Compare requirements for admissions at different programs. Also, find out whether the school requires any specific course work or out-of-class experiences, and whether they have minimum requirements for GRE and Subject GRE.
    • Select Programs to Which to Apply. How well do these programs match your interests and needs? Check funding, university reputation and your gut feelings to decide whether a given program is a good match for you.
    • Discuss Your Career Goals. Meet with faculty and career counselors to discuss programs and your plans.
    • Establish Relationships with Faculty. Talk with faculty after class. Visit office hours. Discuss your career goals.
    • Take Coursework to Strengthen Your Application.
Take extra elective courses that may aid your application. Consider taking honors courses and graduate courses. Try to raise your GPA.
    • Prepare for Standardized Tests. Take an online free sample test to determine your strengths and weaknesses. Then construct a plan for studying material that you’re weak on and for learning how to take the test. Check out one of the many preparation books from the science library.
    • Take GRE Tests. Plan to take any required tests by the end of your junior year, at least the general GRE test. Take them early so that you can retake them if needed.
    • Get involved in math-related extracurricular activities. Join the math club, do some tutoring, go to professional math meetings, give a talk.
    • Get Experiences. Enroll in a research project or a reading course (Math 199), do some volunteer work or anything that shows that you have some experience in your field.

Here are some tips to help you get into graduate school:

  • Maintain a very high math GPA. Get excellent grades in your math courses; in particular, get very good grades in the “proof-based” courses. (Grades on core mathematics courses are more important than overall GPA.)
  • Elective courses might not be offered every year, so check the list of upper-division course offerings and plan ahead.
  • Graduate-level courses can be hazardous to your GPA. Before enrolling, talk to your professors and counselors.
  • Enroll in the Honors Program. To give your application a competitive edge, consider writing an Honors Thesis.
  • Do an internship.

Participate in an intensive math enhancement program such as “the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics” (BSM), the Cornell “Summer Math Institute” (SMI) or the “Mathematics Advanced Studies Semester Program” (MASS).

  • Get involved in research. Training in research will give you a chance to understand whether you would enjoy pursuing a Ph.D. degree and will put you in contact with potential recommenders. Most importantly, getting involved in research prior to grad school will give your application an enormous edge: to the admission committee, previous experience is an indicator of future success!
  • Participate in at least one “math activity” outside class, to show your commitment to mathematics.
  • Join a mathematical professional organization, e.g., MAA, AMS, AWM. (Note that MAA offers subsidized memberships to students.)
  • Tutor in mathematics.
  • Participate in a math competition.
  • Attend a professional math meeting and present a poster at a math conference (e.g., at a MAA or AMS meeting).
  • Get to know your professors (the potential writer of your recommendation letters): enhance your class participation, attend office hours frequently, and discuss your graduate school plans with them before you ask them for a letter.
  • Study for the GRE subject test in math.



  • Here are some networking tips from University of Illinois
    • Talk with mathematicians informally at conferences. Let them know you’re on the job market. You may hear about jobs informally or early this way.
    • Use your advisor’s network; ask your advisor for help making connections. Your advisor may be willing to contact some of the places you have applied to ask them to keep an eye out for your application.
    • Your advisor, professors, postdocs in our department are good sources of information. Ask everyone for advice and let them know that you’re on the job market. Be involved in seminars.
    • Build bridges when you hear talks on campus or at conferences. Look for mathematical connections with the speaker’s work and talk with him or her if you see any connection at all. Go to conferences as much as possible

