The Bridge to PhD master’s program will no longer accept new students.  This program has recently transitioned into a fellowship opportunity for applicants to our PhD program.  Please read more about Bridge Fellowships on our graduate admissions page


Q: What are the requirements to earn a Master’s degree from Penn?
A: Master’s Degree Requirements.

Q: What are the requirements to earn a PhD from Penn?
A: PHD Requirements.

Q: When should students apply?
A: By December 31.

Q: When will students be notified of admission decisions?
A: Decisions about applications are made on a rolling basis during the winter and spring, and applicants will hear from the Mathematics Department and from our dean’s office as decisions are made.

Q: When will admitted students need to give their decision by.
A: April 15.

Q: How should I apply?
A: Applications should be submitted online.

Q: What degrees are required before applying?
A: There are no specific degrees required. However, a bachelor’s degree in one of the mathematical sciences is customary.

Q: What mathematical background is required?
A: The more students are familiar with the core math concepts tested for in our preliminary exam the better.

Q: How does a student know whether or not he or she is making progress in the program?
A: Each student’s progress will be monitored closely by math department faculty.

Q: Is it recommended to work while being a bridge program student?
A: Outside of tutoring or TAing an extra class, we discourage students from taking on added responsibilities during the program.

Q: How many classes do bridge program students need to take each semester?
A: At least two courses.

Q: How much time should bridge program devote to research during the academic year?
A: This program is designed to prepare students for our PhD program. So we recommend focusing mostly on doing classwork and preparing for the preliminary exam. However, it is encouraged for students to attend research seminars and to discuss research directions and possibilities with faculty.

Q: Will bridge program students get help to prepare for the preliminary exam?
A: Yes. There will be a seminar dedicated to preparing students for this exam.

Q: What will bridge program students do during the summer between year one and year two of the program?
A: Any student that has not passed the preliminary exam during the first year will be encouraged to spend the majority of the summer studying for this exam. Otherwise, the students are free to do research with faculty, participate in an internship, take part in a mathematics research program or anything else they would like to do.

Q: Are bridge program students eligible to receive funding for travel to conferences?
A: While there is not specific funding set aside for travel to conferences for our students, we usually try to accommodate these requests.

Q: Are bridge program students eligible to receive funding for textbooks they would use for classes?
A: No. However, we have a good mathematics library and plenty of books available for borrowing. Any student that would have difficulty obtaining a course textbook would only need to ask for assistance.

Q: What type of mentoring will bridge program students receive?
A: Each student would have a chance to interact with and be mentored by two to three faculty members. One faculty member would be the chair of the Bridge-Program committee and another would be an assigned faculty mentor. Any students doing research would have an additional mentor.

Q: What type of funding is available for bridge program students?
A: Each student will be fully funding for two years, provided they are remain in good academic standing. The fellowship comes with a stipend of $25,000 per year and requires students to TA two classes during the second year. This fellowship is comparable with what is currently offered to admitted PhD students.

Q:  Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for the bridge program?
A:  No, the bridge program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.  We encourage any other prospective students to apply directly to our PhD program.

Department of Mathematics
David Rittenhouse Laboratory
209 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6395

Robin Toney
(215) 898-8178 & 898-8627
Fax: (215) 573-4063