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Computational Math - Admissions

What Background Do I Need?

Although Computational Mathematics 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 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 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. 

International students with a score of 80 or better on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) or seven or better on the IELTS within the past year (see the English as a Second Language (ESL) language policies page for more details) can apply directly to the Computational Mathematics program.  We encourage international students with lower scores to apply for Duquesne's Pathway Program for Computational Mathematics, which combines ESL coursework with core classes within our 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 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 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 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
  • 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 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).
  • For international students, either TOEFL or IELTS scores (not required of students who successfully complete Duquesne's ESL program or who earned an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution; also see Duquesne's Pathway Program for students who need to improve their English skills but want to take some Computational Mathematics coursework at the same time)

Applications for Fall 2019 completed by 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 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 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 program and provides any other information you wish the admissions committee to have
  • For international students, either TOEFL or IELTS scores

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

Pathway Program

Duquesne's Pathway Program for Computational Mathematics is designed for students who have earned iBT (TOEFL) test scores between 60 and 79 or IELTS scores between 5.5 and 6.5 and who otherwise have an appropriate background in mathematics, statistics, and/or computer science.  Students admitted to the Pathway Program take English as a Second Language (ESL) coursework at Duquesne while also enrolling in graduate core courses in one of the three disciplines of the Computational Mathematics 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 program with six graduate credits earned toward the M.S. degree.  See the Pathway Program page for full details and to apply.

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 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.

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.