Introducing the Joint Ph.D. in Mathematics by Westlake University and Fudan University

We’re excited to share the launch of Westlake University’s new PhD in Mathematics program. The PhD in Mathematics program is a joint program in collaboration with Fudan University designed to provide students with a strong foundation in mathematics and cutting-edge applications to other fields such as big data, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, life science, medicine, manufacturing, and more. The program is highly interdisciplinary and offers students the opportunity to work on research projects across the theoretical and applied research sciences.

Westlake University is a new type of high-quality research-oriented university based in Hangzhou, emphasizing academic freedom, research excellence, interdisciplinary engagement, and international collaboration. Fudan University, on the other hand, is a comprehensive, well-established institution located in Shanghai. The joint program is designed to complement each other’s advantages, with Fudan University being a comprehensive, well-established institution and Westlake University being a small, dynamic, and innovative university that specializes in sciences and technology research.

Students admitted into the joint program in mathematics will be enrolled at Fudan University but mainly study and research at Westlake University. All courses are taught in English. Students who accomplish all study requirements of the curriculum and pass the doctoral dissertation defense will be awarded a diploma and doctorate from Fudan University.

Who Should Apply to this Program?

A PhD in Mathematics program might be a good fit for you if any of the following apply to you.

  • You are passionate about numbers, problem-solving, and enjoy diving into the intricacies of mathematical concepts.
  • You enjoy analyzing complex datasets, making informed decisions, and identifying patterns or trends that may not be readily apparent.
  • You want to make a significant contribution to your chosen field and the ever-expanding body of mathematical knowledge, potentially making groundbreaking discoveries along the way.
  • You want to develop your research skills and gain experience in conducting independent research.
  • You want to pursue a career in academia, research institutions, government agencies, and industry sectors that require strong analytical skills and quantitative expertise.
  • You want to work in high-tech fields such as big data, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, life science, medicine, manufacturing, and more.
  • You want to work in a variety of mathematical fields such as Algebra and Number Theory, Geometry and Topology, Analysis and Differential Equations, Computational and Applied Mathematics, and Probability and Statistics.
  • You seek intellectual rigor and continuous learning as part of your commitment for personal growth and professional success within the realm of mathematics.

Program Details 


Students in the joint Ph.D. in Mathematics program can choose to focus their studies in the following areas:

  • Algebra and Number Theory
  • Geometry and Topology
  • Analysis and Differential Equations
  • Computational and Applied Mathematics

Through the PhD program in Mathematics, students gain not only deep knowledge within their specialized area but also a broad set of transferable skills that are highly valued within academia and the public and private sectors. These include analytical thinking, problem-solving abilities, technical proficiency, communication and collaboration, and adaptability.

Research Collaboration

Westlake University is a leading institution in the realm of research, with strong connections to various disruptive technologies and innovation in multiple fields. One of the distinguishing features of Westlake University is its research-led approach to curriculum and teaching. This means instead of merely focusing on theoretical knowledge, the university places a strong emphasis on hands-on learning and active participation in research projects. By collaborating on joint research projects and seminars, you can work with scholars from diverse backgrounds.

This approach allows students at Westlake to nurture a culture of inquiry, critical thinking, and problem-solving. It encourages the development of practical skills that are highly sought after in today’s job market and offers exposure to different perspectives and approaches to problem-solving.

Interdisciplinary Studies

The highly interdisciplinary nature of the Joint PhD in Mathematics program opens up new avenues for exploration for students. Mathematics plays a fundamental role in solving complex problems across different domains, as mathematical theories can be applied across multiple disciplines. Graduates are well prepared to make significant contributions within academia, industry, and society at large.

With a Ph.D. in mathematics, there are various fields where you can develop innovative solutions that have real-world applications:

Big Data Analytics: Statistical analysis, probability theory, and optimization algorithms help analysts extract valuable insights from vast amounts of information. By identifying patterns and correlations, businesses can make informed decisions using evidence-based strategies.

Artificial intelligence: AI relies on mathematical concepts to simulate human intelligence and perform complex tasks. Algorithms like neural networks and deep learning architectures use mathematical models to analyze vast amounts of data and detect patterns. AI systems continuously learn and improve their performance through iterative processes guided by mathematical principles.

