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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Submission Instructions

As an expository journal, we will not accept submissions that prove new results. Submissions should be expository, with their novelty stemming from how they present results, whether this is in terms of the submission’s target audience, approach to the material, or style. We generally expect submissions to originate from senior theses, REUs, and coursework, but are open to submissions written for any reason, so long as they were written while the author was an undergraduate or high school student. We wish to construe mathematics broadly, accepting articles in pure and applied mathematics, statistics, mathematical physics, mathematical finance, logic, theoretical computer science, etc. 

  • Length: We will largely accept submissions of lengths between 5-15 pages, but will also publish a small number of longer (15-30) page submissions each issue, especially if these submissions are the result of an undergraduate senior thesis. We encourage authors who wish to submit a longer piece to consider submitting an excerpt.
  • Undergraduate status: The work under review must have been conducted while the author was an undergraduate student or a high school student. Of course, we will allow edits and reformatting. For example, one could submit an undergraduate senior thesis one or two years after graduation, with possible small edits.
  • Target audience: The target readership of CJUM are undergraduates, broadly construed. Therefore, part of our review process includes readability and accessibility. We would like to target a large group of undergraduates, and are interested in submissions across the spectrum of readership, from younger students with only a background of calculus or linear algebra to experienced undergraduates covering upper-level graduate topics.
  • Artistic submissions: We are open to accepting artistic submissions and other submissions in a nontraditional format, but only those with an explicitly pedagogical goal. (Were Ravi Vakil an undergraduate, we would be delighted to publish his Exact Sequence Picture Book.)

As an example of what we would be interested in, consider a submission on the fundamental group. This topic is part of a standard upper-level undergraduate course, and we would not accept a submission which just re-presents content in the style of a textbook, no matter how clearly written the submission might be. However, we would be interested in any of the following:

  • A submission which introduces the fundamental group to students with only a calculus background while gesturing at the structure of the formal construction. (Novelty of audience)
  • A submission which defines the fundamental group and gives a clear, introductory computation of the fundamental group of the circle which eschews the usual machinery of covering spaces. (Novelty of approach)
  • A submission which defines the fundamental group with heavy use of diagrams, clearly illustrating all arguments in a way that exceeds a standard textbook. (Novelty of style)

The Columbia Journal of Undergraduate Mathematics publishes works written in English.

If you are unsure if your submission meets our criteria, you are welcome to contact us directly at

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