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PhD & MPhil

Are you considering undertaking a PhD in the Mathematical Sciences? We have many interesting projects for talented postgraduate researchers. This page provides useful information and links discover more about our PhD Program and the application process.

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The Master of Philosophy in Mathematical Sciences is a higher degree by research, and may be taken as a full-time course (one to two years) or as a part-time course (two to four years).

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Find a supervisor »

Find a MSI supervisor for your research degree.

Summer research »

A Summer Research Scholarship at ANU is an exceptional opportunity for undergraduate students, providing insight into what studying for an Honours or a graduate research degree is all about.

MSI 'Kick-start' Postdoctoral Fellowship »

Read more about this short-term employment opportunity for high achieving early career mathematicians.


Applicants should be of a high scholastic calibre and should have a capacity for research.

Applicants for research degree scholarships must hold a bachelor degree with at least upper second class Honours, although competition is such that applicants usually have to hold a first class Honours degree to be competitive (and for some scholarships, this is mandatory), or a Master by coursework or a Graduate Diploma (which must be completed at a level equivalent to first or upper second-class Honours) degree from a recognised University. In special cases, applicants with other qualifications and/or research experience may be considered.

English language requirements

You are required to meet our English Language Requirements before you can be accepted for admission. Unless your previous tertiary-level studies were undertaken in English in (for example) Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States of America, you will normally have to sit for either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS - overall 6.5 with no band less than 6.0) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL - 570 with TWE 4.5). Some programs may require higher scores.

If you have any questions about your application for admission and where it is up to, you can contact ANU Admissions Office.


Research program applications are accepted at any time of the year, however there may be deadlines associated with scholarships that should be considered. For this reason, applicants are strongly recommended to apply for both admission and scholarship, before the following deadlines:

  • Overseas students: by the 31st of August to be admitted in the following year.
  • Australia and New Zealand students: by the 31st of October to be admitted in the following year.

See here for more information on how to apply:


How long does it take?

A PhD program takes at least 2 years and at most 4 years to complete full time. All ANU scholarships end after 3.5 years without any substitute at the RSC.

What scholarships are available?

ANU offers a variety of scholarships to eligible students studying a research degree program. Scholarships are provided to assist students with the cost of their studies.

Domestic students are enrolled into research programs under the Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) Fee Offset Scholarship. Under the AGRTP, the Australian Government pays 100% of domestic research students' tuition fees.

Scholarships differ in value and may be offered to cover some or all of the costs associated with tuition, accommodation, materials, relocation, cost of living and other expenses.

The Conditions of Award for each scholarship stipulates what the scholarship may be used for.

Two of the most sought after scholarships available are the Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) Stipend Scholarship for domestic research students, and the Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) International Fee Offset Scholarship for international research students.

Different scholarships are available depending on whether you are a domestic or international student.

Scholarships available to domestic research students

The Mathematical Sciences Institute also offers supplementary scholarships to attract talented Australian and New Zealand students of high calibre to pursue postgraduate research within the MSI. The scholarship provides for payment of a supplementary stipend to an outstanding holder of an AGRTP or similar stipend scholarship for the duration of that scholarship. The value of this scholarship is $5,000 per annum.

The maximum duration of this scholarship is three years full-time, with a possible six month extension.

Eligibility: Candidates who have completed a four year undergraduate degree or equivalent at H1 level and who wish to undertake a PhD at the School, are eligible. Domestic students include Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, and New Zealand citizens.

It is not necessary to complete a separate application form as all eligible candidates will be considered.

Scholarships available to international research students

International applicants are also encouraged to explore the Endeavour Awards offered by the Australian Government. Closing date for applications is usually 30 June each year.

How do I apply?

You need to apply online – one application covers both admission and scholarships. You will be automatically considered for all scholarships available to you. For more information please see the Apply tab.

Do I have to pay tuition fees?

Yes, unless you are a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or a citizen of New Zealand. International students can be considered for a HDR Fee Remission Merit Scholarship – where Tuition fees will be waived. This will be considered automatically and does not require additional paperwork.

How do I apply for a visa?

Prospective international students need to provide: (i) CV, (ii) academic transcript (colour scans), (iii) TOEFL or IELTS scores, (iv) 3 references of academics, (v) research proposal / project description by ANU supervisor. Once your application has been accepted you will receive a letter of offer for admission – once all conditions have been met (e.g. proof of health cover) and you have signed the paperwork, the ANU will provide an electronic certificate of enrolment (eCOE). You need the eCOE to apply to the Department of Immigration for a student visa.

Do I need Health Cover and how much does it cost?

Yes, International Students need to pay Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) in advance for 52 months as part of the visa requirements. You can either arrange your own OSHC, or ask the ANU to arrange it for you. Details will be outlined in your letter of offer for admission. The cost of OSHC for 2017 from the ANU preferred provider (Allianz) is $3,240 for single cover.

Where will I live?

The cost of living in any city obviously depends on needs, lifestyle choices and spending habits. For accommodation on-campus please refer to the following website: http://www.anu.edu.au/study/accommodation

More questions?

For any questions about undertaking a PhD within the Mathematical Sciences Institute, applying for admission and/or scholarships, or general questions about Canberra – please contact our friendly MSI HDR Student Administrator at msi.hdr.sa@anu.edu.au.