Quantum Computing: In the field of quantum computing – an area poised to revolutionize computational power – mathematics provides a solid foundation for understanding complex quantum systems. Mathematical models aid researchers in designing efficient algorithms for solving problems that are beyond the capabilities of classical computers.

Life Science and Medicine: Mathematics helps explore complex biological processes by using statistical frameworks to analyze medical data and to study phenomena such as genetic patterns or how diseases spread.

Manufacturing: Mathematics is integral to advancements in manufacturing processes. By applying mathematical optimization techniques and statistical analysis methods, researchers can enhance efficiency and quality control in production lines.

The connections between mathematics and these fields continue to grow stronger as advancements are made in technology and research methodologies. The interplay will likely continue to evolve, driving innovation and shaping the future of these industries.


The faculty of the program consists of distinguished scholars and experts in various fields of mathematics. The current faculty specialize in the research areas of Algebra and Number Theory, Geometry and Topology, Analysis and Differential Equations, and Computational and Applied Mathematics.

Among them, the newly hired Chair Professor, Dr. Alexey Chesidov, is a world-renowned mathematician who has made significant contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations, mathematical fluid dynamics, and infinite-dimensional dynamical systems. He has also received numerous awards and honors, such as the Sloan Research Fellowship, the NSF CAREER Award, and the IAS Membership.

The program’s faculty members are as follows. Learn more about them here.

Algebra and Number Theory: Huayi Chen, Ivan Fesenko, Yongqiang Zhao, Yigeng Zhao, Lifan Guan, Chuanhao Wei, Paolo Dolce

Geometry and Topology: Gang Tian, Jiyuan Han, Xing Gu, Xin Fu, Jintian Zhu, Thierry De Pauw

Analysis and Differential Equations: Zipeng Wang, Zhuchao Ji

Computational and Applied Mathematics: Alexey Cheskidov, Zhennan Zhou

Campus & Facilities

Studies for the joint Ph.D. in Mathematics takes place at the Institute for Theoretical Sciences at Westlake’s Yungu campus. The campus features modern teaching and research facilities, comfortable dormitories, a library, a sports center, and a cafeteria. The campus also boasts a natural environment with green hills, clear water, and fresh air.

Fees and Financial Aid

The tuition fee for self-funded students is 37,000 CNY/year (subject to annual enrolment pricing).

Student accommodation is available for 1,800 – 2,200 CNY/year for an ensuite room.

Financial Support for Ph.D. Students

In its commitment to making Ph.D. education affordable, Westlake University offers all admitted Ph.D. students full tuition grants for the duration of their studies. This is in addition to the Westlake University Fellowship, a monthly stipend to help students cover daily living expenses.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2024 intake are now being accepted. The application deadline is April 15, 2024.


To apply for the joint PhD. in mathematics, you must meet the following criteria:

  • you are a non-Chinese citizen with a valid passport.
  • you have obtained a master’s degree.
  • you are in good health.
  • you meet the English language requirements.

English Language Requirements

Applicants can demonstrate their English proficiency in two ways:

  1. A Letter of English Proficiency from your previous university where English is the official language of instruction.
  2. Official language proficiency test scores showing a minimum of 6.5 for IELTS or 90 for TOEFL iBT.

Required Documents

  • A photocopy of your passport.
  • A personal statement of min 1,500 words discussing your Ph.D. goals and motivations.
  • Original or notarized copy of your diploma and degree certificates (English or Chinese).
  • Original or notarized copies of transcripts of your Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency.
  • Two recommendation letters.
  • Optional: Portfolio of academic papers you have published, or other documents demonstrating your academic abilities.

Steps to Apply

  1. Register to Westlake’s online application portal to fill out the application. You can also apply through the China Admissions platform.
  2. Select the appropriate school and major.
  3. Fill out the application form.
  4. Upload the required documents.
  5. Submit the application.
  6. Track your application status, as you may be asked to provide supplementary information. Applications will be reviewed at the end of April 2024. Your application will be processed when the status says “Qualification Review-Passed”.
  7. Wait for an email with further information about your assessment.
  8. If you are successfully admitted to the program, enroll within the time specified on your Certificate of Admission (around the end of August or early September).

Kay contributes to the Marketing team at China Admissions. A "third-culture kid" based in Thailand, she has had lifelong exposure to international communities and has worked with top global brands. Having studied abroad herself, she encourages young minds to invest in their self-development and foster an appreciation for new countries and cultures.
Kay M

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