The doctoral program in Mathematics
is designed to educate students in a broad range of mathematical
disciplines, with emphasis on the student gradually acquiring expertise
in a particular area of inquiry. While the program is particularly
strong in research training, all doctoral students gain practical
skills in teaching and are prepared upon graduation to assume positions
in academia as teachers as well as researchers.
During their first year in the program,
students typically engage in coursework and seminars which prepare
them for Qualifying Examinations. This series of three exams test
students breadth of mathematical knowledge in Algebra and Real Analysis. Students are given two opportunities to take
and pass all sections of the Qualifying Examinations, which are
given in September and March each year. Incoming doctoral students
may elect to take the September exams with no penalty- that is,
if the incoming student takes and passes any portion of the Examinations,
s/he is given credit for the pass and still has two more opportunities
to pass other sections of the exam s/he did not pass. Conversely,
an incoming student who takes and does not pass any portion of the
September exam is not penalized and may still take the Qualifying
Examinations twice more.
All students continue through each
year of the program serving some form of Assistantship (Course, Teaching or Research Assistant.)
graduate students are very active as both leaders and participants
in seminars and colloquia in their chosen areas of interest.
During their third
year, students will sit for their Departmental Area Examination.
This examination will assess the student's breadth of knowledge
in his/her particular area of research. The Area Examination is
also used as an opportunity for the student to present his/her committee
with a summary of research conducted to date as well as a detailed
plan for the remaining research.
Typically during the latter part of
the fourth or early part of the fifth year of study, students are
expected to finish their dissertation research. At this time, students
will defend their dissertation as they sit for their University
Oral Examination. Following the dissertation defense, students take
a short time to make final revisions to their actual papers and
submit the dissertation to their reading committee for final approval.