During its 35-year history, the department has graduated more than 150 PhDs in applied mathematics. During its 35-year history, the department has graduated more than 150 PhDs in applied mathematics.

Graduate Study
PhD in Applied Mathematics

The PhD program in applied mathematics is designed for students who want to pursue research in applied math at the highest level. The PhD program prepares students for independent research and emphasizes flexibility in adapting research areas to current opportunities. PhD students can obtain a master's degree after successful completion of the first year of the PhD program.

The applied mathematics faculty is involved in research that uses a variety of mathematical methods associated with asymptotic analysis, bifurcation theory, graph theory, scientific computing, ordinary and partial differential equations, probability and statistics, singular perturbations, stability theory, and stochastic processes.

These methods are employed in the investigation of problems arising in areas
 like biomechanics, combustion theory, complex networks, diffusion processes, fluid mechanics, geophysics, interfacial phenomena, materials science, molecular biology, neurobiology, reactor theory, solid mechanics, statistical mechanics, transport theory, and wave phenomena.

Learn more about the department's research areas

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Request more Information

Download a PDF program guide about your program of interest and get in contact with our graduate admissions staff.

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Visit the Department

In early spring the department invites admitted PhD applicants to visit the department, usually for a departmental open house. For more information please see Addtional Information.


First-year PhD students are typically supported by university fellowships, which pay tuition costs and additionally provide a generous monthly stipend to cover living expenses. These fellowships carry no assigned duties, so students can direct all their efforts toward their studies.

After the first year, students are supported by research assistantships, teaching assistantships, or other special fellowships.


Career Paths

A degree in applied math opens the doors to many possibilities. Our graduates become professors at major research universities, teach at liberal arts colleges, get research positions in national labs and agencies, such as the NSA, and work in industry.

Graduates who want to get academic positions at major research universities typically have to do research as postdoctoral fellows first, usually for two or three years. Five graduates of our program have served as department chairs of their respective departments. These include the applied math department at the University of Washington (Nathan Kutz) and the math department at the University of British Columbia (Rachel Kuske). More detailed information about many PhD graduates can be found at Alumni.