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University of Iowa: Department of Mathematics

Welcome to the University of Iowa Department of Mathematics National Alliance webpage! We are a founding member of the Alliance together with Iowa State University, The University of Northern Iowa, Jackson State University, and Florida A&M.

Your success is the focus of our department's unique approach to graduate education:

  • A culture of mentoring: Every graduate student in our department has a mentor; a professor who will act as your advocate and who will help advise you through every aspect of graduate school.
  • A Diverse American Department: In 2008, 23% of the graduate students enrolled in our department were from groups traditionally underrepresented in the math sciences; 30% were women. These are figures well above the national averages for Ph.D. programs in Mathematics.
  • Cutting-edge research: The Department has a strong record of research in a variety of areas. In addition to our strength in pure mathematics, the University of Iowa offers opportunities in applied mathematics as well as opportunities for interdisciplinary research with other STEM fields through its AMCS program.
  • Full funding! Over ninety-seven percent of the Department's and the AMCS's students are currently supported on a variety of fellowships or as departmental teaching assistants, or research assistants. Read more about our funding programs
  • All students get jobs! 100% of the Department's Ph.D. graduates have secured positions. You may be interested in a list of our most recent graduates and their current positions.


Our department has worked hard to provide the best in graduate education. This effort has caught the attention of folks in math to folks at the White House. Here are some awards:

  • In 2005 the Department received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President George W. Bush for our work with minority graduate students. We are one of the largest producers of minority Ph.D.s in mathematics in the US.
  • In 2006 the Department received the Programs that Make a Difference Award by from the American Mathematical Society (AMS) as an outstanding program that has successfully addressed the issue of underrepresented groups in mathematics.
  • In 2008 the Department received the Exemplary Program Award from the American Mathematical Society (AMS) for its work in recruiting, mentoring, and preparing doctoral students from underrepresented U.S. minorities.
  • In 2009 Dr. Phil Kutzko, co-founder and the director of the Alliance, was awarded the individual Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring for his work with minority graduate students.

Math at Iowa!

The University of Iowa is a major research university, and the Department of Mathematics has 40 faculty members whose research interests include algebra, algebraic topology, analysis, differential geometry, functional analysis, knot theory, low-dimensional topology, mathematical biology, mathematical physics, number theory, numerical analysis, operator theory, ordinary and partial differential equations, representation theory, and ring theory.

The Mathematics Department provides a friendly and intellectually stimulating environment for the study of mathematics. The department provides support, guidance, and encouragement to help each student achieve his or her academic and professional goals. There are two distinct programs for graduate study in mathematics at the University of Iowa: the traditional program and the Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences (AMCS) program. The traditional program offers coursework and research in pure and applied mathematics leading to a Ph.D. degree, whereas the AMCS program allows the student to pursue in-depth studies of an allied scientific field while simultaneously studying graduate-level mathematics leading to a Ph.D. in mathematics. A master's degree is not offered in the AMCS program.

To Apply

  • Submit an application to the University of Iowa Graduate College
  • Submit your application to the Department of Mathematics
  • (Please also send a copy of your application to either by fax (319-335-0627) or through email as an attached PDF.)

Application fee waiver instructions for underrepresented students applying to graduate school at the University of Iowa:

  1. Complete the CIC FreeApp application, indicating your interest in Iowa.
  2. Next, to access the Graduate Admissions application, please go to Once there, click on Graduate & Professional Admissions, after that Graduate College, next A-Z list, and finally to the academic field (Mathematics) you're applying to.
  3. As you complete the electronic application, near the "end" of it there will be a "payment" page. You will be presented with 2 options, A and B. By selecting Option A, you will have a number of listed programs with which you'll be able to identify your affiliation. If you qualify, check the AGEP (Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate) category.

By following these brief steps, the application fee will be waived by our Graduate Admissions Office at The University of Iowa. Please be aware that if you provide a credit card number or a check to cover this fee, the university will not provide a refund for you later.


Programs offered

The Department of Mathematics, together with the Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences Program (AMCS), provides a caring and friendly environment for graduate students while maintaining the highest academic standards.

The Program in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences, directed by Professor of Mathematics Weimin Han, is an affiliate of the Department of Mathematics which grants a Ph.D. degree. Their faculties have primary appointments in departments such as Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Biostatistics, Computer Science, Management Sciences, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, and Statistics.

The AMCS degree is interdisciplinary, rigorous, and flexible. Students in AMCS study theoretical mathematics and applied mathematics, and they study another scientific disciplines. Students' Ph.D. comprehensive examinations cover their science focus area while their qualifying exams cover areas like differential equations and analysis. Students' dissertation research is jointly supervised by Mathematics faculty and science discipline faculty. Each student's research includes mathematical endeavors. For example, a student might formulate a model, conduct a quantitative analysis of that model and interpret the results.

Most of the students in AMCS are supported as TAs in the Department of Mathematics so they benefit from the same teaching experiences and guidance as the students in the Department of Mathematics.

Student body profile

Diversity is a key characteristic of our graduate program. The diverse student body is comprised of over 100 graduate students, almost all supported by fellowships or assistantships. Currently, over 20% of students enrolled are U.S. minorities and over 30% are female. Domestic students come from all regions of the United States while foreign students, constituting about 30% of students enrolled, come from diverse locations around the globe. The department is extremely proud of its students and their accomplishments. In 2008 our TAs won six of thirty university-wide Outstanding TA Awards. A recent graduate, Marius Ionescu, won the Spriestersbach Prize in 2006 for his excellent dissertation on Mauldin-Williams Graphs and C*-algebras. Colin McKinney won the Graduate Student Senate's Sandra Barkan Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor Award in 2007.

Our graduate students' research efforts enhance their employability. Conducting research, pure and applied, and fostering the next generation of college professors comprise the dual teaching and service missions of the Department. Typically, the Department graduates 13 Ph.D.s per year and this number is rising. Departmental strengths include algebra, differential geometry, mathematical biology, number theory, numerical analysis, operator theory, partial and ordinary differential equations, representation theory, and topology. Over ninety-seven percent of the Department's and the AMCS's students are currently supported as departmental teaching assistants, research assistants, or are on fellowships. Recent AMCS graduates have specialized in applied mathematics related to fluid mechanics, computer-aided design, rigid body dynamics, air quality modeling, dynamic economics, quantum physics, and applied optimization. In 2009, as in each of the past ten years, 100% of the Department's Ph.D. graduates secured positions.

Funding opportunities


We are proud that almost all of our graduate students receive full funding. Support can be as much as $30,000 per year. Funding opportunities include:

Special Opportunities for Underrepresented Students:

  • GAANN: Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need This fellowship offers up to $30,000 for 3 years plus tuition.
  • Sloan Scholarship Program: We are one of the few math departments in the United States to offer this unique program! Through our partnership with Sloan, we offer $30,000 scholarships that may be used for any expense that will aid in the completion of your Ph.D. These scholarships are rewarded upon successful completion of the comprehensive exams and are there for you during the critical years in which you are writing your Ph.D. thesis.

Departmental Fellowships:

  • Teaching Assistantships
  • Deans Fellowships
  • Presidential Fellowships
  • Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE) Trainee

More information

Our website

Contact for more information:

  • Colleen Mitchell