Mathematics Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study


Program Description

The graduate program in the field of mathematics at Cornell leads to the Ph.D. degree, which takes most students five to six years of graduate study to complete. One feature that makes the program at Cornell particularly attractive is the broad range of interests of the faculty. The department has outstanding groups in the areas of algebra, algebraic geometry, analysis, applied mathematics, combinatorics, dynamical systems, geometry, logic, Lie groups, number theory, probability, and topology. The field also maintains close ties with distinguished graduate programs in the fields of applied mathematicscomputer scienceoperations research, and statistics and data science.

Ph.D. students in the field of mathematics may earn a Special Master's of Science in Computer Science.

The field also offers a math minor and a math concentration to students in certain fields.

Contact Information

Phone: 607 254-8993

316 Malott Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • mathematics


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, December 15; no spring admission


Note: The Graduate Field of Mathematics will not admit doctoral students for Fall 2024.  Our program is bigger than its typical steady-state size: strong recruiting has caused a modest increase, while COVID-impact has lengthened the typical time-to-PhD.  We are committed to providing enhanced funding to our current students.  We will resume regular admissions next year for students to matriculate in Fall 2025. 

Requirements Summary:

Applicants must demonstrate mastery of the material required for an undergraduate major in mathematics. The mathematics field welcomes applications from and admits students with various mathematics backgrounds. 

Learning Outcomes

The Ph.D. program in mathematics teaches you to create and communicate mathematics. The chief requirement for the doctoral degree is to complete under the guidance of an advisor a dissertation that makes an original and substantial contribution to its subject matter. You will be expected to disseminate the main results of your dissertation in the form of journal articles and conference presentations.

We do not require you to choose a specific research area or a dissertation advisor at the outset of your graduate education. The best way to make an informed choice of a research area and to make headway in it is to gain knowledge in a number of areas of mathematics. As a beginning student, you will be taking various required core courses in basic subjects. Furthermore, aside from providing research training, we prepare our students for careers as professional mathematicians in a variety of settings including academia, business, and government. Our aim, therefore, is to educate flexible and broadly knowledgeable mathematicians, and to this end, we offer besides the core courses a wide selection of advanced courses and seminars.

We will help you develop the oral and written communication skills expected of a professional mathematician. You will acquire these skills in part through courses and dissertation work. Active participation in our many seminars, several of which are targeted at students, is another way to improve your presentation skills and will also ease your transition from a learner to a researcher of mathematics. In addition, many practicing mathematicians are involved in teaching at some level, and that is why we require every student to undergo our teaching assistant training program and to participate in the teaching mission of the mathematics department.