For Current Students


The following time line is meant to provide general guidance - individual cases may vary.

  1. Year 1: Complete the Qualifying Requirement.  
  2. Year 2: Select the PhD Thesis advisor, and prepare for the Preliminary Exam.
  3. Year 3: Take the Preliminary Exam by the Fall.  It would be ideal to take the exam the summer before the third year, leaving all of years three and four for thesis work.  (The exam MUST be taken by the end of the Spring of the third year.  Students are strongly encouraged not to wait and to take the exam as soon as practicable.)
  4. Year 4: Thesis work.
  5. Year 5 - Fall: write thesis and apply for jobs.
  6. Year 5 - Spring: familiarize yourself with the deadlines and paper work required to graduate, defend thesis and interview for jobs.

Degree Requirements

The Graduate School requires that you complete paper work for both the Preliminary Exam and the Thesis Defense at least ONE MONTH BEFORE the scheduled date.  Read the information above carefully, and let the DGSA ( know as soon as you are ready to schedule the exam and defense.

Resources for Math PhD Students

Course Recommendations Advice & Perspective
Professional Societies: AMS, AWM, SIAM Student Leadership
Summer Opportunities Funding Opportunities
Teacher Training Applying for Jobs


Concurrent Masters Degree

PhD students can earn a "concurrent" Masters degree during their graduate studies, either in Mathematics, or from another department (eg. Statistics, Physics). 

The requirement for the Mathematics Masters is: (i) qualification in three courses in at least two distinct areas; (ii) ten mathematics courses at the 500/600 level.

To learn about the requirement for a concurrent Masters degree from another department, contact that department's DGS.  Be aware that there is no fee/expense for the first Masters degree; but the Graduate School does charge fees for subsequent degrees.