PhD Degree Requirements

Residency Requirement

The PhD program is a year-round (12 months) program for full-time students, who must be resident for three academic years. Students have a maximum of seven years from matriculation to receiving the PhD. They are required to register each Fall and Spring semester from matriculation to the awarding of the degree.

After completing the three-year residency requirement, students and their advisors may petition the Graduate Steering Committee for part-time status. Students with a part-time status will not receive a stipend from the program. 

Course Requirements

The course requirements for the doctoral program consist of nine courses (27 credits), not including credits associated with dissertation research. Students are required to take four core courses: Real Analysis, Advanced Linear Algebra, Complex Variables, and Numerical Analysis. These core courses must be taken in the first year. In addition, students will have several PhD-level courses from which to choose. See course schedule for AY 2022-23.

Students must have a GPA of 3.0 upon completion of the 27 credit hours for PhD candidacy. Students who do not satisfy this requirement will be dismissed from the PhD program and have the option of receiving a Masters Degree in Mathematics and Statistics upon completion of the MS degree requirements.

Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive examinations will be offered by the Department once per year in late August. They consist of two examinations focusing on the core courses: one on real and complex analysis, and the other on linear algebra and numerical analysis. Students must attempt both comprehensive examinations at the end of their first year. Students who fail a comprehensive examination may only attempt it once more.

Students need to pass both comprehensive examinations by the end of their second year to qualify for PhD candidacy. Students who do not satisfy this requirement will be dismissed from the PhD program and have the option of receiving a Masters Degree in Mathematics and Statistics upon completion of the MS degree requirements.

Teaching Requirement

The PhD program prepares students for research and teaching careers. As such, all students are required to serve as Teaching Associates in their second year of the program, regardless of funding source. This entails serving as instructor of record for a lower level Math course (e.g. MATH-035: Calculus I).

Students who receive institutional funding are required to serve as Teaching Assistants in their first year and as Teaching Associates in subsequent years.

Dissertation Committee and PhD Candidacy

Students are expected to have passed their comprehensive examinations before forming their dissertation committee, which should have at least three members, one of whom must be the student’s advisor.  

After passing the comprehensive examinations, completing the 27 credits course requirements with a minimum GPA of 3.00, and forming their dissertation committee, students will work on their dissertation proposal.

Students are admitted to PhD candidacy once the dissertation proposal has been approved by the dissertation committee.

PhD Dissertation and Defense

The dissertation is the culmination of original research done by the student with the guidance of the advisor. Upon approval by the dissertation committee, the student will schedule a public defense.

During the period between PhD candidacy and the defense, students must meet at least once a year with the dissertation committee to provide updates on their progress.

Following the public defense and an unanimous vote by the dissertation committee to accept the dissertation, the PhD degree is granted after suggested minor modifications have been addressed.