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Faculty of Mathematics


Pre-application queries

Am I eligible to apply to the MASt? Is my background suitable?

We are often asked by potential applicants whether or not they are eligible for consideration for the MASt degree.   Applications are considered carefully on a case-by-case basis, with consideration being given to the application form, transcripts and references.  Applications are considered in the context of the field of applications for the particular year. Due to the high volume of applications received and the careful scrutiny that is required before a decision can be taken, we are unable to provide individual advice to applicants on their suitability prior to receiving a full application.

Our expectation is that MASt students will have a level of mathematical knowledge equivalent to those continuing from the Cambridge undergraduate degree. Our preparation resources  provide a ‘reality check’ as well as ‘prerequisites’ by subject area to help you understand the level of mathematics expected before starting the course.  You are advised to consult these pages, and to also look at our undergraduate material to establish whether you have sufficient mathematical knowledge to undertake the course. 

What academic condition will I be set?

The required level for admission to the MASt (Part III) is a minimum of a first class degree or equivalent in Mathematics, Mathematics and Statistics, or Physics.  It may however be the case that students are set more specific requirements, such as xx% in their third year, or xx% overall.  This decision is taken on a case-by-case basis dependant on the applicant's academic background.  It is not possible for us to provide specific guidance on what condition you might be set in advance.  The Admissions Officers will only take this decision when reviewing the full application.

Can I make more than one MASt application and apply to Pure, Applied and Stats?

This is technically possible.  However, it is of no benefit to you to do so and does not increase your chances of being offered a place.  We recommend that you apply for consideration in the area which best matches your academic background.  We have two Admissions Officers for each academic area (Applied, Pure and Statistics).  If our Admissions Officers believe that your application is more suitable for a different area (for example if you apply via Applied maths and you are considered more suitable for Pure maths) your application will be referred on for further consideration prior to a decision being made.

Does it matter which MASt course I apply to?

Every application is reviewed by two Admissions Officers who are specialists in a particular area of mathematics.  If you apply, for example, to Pure Mathematics your application will be reviewed by specialists in pure mathematics and will not be reviewed by those from applied mathematics or mathematical statistics unless referred on as more suitable (see above).  You are therefore advised to apply via the route that best fits your current academic background.

How many offers do you make?

We typically receive around 800 applications for the MASt a year.  We make approximately 310 offers, with around 160 students finally being admitted.  These students are joined by roughly 90 internal candidates on the MMath degree to make up a final Part III cohort of approximately 250 students.

How long will I have to wait for a decision on my application?

Applications are under review between September and April.  Some decisions are made straight away.  Other applications are held until later in the admissions cycle so that they can be reviewed alongside other applications to the course.  It may therefore take some time for a final decision to be made and many decisions are made after the closing date for applications. We aim to have all decisions made by May.

What careers do Part III students end up in?

Unfortunately we don't currently have careers statistics available.  The Faculty has a dedicated page on Careers for Mathematicians. You may also find the University Careers Service webpages a useful source of information.

Do I need to supply a GRE (Graduate Record Examination) test score with my application?

No. We do not currently require applicants to undertake a GRE test for entry to Part III (MASt). However, if you are considering applying for a PhD at a university in the US after Part III, please be aware that GRE is essential for PhD applications to many US universities.  There are only three opportunities a year to do the test, in April, September and October. Registration for the September and October tests must be done during the summer holidays (about six weeks before the tests) before the start of the next academic year (i.e. before you start Part III). You can find information on Test Centres and Dates and the mathematics test on the web.

Will I need to undertake an interview?

We do not currently interview applicants for the MASt.

My application was unsuccesful. Can you provide feedback on why?

Due to the high volume of applications and enquiries we receive we are unable to provide personalised feedback to unsuccessful applicants.  To put our decision in context please note that we receive around 800 applications a year from exceptional students from around the world. Each application is considered by at least two admissions officers who review applications on a case-by-case basis, with consideration being given to the whole application and supporting documentation.   We take very seriously the importance of only making offers to students we believe have a suitable academic background to cope with the advanced and intensive nature of the course.  It is not therefore unusual for applicants with first class degrees or equivalent in mathematical and/or related subjects to be unsuccessful.

Post-Offer Queries

I haven’t met the academic condition of my offer.  What should I do?

You should still submit your results via your CamSiS self-service account.  Details of how to do this are given in the University’s booklet: ‘Understanding the conditions of your offer’ which is available from the Graduate Admissions websitePlease do not submit documents directly to the Department unless explicitly asked to do so. Once you have uploaded your documents into your self-service the Graduate Admissions Office will send your application to the Department for reconsideration.  The Admissions Officers will review your case based on the results that you have obtained.

Can you waive my language requirement?

The University, not the Department or Faculty, is responsible for determining the requirements for language assessments, and whether or not this requirement is met.  We are therefore not able to waive your language requirement in any circumstances.  If you have narrowly missed the language requirement it may be that the Graduate Admissions Office, on behalf of the University, will refer you for an assessment to the University Language Centre.  However, this is a decision that will only be made once an offer of admission has been made.  Applicants should read the advice on language requirements available on the Graduate Admissions website which is comprehensive.

Can I defer my offer?

No. The University does not permit the deferral of places on one year courses.  If you are unable to take up your place you must withdraw your application via your CamSiS self-service account and reapply for admission the following year.  Please note that in such circumstances your application will be reviewed as if new and it cannot be guaranteed that you will automatically receive another offer of a place.  You are advised to note in your application the reasons why you did not take up your place.

I might be late arriving in Cambridge, what should I do?

The Faculty expects all students to be in Cambridge at the start of October to be able to participate in the course from the very beginning.  Students must be in Cambridge before the first Thursday of full term (see Term Dates) in order to commence lectures on this day.  There will be meetings and talks earlier in the week in which valuable information will be provided.  Experience shows that students find it very difficult to catch-up on any time lost.  If you are unable to arrive by the start of term you must contact the Faculty’s Graduate Office for further advice.