The UCLA Department of mathematics Undergraduate Merit Scholarship is awarded to an incoming freshman who has an exceptional background and promise in mathematics.  The scholarship covers tuition, fees as well as room and board.  It is anticipated that one new scholarship be awarded every year, starting in Fall 2010.

The scholarship 

The award is renewable for four years, subject to the following requirements:

  • Maintain satisfactory and timely academic progress towards their degree and remain in good academic standing.
  • Maintain at least a 3.5 GPA in mathematics courses
  • Declare a mathematics major upon admission and remain in the major
  • Pass the basic exam by the end of their third year of studies
  • To continue their scholarship for the fourth year, the applicants must apply and be accepted into the Departmental Scholars Program, which leads to a simultaneous Bachelors (BS) and Masters (MA) degrees.

Scholarship recipients follow a specialized advanced program of studies, including individual study with UCLA Mathematics professors.

Eligibility Requirements and application process

  • 12th grader applying to UCLA for admission in Fall of 2018.
  • Outstanding academic record and standardized test scores (TOEFL and SAT/ACT).
  • Evidence of exceptional background and promise in mathematics. Such evidence may include one of the following:
    • placing in the top 25% in the U.S.A. Mathematics Olympiad (USAMO) or comparable (International Mathematics Olympiad level) performance on a similar national competition, or
    • advanced (upper-division college level) coursework, or
    • original research work in mathematics.
  • Applicant must also submit the official UCLA admissions application by its deadline  .
  • To apply, please fill out the Merit Scholarship application on by November 30, of the current year.
    The direct link is:

Past/Present Scholarship Recipients:

Years of StudyName
2018-2022Jacob Zhang
2018-2022Ciprian Bonciocat
2017-2021Alexandru Pascadi
2015-2019Osman Akar
2014-2018Emre Girgin
2012-2016Ufuk Kanat
2011-2015Tudor Padurariu
2010-2014Francisc Bozgan

It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of our colleague, Dr. Olga Radko, at the age of 45, on Monday, June 29, 2020. The loss of Olga will be felt by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with Olga’s family during this difficult time. 

Below is a tribute written by her husband, Dima Shlyakhtenko:

Olga Radko joined the UCLA Mathematics Department as a VIGRE Assistant Professor in 2002 after receiving her PhD from UC Berkeley. Her pioneering work on the complete classification of two-dimensional Poisson structures is well known in the field of Poisson geometry, where these objects are sometimes called Radko surfaces. 

In 2007, Olga founded the Los Angeles Math Circle, and served as its director until her death in 2020, continuing to work even while hospitalzed. LAMC was Olga’s passion and her creative energies and administrative talent led the program on a path to remarkable growth and impact.

Olga inspired a generation of schoolchildren to pursue studies in mathematics and related fields. Over 1,500 children attended the Math Circle during its first 13 years of operation. More than 170 UCLA students worked as docents in the Math Circle over these years and have learned first hand the joys of sharing beautiful mathematics with kids of all ages. Her experiences teaching mathematics to young children have lead her to write two books Breaking Numbers into Parts, co-authored with Dr. Oleg Gleizer.

Olga also ran the Mathematics Department TA training program.  She helped many UCLA graduate students become better teachers, and dozens of graduate students had their first experience teaching a course on their own under her supervision.

For the last 2.5 years of her life, Olga fought a hard battle against ovarian cancer. Despite being in continuous treatment for most of this time, she lost this fight on June 29, 2020. 

Olga was a devoted wife and mother. She is survived by her husband Dima Shlyakhtenko, her mother and sister, and two sons, Victor and Robert. The world has lost a wonderful person and an irreplacable gem.

The UCLA Mathematics Department will join other departments in the Division of Physical Sciences in supporting #ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia, an initiative from a multi-identity, intersectional coalition of STEM professionals and academics taking action for Black lives. The initiative calls to stop research activities on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 to promote racial justice and equity in academia and our society at large.* The Department will support this action by encouraging students and faculty to engage in constructive activities for promoting racial equity. 

In an announcement to the department, Chair Mario Bonk, along with other departmental leaders, sent out the following statement in solidarity with the initiative: Recent events have emphasized the systemic inequalities within our society. We acknowledge and condemn acts of violence perpetrated on Black Americans and on those lawfully protesting their treatment. We are anguished and driven to take action.

To learn more about #ShutDownAcademia #ShutDownSTEM, visit their website here:

*Final exams will proceed as planned. Students and faculty involved may consider honoring the initiative the following Wednesday.