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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I study financial mathematics in the doctoral program?

A. Yes, we have previously had several theses on financial mathematics, written from an academic perspective.  Financial mathematics is one of many topics studied in the doctoral program.  However, students seeking a professional qualification in finance should also consider the Master’s Degree in Mathematical Finance.


Q. Can I study applied mathematics in the doctoral program?

A. Theoretically, but such students would be better off in the Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics Department.


Q. I am applying in December to the doctoral program. Is it all right if I take the GRE on the November test date?

A.  Yes. Your GRE November test scores should become available by late December. You must file the rest of your online application on time, by the December deadline. Leave the GRE portion of the application blank (or enter your previous scores), but then update the application with your GRE scores immediately when you learn them. Also have an official score report sent to Columbia. If we receive the GRE scores by January 1, there should be no adverse consequences for your application.


Q. Are both the GRE General Test and Mathematics Subject Test required for the application?

A. The GRE General Test is recommended, but not required. The GRE Mathematics Subject Test is required.* As above, you may apply prior to receiving the test results, provided you update your application immediately upon receiving the official scores. If we receive the GRE scores by January 1, there should be no adverse consequences for your application.

*Please Note: GRE Subject Exam scores are required of all applicants. However, in light of continued difficulties scheduling these exams, Fall 2024 applications without GRE Subject Exam scores will receive full consideration, provided all other application materials are received by the deadline.


Q. Do you accept transfer students, and if so, do you accept transfer credits from their prior institutions?

A.  We welcome applications to the doctoral program from current graduate students. However, we treat them much the same as applications from current undergraduates. We want all Columbia doctoral students to take Columbia first-year courses and hence will not normally accept transfer credits. Rather, we would encourage students with a graduate record to choose from among our Graduate Core Courses those which complement their prior study.

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