Computational Mathematics and Statistics - Admissions

What Background Do I Need?

Although Computational Mathematics and Statistics is an interdisciplinary program encompassing applied mathematics, statistics, and computer science, we do not expect applicants to have a background in all three of these disciplines.  However, we do expect that students applying for the program will have already demonstrated proficiency in undergraduate majors-level STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) courses.

In particular, to be admitted to the program typically requires that you have completed coursework that is at least the equivalent of a minor, preferably a major, in at least one of the three Computational Mathematics and Statistics disciplines of mathematics, statistics, or computer science. In addition, although not required for application, a well-prepared student will have taken some or all of the following classes, which are prerequisites for our core:

  • Math core: Requires two semesters of a majors-level calculus sequence (e.g., MATH 115 and MATH 116)
  • Statistics core: In addition to the calculus sequence required for math, requires a calculus-based probability and/or statistics course (e.g., MATH 301)
  • Computer science core: Requires an introductory majors-level programming course in an object-oriented language such as Java or C++ (e.g., COSC 160)

Students who lack one or more of these courses (most students have not taken all of these) but are otherwise well qualified are generally admitted provisionally.  Such students will be provided with suggestions for mastering the necessary prerequisite material prior to enrolling in the corresponding Computational Mathematics and Statistics core courses.  The provisional admission becomes regular admission once the prerequisite material has been mastered.

Beyond appropriate undergraduate coursework, we also like to see GRE quantitative scores in the top quartile.  GRE verbal scores are also considered, but carry less weight.  We do take into consideration that some applicants are not native speakers of English.

Some, but not all, international students will need to submit appropriate language testing scores.  These scores must meet University minimum requirements in order for regular admission to be granted.  However, a Pathway Program is offered that allows certain students to take Computational Mathematics and Statistics courses while improving their English skills to the required levels.  See the International Student section below for details on language requirements and the Pathway Program.

These are only general guidelines, and we do take the entire application into consideration when making admission decisions.  If you have questions about your qualifications, we invite you to contact us using the information in the sidebar to the left.

If you have, or expect to have soon, an appropriate background, you can apply for Computational Mathematics and Statistics as either a degree-seeking student, as a special status (non-degree-seeking) student, or through the Duquesne Pathway Program for international students needing to improve their English skills while also completing some Computational Mathematics and Statistics coursework.    Certain Duquesne undergraduates also have the option of applying to the combined B.S./M.S. degrees program. These types of applications are discussed separately below.

Degree-seeking Student

Most students apply to the Computational Mathematics and Statistics program seeking to earn a Master of Science (M.S.) degree. If you are such a student, the required application materials are:

  • An online application cover sheet that provides contact and certain other information (this is generated automatically from information you provide as part of the online application process)
  • Transcripts of prior academic work. NOTE: Due to the difficulty some applicants are having obtaining official transcripts due to COVID-19 disruptions, we will review applications having only unofficial transcripts.
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should be from references who can comment meaningfully on your prior academic performance
  • A personal statement of at most 500 words that explains why you are applying to the Computational Mathematics and Statistics program and provides any other information you wish the admissions committee to have
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • GRE general exam scores (the Duquesne school code is 2196 and the department code is 0703). NOTE: If COVID-19 disruptions prevent you from taking the GRE, please contact us using the left sidebar information.
  • International students might need to submit English language test scores; see the International Students section below for more information. Also note that we offer a Pathway Program for students who need to improve their English language skills but want to take some Computational Mathematics and Statistics coursework at the same time.

Applications for the fall semester completed by the preceding March 1 will receive full consideration for financial aid via assistantships.

Visit the Graduate School of Liberal Arts application page for more application details and a link to the online application cover sheet.  Note that our program does not require a writing sample, only a personal statement.

Application Deadlines for Degree-seeking Student

The application deadlines for a degree-seeking student varies depending on the semester and whether or not you wish to be considered for a teaching and/or research assistantship. You may of course also apply externally for other forms of financial assistance at any time.

