We welcome you to the exciting world of applied mathematics!

Since it was started in 1976, the Interdisciplinary Program in Applied Mathematics at the University of Arizona has grown in size and stature and is now a highly regarded interdisciplinary graduate program, both nationally and internationally. The great strength of the Program lies in its large body of distinguished faculty who come from many different academic disciplines in the mathematical, physical, biological, and engineering and social sciences. The breadth and depth of endeavor has created a vital and exciting environment in which to work.

By coming to Tucson you are opening yourself up for many opportunities:

  • to feel the balance of theory, methods and algorithms in our core courses;
  • to become involved  in research and teaching of modern applied mathematics from your first day on campus; 
  • to take specialized courses according to your interests and desires - in dynamical systems, complexity theory, bio-informatics, numerical analysis, machine learning, statistical mechanics or data science - as you need it in your research;
  • to get hands-on experience in research internships with many of our industrial and government lab partners; 
  • to choose an adviser from more than 100 professors teaching and advancing many areas of natural, engineering and social sciences through mathematics;
  • to follow, understand and change boundaries of modern applied mathematics through your research work and teaching;
  • to be well-positioned by the time of your graduation for many career options in academia, high-tech industry and national labs.

Applicants must have an undergraduate background that contains a substantial mathematical component. The specific qualities we look for in applicants are informed both by our perspective of what constitutes modern applied mathematics and also by our past experience of student success. These qualities are broadly divided into four categories:

(1) Mastery of the foundational undergraduate material, specifically  (a) multivariable calculus, (b) linear algebra and (c) differential equations.

(2) Aptitude for higher level mathematics as demonstrated by a selection of courses in advanced applied mathematical coursework, for example numerical methods, dynamical systems, complex analysis, PDEs, probability, stochastic processes, statistics, optimization, algorithms and mathematical physics. 

(3) Solid command of theoretical mathematics, normally achieved via a full year of analysis or advanced calculus (if acquired at the undergraduate level). 

(4) Commitment to excellence in mathematical research, as demonstrated by a high-quality undergraduate project, master's thesis, or work experience.  

We value applicants from many different academic backgrounds. Some have undergraduate degrees specifically in applied math, and others have degrees in pure math, physics, statistics, engineering or computer science. Additionally, some come directly from their undergraduate degrees, some from masters programs, and others have several years of work experience in industry. Competitive applicants may be able to demonstrate proficiency in only three of the four categories when they apply to the program. We expect all students to become proficient in all four categories by the end of the qualifying process (the qualifying process normally occurs during the first year).  

The GRE General test and Math Subject test are optional but encouraged.  Please visit the Application Procedures page for instructions on how to apply.

If you are a potential graduate student interested in obtaining a PhD and/or MS, or Certificate in Applied Mathematics, I hope you will find this information useful and stimulating. 

Click here to Request More Info, watch a Video about the Program, and here to Apply to the Program.

Michael Chertkov
Chair, Program in Applied Mathematics