    Article on 8 tips for a successful actuary interview

Resume tips for Teachers from College of William and Mary

  • Highlight your experience with school-aged populations. Whether or not you’re certified to teach, highlighting any experience you’ve had working with school-aged children is an important step in making yourself an attractive candidate to a school system or private institution. Examples of working with such populations include:
  • Camp counseling
  • Life guarding
  • Tutoring/Training any employees less experienced than yourself
  • Coaching/Working at local recreation centers or YMCA facilities
  • Include any sports or activities you would be willing/able to offer. If you’ve been a member of a sports team, or even if you simply enjoy a sport or activity for recreation, put it on a résumé. All schools offer afternoon activities for their students and are almost always looking for people to sponsor them. Be sure to mention activities such as:
    • Drama
    • Team Sports
    • Personal fitness activities like horseback riding, weight lifting or aerobics
    • Playing an instrument
    • Working on a high school, community, or college newspaper/radio station/yearbook
    • Organizing special events (dances, graduation ceremonies, club meetings)
  • Here’s a list of skills for Computer/Mathematics Majors:
    • Research
      • Using original sources
      • Applying theoretical approaches to research problems
      • Analyzing and interpreting statistics
    • Critical Thinking
      • Defining and formulating problems
      • Interpreting data and evaluating results
      • Understanding patterns and structures
      • Critical analysis of the soundness of thought process and approach
      • Careful and quantitative thinking skills
    • Communication
      • Computer modeling
      • Writing concisely
      • Explaining complex concepts
      • Developing precise and logical arguments

Common Interview questions for Actuaries from

    • Why do you want to be an actuary?
    • What do you know about the actuarial industry/current events in the industry?
    • What programs do you have experience using in relation to actuarial science?

    Common interview questions for Statisticians and Mathematicians

    Common interview questions for Math teachers

    • How have you worked to combat students’ fear of math?
    • Talk about the use of calculators and other technology in math classes.
    • How have you handled homework issues?
    • How have you encouraged students to stay in school and graduate?
    • What is a current trend in the teaching of your subject, and how have you dealt with this trend?
    • Describe a lesson that would fit a traditional 50-minute lesson. Or, describe a lesson that would fit into a 90-minute blocked class.
    • What kinds of stressors do today’s high school student’s face, and how have you helped them to cope with their concerns?

Career Resources for Mathematics Majors:

Mathematics Degree Types:

Master of Science

Master of Art

Doctor of Philosophy

Career Paths:

  • Master’s Degree: 
    •  Teacher
    • Actuary
    • Financial Advisor/Analyst
    • Bioinformatics/statistics Scientist
  • PhD:
    •  Mathematician


Median Salary:$96,700

Outlook: 18%

High School Teachers

Median Salary:$56,310


Middle School Teachers

Median Salary:$54,940 

Outlook: 6%


Median Salary:$79,990

Outlook: 34%

Operations Research Analysts

Median Salary:$76,660



Median Salary:$103,720 


Yale University

  • Applied Mathematics (M.S./PhD.)
  • Mathematics (PhD.)
  • Biostatistics (M.S./PhD.)
  • Statistics (M.A./PhD.)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Mathematics (PhD.)

Columbia University

  • Statistics (M.A./PhD.)
  • Biostatistics (PhD.)
  • Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics (PhD.)
  • Mathematics (PhD.)
  • Actuarial Science (M.S.)

New York University

  • Mathematics (M.S./PhD.)
  • Scientific Computing (M.S.)
  • Mathematics in Finance (M.S)
  • Data Science (M.S)
  • Atmosphere Ocean Science and Mathematics (PhD.)

Stony Brook University – SUNY

  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics (M.S./PhD.)
  • Mathematics (M.A./PhD.)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick

  • Mathematics (M.S./PhD.)

University of Chicago

  • Statistics (M.S./PhD.)
  • Financial Mathematics (M.S.)
  • Mathematics (PhD.)

University of Maryland – College Park

  • Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation (M.S./PhD.)
  • Mathematical Statistics (M.A./PhD.)
  • Mathematics (M.A./PhD.)
  • Mathematics of Advanced Industrial Technology (M.S.)

University of Pennsylvania

  • Applied Mathematics and Computational Science (M.A./PhD.)
  • Mathematics (M.A./M.S./PhD.)
  • Statistics (MBA)
  • Statistics, Measurement, and Research Technology (M.S.)

Brandeis University

  • Mathematics (M.A./PhD.)

Boston University

  • Actuarial Science (M.S.)
  • Biostatistics (M.A./PhD.)
  • Mathematics (M.A./PhD.)
  • Mathematics Education (MAT,/EdD.)
  • Statistical Practice (M.S.)


Related Groups:

American Mathematical Society

American Statistical Society

Mathematical Association of America

Society of Actuaries

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematicians

American Academy of Actuaries

Helpful websites: