Financial Support

Teaching Assistants

The Department of Mathematics offers highly qualified new graduate students a substantial award package in the form of Teaching Assistant (TA) positions. We offer competitive stipends, and graduate tuition and fees are covered by a university fellowship.

TA responsibilities typically require approximately 12 hours per week. This relatively light teaching load compares favorably with that of many other institutions. Because of their lighter teaching load, SMU TAs often obtain their graduate degrees comparatively quickly. TAs assist faculty in grading for undergraduate courses, and tutoring in evening help sessions run by the department.

Experienced teaching assistants who intend to pursue an academic career are often offered the opportunity of teaching a course, typically a small section of precalculus or calculus.

The Department of Mathematics offers outstanding new graduate students additional fellowship awards on top of their TA stipends.

Ian Gladwell and Larry Shampine Graduate Fellowships

The fellowships are named in honor of former mathematics professors Ian Gladwell and Lawrence Shampine. Gladwell worked in a variety of numerical analysis and scientific computation research areas – including ordinary differential equation initial and boundary value problems, mathematical software, and parallel computing – with an emphasis on developing tools to assist scientists and engineers with large-scale computing problems. He published several books, more than 80 peer reviewed research journal papers and several pieces of mathematical software some of which are available in the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG). Shampine’s principal area of research is the numerical solution of ordinary differential equations with seminal work on variable-order, multi-step and Runge-Kutta methods. He is responsible for many of the ODE solvers in the widely used commercial code Matlab and in other internationally used public domain software libraries. He has written seven books, several for use in graduate classes, and has published more than 180 refereed papers.

The Gladwell and Shampine fellowships will last through the first three years of study, which typically takes the student up to the Ph.D. qualifying exams. Selection factors include outstanding results in mathematics, science and/or engineering course work, undergraduate research experience, and demonstrated scholarly qualities such as independence, self-motivation and scientific curiosity. Selected recipients must achieve a GPA of 3.5/4 or greater in each semester of study.

The Richard Haberman Graduate Fellowships

The fellowships are named in honor of former mathematics professor Richard Haberman. Haberman was a distinguished member of the faculty whose research expertise was in the analysis of highly complex nonlinear equations that describe the propagation of light in optical fibers, waves in fluids, traffic flow, and many other phenomena. He was a specialist in asymptotic methods that allow for an understanding and description of phenomena such as shocks, dispersion, and the development of chaos. Professor Haberman was also the author of textbooks in ordinary and partial differential equations and modeling that are used by undergraduate and graduate students in universities throughout the world.

There are two Haberman Fellowships: a dissertation fellowship awarded to an outstanding PhD student for completion of the dissertation; and a fellowship awarded to an incoming PhD student to enhance the department’s standard stipend, which is available to the recipient for five years as long as the student continues to make satisfactory progress on the PhD. Students interested in applying for the incoming fellowship will indicate in their application what they know about Professor Haberman’s work.

The Office of Graduate Studies

The Office of Graduate Studies has additional funding opportunities for graduate students.

Research Assistants

Students who have earned their M.S. degree and continue on for a Ph.D. are often supported as Research Assistants. These positions are supported by faculty grants and, other than course work, students work on research full time. Approximately a third to half of students are supported as RAs.

Summer Support

Summer support is not guaranteed and is dependent on departmental budget constraints. However, it is typical for students in their second summer, i.e., post the M.S. degree, to be provided one month of summer support as they begin their research. In subsequent summers—that is, after passing the Ph.D. qualifying exams—a number of our students do summer internships at National Laboratories. The others typically receive two months of summer support.

Duration of Support

Students who maintain high levels of academic achievement and progress toward their degree will be supported for five academic years at SMU.