Directed Reading Program


The Directed Reading Program (DRP) pairs undergraduate students with graduate student mentors for semester-long independent study projects. It runs each semester and during the summer and is coordinated by math Ph.D. students. Participation is not for credit and does not appear on a student's transcript.

Contact us at:

To apply: Read the 'Qualifications' section below to determine whether you are eligible to participate. The application process has two steps: 1. Interested students must fill out the application form. 2. A professor that knows the applicant well must send a letter of recommendation to; applicants may direct their recommenders to the 'Resources for recommenders' link near the top of this webpage for more information about writing a letter of recommendation.

Applications for Fall 2019 are currently being accepted. 

Applicants who are selected for DRP positions will be paired with mentors based on mathematical interests and availability. Once paired, the mentee and mentor jointly decide on a specific topic of study. Most projects are based on a particular book or article that the mentee reads at his/her own pace, guided and supplemented by the mentor. Applicants must use the field 'What are your mathematical interests?' to specify any concrete ideas they may already have for a project. Applicants may want to see our list of sample projects and our list of past projects.

Requirements. Each mentee meets weekly with his/her mentor for about an hour. The details of these meetings are left up to the mentee/mentor pairs; they might include presentations by the mentee, informal lecturing by the mentor, general discussion, questions about exercises, etc. In addition to the meetings, the mentee is expected to work independently for at least four hours each week. At the end of the semester, each student gives a 10–15 minute presentation on a topic they have studied.

Qualifications. Applicants must be Rutgers (or at least visiting) undergraduates. They need not be math majors but must have a strong mathematical background and certain level of mathematical maturity. Applicants must have completed 640:300 Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning. Applicants must be self-motivated and capable of sustaining an independent study project for the duration of the semester. If mentors are in short supply, applicants with less background may be asked to re-apply the following semester.

About the DRP. The Rutgers Directed Reading Program is modeled after a similar program at the University of Chicago. It first ran at Rutgers in the summer of 2005. The graduate student coordinators of the DRP can be reached at