  • Fall admission
    • With consideration for an assistantship: March 1 of the admission year
    • Without consideration for an assistantship: July 1 of the admission year
  • Spring admission: November 1 of the year prior to admission

Special Status (Non-degree-seeking) Student

Some students are interested in taking one or more of the courses offered by the Computational Mathematics and Statistics program but are not necessarily planning to earn an M.S. degree.  Special status admission allows a student to earn up to six graduate credits offered by the Computational Mathematics and Statistics program.  Although the background requirements are similar to those for degree-seeking students, fewer application materials are required and the application deadlines are later for special status admission.  The required application materials are:

  • An online application cover sheet the provides contact and certain other information
  • Transcripts of prior academic work
  • A personal statement of at most 500 words that explains why you are applying to the Computational Mathematics and Statistics program and provides any other information you wish the admissions committee to have
  • International students might need to submit English language test scores; see the International Students section below for more information.

Visit the Graduate School of Liberal Arts application page for more application details and a link to the online application cover sheet. 

Application Deadlines for Special Status Student

The application deadline for a special status student varies depending on the semester.

  • Fall admission: August 1 of the admission year
  • Spring admission: December 1 of the year prior to admission

International Students

For students who do not have an approved waiver of language testing, regular admission to the Computational Mathematics and Statistics program requires language scores within the past year of 80 TOEFL (iBT), 6.5 IELTS, or 105 Duolingo English Test.  NOTE: If language testing is required and COVID-19 disruptions prevent you from taking language tests, please contact us using the left sidebar information. For students with language scores below those required for regular admission, Duquesne's Pathway Program for the Computational Mathematics and Statistics program is designed for international graduate applicants who want to improve their English language skills while starting graduate-level coursework. Students admitted to the Computational Mathematics and Statistics Pathway Program take English as a Second Language (ESL) coursework at Duquesne while also enrolling in graduate courses in the M.S. degree program. Students who successfully complete the Pathway Program, which lasts no more than one year, and who earn appropriate scores on the GRE, will be directly admitted to the Computational Mathematics and Statistics program with six graduate credits earned toward their degree. The program requires applicants to have earned iBT (TOEFL) test scores of at least 60, IELTS scores of at least 5.5, or Duolingo scores of at least 85 prior to starting the program and to have an appropriate background in mathematics, computer science, and statistics as described above. See the Pathway Program page for full details and to apply.  

International students who have not had language testing waived as well as all international students who are offered teaching assistantships will be required to have their language skills assessed by Duquesne University's English as a Second Language program and, for teaching assistants, the Center for Teaching Excellence. If a student's language skills need to be improved, the student will be required to pay for and successfully complete appropriate English language training courses.

Visit Duquesne's Center for Global Engagement for detailed information about international admissions, international student services, and English language support.

Application Deadlines for International Students

Application deadlines for international students are the same as for any other students.

Combined B.S./M.S. Degrees Program

Academically-strong Duquesne students enrolled in a B.S. program in either mathematics or computer science may apply to the graduate program in Computational Mathematics and Statistics once they have earned at least 60 undergraduate credits.  With careful planning, it is feasible for students enrolled in this combined B.S./M.S. degrees program to complete both bachelor's and master's degrees in five years rather than the typical six. A fuller description of the  program can be found at the program description page.

Applicants are expected to have at least junior standing (have earned at least 60 undergraduate credits), a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25, and grade point averages in mathematics and computer science of at least 3.5.  The required application materials are:

  • An online application cover sheet the provides contact and certain other information
  • Transcripts of prior academic work
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement of at most 500 words that explains why you wish to become a 4/1 student and provides any other information you wish the admissions committee to have

Note that the GRE is not required.  Visit the Graduate School of Liberal Arts application page for more application details and a link to the online application cover sheet.  There is no checkbox to indicate that you are applying for the combined-degree program, but your application will be recognized as such automatically based on your expected undergraduate graduation date.

Application Deadlines for Combined-degrees Students

The application deadline for the combined-degrees program is July 1 to begin the program in the fall semester and November 1 for spring admission.