Ph.D. Requirements

Our doctoral program offers student tremendous flexibility to pursue their research interests. Our goal is for all students to finish in 5 years and get a good job.


How to finish in five years

  • Take your oral qualifying exam at the end of the Spring semester of your first year. This will allow you to devote your summer to  reading papers and thinking about research. This exam will tesst you only on two subjects so itis possible to take it in January.
  • Find an advisor early in your second year. This will allow to choose your course work wisely and to have weekly meetings with your adviser in order to find a thesis topic and to prepare fro your preliminary exam..
  • Take your preliminary exam before the end of the Fall semester of your third year. Even with this early completion of the exam you will have only about two years to complete enough of your thesis research to apply for jobs. If you wait until the end of the Spring semester and do no research before your exam then staying for a sixth year is almost guaranteed.
  • Learn to manage your time. Teaching a section of calculus can be time consuming but it is also something that you will have to do from time to time to support yourself. In addition having good teachingf skills are important for landing an academic job. If you can arrange for your teaching and office hours to be on three days of the week, then you can have one or two days a week to devote to research.Time management will be more important when you get a postdoctoral position because you will likely be teaching two courses a semester or perhaps 2-1.