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PhD MTHS Application Instructions


The Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences aims to develop professionals in industry, government, and higher education who have versatility, who are conversant in other fields, and who can communicate effectively with people in other professional cultures. The program is flexible, learner driven, and provides participants with a structured environment, professional guidance, and advising support.  Applicants for admission to the Mathematical Sciences Ph.D. program will be expected to have completed an undergraduate degree with the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in Mathematics or Statistics containing an adequate background in Computer Science. Applicants with degrees in related disciplines will be considered provided the applicant demonstrates a strong mathematical proficiency.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

Any applicant whose native language is not English and who has not received a baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalently accredited non‐U.S. institution with instruction exclusively in English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 (80 on the internet‐based test or 213 on the computer‐based test). The International English Language Testing System exam (IELTS) may be substituted for the TOEFL; the minimum acceptable score is 6.5. For further information about the English Language Proficiency Requirement visit , or contact International Admissions at 503‐725‐3511 or

Funding and Graduate Assistantships

The Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics has a limited number of Graduate Assistantships available on a competitive basis. Graduate Assistants receive both tuition remission and a stipend for the academic year (Fall, Winter and Spring Terms).  Additional information can be found at Applicants will be asked during the online departmental application process to indicate if they are interested in receiving a graduate assistantship.

The Department also awards up to three Eugene Enneking Doctoral Fellowships per academic year. Each fellowship is $20,000 per academic year plus tuition remission.  Additional information can be found at

Alternate funding opportunities are also available on the Office of Graduate Studies website and information on financial aid is available on the University website

Application Deadlines

The Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences graduate program offers rolling admissions which follow the University's admission priority processing deadlines.  Please note that the following dates are priority filing dates only. Applications will still be accepted after these dates.

April 1st for Fall admission; Sept. 1st for Winter; Nov. 1st for Spring; and Feb. 1st for Summer.

***Applicants seeking a graduate assistantship should apply to both the department and the university by February 1st for the following academic year.***

There is no flexibility on the graduate assistantship deadline. Applications must be submitted and include all supplemental application materials by the deadline.

Important: applicants must apply separately to the University and to the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Two independent applications and sets of documentation must be provided.

Your Department application will not be reviewed until you have submitted your University application and have been assigned a PSU identification number. Applicants will be notified of both Department and University acceptance in writing via the US Postal Service.

Application 1: The University Application

The University Application can be completed online by going to the University’s website‐applicant. Please use the major code MTHS for the Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences. With your application you must submit a non‐refundable $50 application fee and you will be required to pay via Visa or MasterCard. If you have never attended Portland State University, you will also need to send an official transcript from each post‐secondary institution you have attended. If you have attended other schools since attending Portland State University, you will need to send updated official transcripts from those schools.  Send your official transcripts for your University application to:

Office of Admissions
Portland State University
P.O. Box 751
Portland, OR 97207‐0751

If you have questions about the University application or admissions process, please contact the University’s Office of Admissions directly by going to Do not send the University application fee to the Mathematics and Statistics Department. This $50 fee is subject to change by the Oregon University System.

Application 2: The Department Application

The Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics is now using an online application system, allowing for the electronic submission of all components of the department application including personal statement, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. There is no fee for this application, which can be found by selecting the link below:

You will first need to create a username and password by selecting the link titled “Create Your Account”. You can either complete the application and submit it in one sitting, or save your work and continue it at a later time.

When filling out your application:

  • To save what you have done so far without exiting, click the Save button.
  • To save and exit, click the Finish Session or Save and Exit button.
  • To access an application in progress and continue your work on it, go to your Activity Log and select the application.
  • Dishonesty will not be tolerated in the application process. The submission of materials that are incomplete, forged, fraudulent, altered from the original, or obtained under false pretenses, is prohibited by Portland State University and any omission or misinformation may jeopardize the applicant's admission status and enrollment privileges and could result in revocation of the offer of admission.

Data Validation: This error indicates that you have either skipped a necessary field on the application or have not correctly entered the required information. Please look over the application for any fields that are set aside in a box with an error message immediately above them, such as "This is a required field." You should be able to proceed with your application when you make the necessary correction or, for the purpose of navigating through the application you may select the button “Postpone Data Validation”

Please note: You cannot make a correction to a submitted application. Once your application has been submitted, you can only edit the contact information for your online letters of recommendation.

The application will require you to provide materials meeting specific criteria as outlined below and on the following page.

Supplemental Materials

  • An allied area statement explaining your background in an allied area.  The allied area statement is very important since the program is designed around the principle that the student should be sufficiently proficient in an allied discipline to effectively interact with scientists in that field. The student will be expected to take graduate level courses in an allied area. For this purpose the applicant is expected to have some minimal background at the undergraduate level. You will be asked to upload your allied area statement in one of the following supported file types: PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, or TXT.
  • A complete set of transcripts. A transcript from each post‐secondary institution you have attended is required. Unofficial transcripts or photocopies are acceptable for the Department application. You will be asked to upload a transcript for each institution in one of the following supported file types: PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, or TIF.
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation. These should come from a professional or academic author who can comment on your potential for graduate study.  You will need to enter the name and email address for each author before selecting the “Submit Recommendation Request” button. Once selected, the recommender will be sent instructions for providing a letter of recommendation. You can see the status of each letter by going to the online application system and selecting the link titled “Review Your Activity”.
  • General and Math Subject GRE scores. PLEASE NOTE:  This requirement may be waived under special circumstances by the Program Coordinator.  Please check the box to request to have this requirement waived. You will be asked to enter your general and math subject test scores and upload a copy of your score report, if they are available to you at the time you complete your application, in one of the following supported file types: PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, or TIF.     

Important: All applicants for the Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences program are required to send in their official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General and Math Subject Test score report via ETS using the PSU institution code 4610 and major code 0703.  Review the ETS web site for how to have general test scores sent:  and subject test scores sent:

  • Optional additional material in the form of a C.V. or resume may be uploaded in one of the following supported file types: PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, or TXT.

If you have questions about how to complete our online application, please review the information found at If you have questions about the Department admissions process, please contact Kathie Leck, 503-725-8244,