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Academics

Doctor of Philosophy Overview

As a doctoral candidate in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, you will be prepared and trained to be not only an expert in the mathematical sciences, but a leader in the field of mathematics. You will be expected to be an expert in research, as well as competent in a broad array of mathematical sciences techniques. You will also acquire the skills to be an effective communicator and teacher of basic mathematical sciences, one who can mentor and lead future mathematical scientists.

 

M.S. Degree Requirements

To receive a Master of Science degree in mathematical sciences, the successful candidate will have completed prerequisites including basic courses in:

  • Linear algebra.
  • Differential equations.
  • A computer language.
  • Statistics.

Foundational courses in advanced calculus (or real analysis), modern abstract algebra and probability are also required.

Coursework

Coursework also includes at least 27 hours of non-research, non-professional-development graduate courses at the 8000 level or above. In addition, a Ph.D. candidate should complete at least 18 hours of MATH 9910 (dissertation research).

Oral Exam

Ph.D. candidates must also successfully complete a comprehensive oral examination within one year of completing the preliminary examinations.

Dissertation

The final requirement for doctoral students is the Ph.D. dissertation, which will detail your original and significant contributions to the body of research in your area of concentration, and require you to defend your work.

Breadth Requirement

The breadth requirements for Ph.D. students include two courses in each of the following areas:

  • Algebra and discrete math.
  • Analysis.
  • Computational math.
  • Operations research and stochastics.
  • Statistics.

Transfer courses and coursed completed as a master’s student en route to the Ph.D. may be counted toward this requirement.


Typical Timeline

  • Year One
    • Focus on completing coursework related to prelim exams.
    • Attempt a prelim (or two) at the end of this year.
    • Attend a graduate student seminar and a research seminar each week.
  • Year Two
    • Complete all prelims during this year.
    • Choose a research adviser during this year as well.
    • Complete a GS2 committee selection form in consultation with your research adviser.
    • Attend a graduate student seminar and a research seminar each week.
  • Year Three
    • Begin working on research projects and develop a prospectus for your dissertation in consultation with your research adviser.
    • Submit a GS2 Ph.D. coursework plan via iRoar.
    • Complete your comprehensive oral exam during this year.
    • Complete the Ph.D. breadth requirement.
    • Attend a graduate student seminar and a research seminar each week.
  • Year Four
    • Focus on your research and topics coursework in your area of speciality.
    • Attend a graduate student seminar and a research seminar each week.
  • Year Five and Possibly Six
    • Attend a graduate student seminar and a research seminar each week.
    • Make sure to double check the Graduate School deadlines for graduation.
    • Complete and defend your dissertation.
    • Graduate!

Prelim Exams and Coursework

The first priority of a beginning Ph.D. student is to pass the preliminary exams.

Current prelim policy: Graduate students are required to receive two passes without accumulating three fails within three years of entering the graduate program. M.S. students are allowed to take prelims and all passes and fails will count towards their progress. Any prelims taken by a graduate student become part of their permanent prelim record.

A no-show will count as a fail if a student signed up and did not withdraw by the specific withdrawal deadline unless there are unusual circumstances such as a medical excuse or family emergency. Any exception to the no-show fail policy can only be made if a written request is submitted by the student to the associate director for graduate studies and the graduate student services coordinator and approved by the associate director for graduate studies.

Prelim Topics and Preparatory Coursework

Prelim Exam Archive

A repository of past prelim exams is available to augment your prepartions.

School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
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