Graduate Degrees

Graduate Degrees

The mathematics department offers two graduate degrees, an M.A. and a Ph.D., as well as a Certificate in Applied Mathematics. Full details of the requirements for each degree are listed in the Mathematics Department Handbook and are summarized below. College-wide requirements for graduate students may be found in the Graduate School Catalog.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. program has two tracks: pure and applied. The course requirements differ somewhat between the two tracks, although the number of credit hours is the same. Both pure and applied tracks have the following requirements.

  • Pass two qualifying exams: one in Algebra or Analysis, and one in Numerical Analysis or Probability/Statistics
  • Pass a preliminary exam in your area of research
  • Demonstrate knowledge of adequate computer skills
  • Complete the Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship training sequence offered by the department
  • Pass an oral comprehensive exam
  • Write and defend a Ph.D. dissertation containing original research

After graduation, our Ph.D. alumni typically obtain positions either in academia, as postdoctoral fellows or tenure-track faculty, or in the private sector. A comprehensive list of recent Ph.D. graduates and their positions can be found on our alumni page.

Master of Arts

The M.A. program includes three tracks, designed to accommodate the different interests and backgrounds of our students. The course requirements differ among the three tracks.

In addition to coursework, the M.A. candidates must complete a research component. The research component is written up as a paper and defended by an oral examination.

Many of our Ph.D. students obtain an M.A. on their way to the doctoral degree. They have the option to do so after completing the qualifying exams.

After graduation, our M.A. students usually obtain jobs in government or the private sector (e.g., financial, insurance, telecommunication), as well as teaching jobs at junior colleges.

Certificate in Applied Mathematics

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Mathematics is designed for students who are currently pursuing a graduate degree in a discipline outside of math (such as engineering, economics, physics, biology, geology, or psychology) who would benefit from additional training in applied mathematics.

The Certificate requires four graduate level courses (12 credits total) from the list approved by the Department. Admission to the certificate program requires completion of two math courses at level 600 or above with a minimum 3.0 GPA. These courses (if on the list) can then count towards the 12 credits required for the certificate.