Ph.D. Program

The Mathematics Department offers a selective and focused doctoral program for talented students specializing in three broad research areas: Geometry/Topology, Number Theory/ Representation Theory, and Algebraic Geometry.

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Applying to the Ph.D. Program


Application Requirements

Application Requirements

Applications received by January 20 will receive full consideration for admission and Teaching Assistantships. 

 A complete application includes:

  • Application forms
  • Official transcripts
  • An abstract of mathematics courses taken at other institutions 
  • GRE scores (including the Mathematics subject test) - GRE scores are optional for the upcoming admission cycle due to COVID-19
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from undergraduate teachers of Mathematics
  • A detailed description of coursework.
  • Official TOEFL scores, for students whose native language is not English
  • The application fee.

Some Advice

At a minimum, students should have had at least one year of Abstract Algebra and one year of Analysis (real and complex) in their undergraduate preparation. It is helpful to list the textbooks used for these courses. Since our research is centered around Number Theory/Representation Theory, Geometry/Topology/Dynamics, and Algebraic Geometry, our aim is to accept only those students with an interest in at least one of these areas. The Statement of Purpose is a good place to describe this.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid

We offer financial aid stipends and tuition remission for qualified students. It is anticipated that support will be provided for five years of study, given reasonable progress toward the degree and acceptable performance of TA/TF duties.

Teaching Fellowships

Teaching Fellowships

Fellowship Award Basics

Fellowship awardees are designated as a TA (Teaching Assistant) in the first year. Under normal circumstances, assuming reasonable progress towards the degree and acceptable performance as a TA, awardees are typically supported for subsequent years as TFs (Teaching Fellows). It is anticipated that support will continue through the fifth year of study. Each TA/TF award includes a complete tuition scholarship, plus stipend paid over the nine-month academic year, plus office space equipped with networked computer (shared with one other TA/TF).

Fellowship Availability

All Ph.D. applicants are considered for fellowships.

TA/TF Responsibilities

TAs usually work together with full-time faculty in large lecture classes and conduct recitation sections, problem sessions, and perhaps some tutoring. TFs usually are responsible for teaching one section of a core-level Mathematics course in each semester. These activities require about 15 hours per week, above and beyond your attention to your own coursework. 

TA/TF Scheduling

Generally, TA assignments in the fall semester of the first year are based on incoming students' course schedules. In subsequent semesters, scheduling preferences for the upcoming term are solicited from everyone involved. We try to accommodate everyone as best we can although some compromises are necessary each semester.

Teaching Excellence Awards

Teaching Fellows who achieve the greatest success as a TF will be considered for a Donald White Teaching Excellence Award, a cash prize given to outstanding graduate student teachers at Boston College.

Graduate Teaching Seminars

The department requires Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows to participate in a weekly seminar designed to help students develop and refine their classroom skills. A major component of this seminar is the use of case studies.


As a Teaching Assistant or Teaching Fellow in the Mathematics Department, you will receive extensive support from the department in your teaching endeavors. We recognize the tremendous job done by our TA/TFs; year after year they play an essential role in our undergraduate Core curriculum and bring an exciting energy to the fifth floor of Maloney Hall.

You will work in an environment where your contributions are valued by everyone around you, including other students, faculty, and staff. Regardless of your future career, your experience as a TA/TF will contribute to your mathematical, management, and communication skills, and you will enjoy the experience.

Mathematics in Boston

Mathematics in Boston

Boston is a world-renowned center for Mathematics and provides a vibrant intellectual climate in which graduate students thrive, with many outdoor and cultural opportunities in the beautiful New England area.

Boston College is a member of the Graduate Consortium, and BC mathematics graduate students may cross-register for one course each semester at Boston University, Brandeis, or Tufts.

Faculty Research Areas

Our internationally recognized faculty publish research in top journals. The department also sponsors the BC-MIT Number Theory Seminar, the Algebraic Geometry Northeastern Series, and the Hamilton Geometry and Topology Workshop at Trinity College.