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Chronology of Doctoral Studies in Mathematics: Steps and Assessment of Progress


Doctoral students making reasonable academic progress and fulfilling their assigned duties in an acceptable manner are normally supported for six years. The following list shows the steps involved and indicates how progress is measured. For further details, see the timetable Requirements and Timetable for the Ph.D. in Mathematics.

  • Initially the student is assigned the graduate coordinator as advisor. The student periodically meets with the advisor for approval of course registration and discussion of short-term goals.

     

  •  The Graduate Committee periodically evaluates the overall performance of all graduate students. Satisfactory progress in the doctoral program is essential for continued support as a teaching assistantship.

     

  •  The student establishes his/her advisory committee and submits a plan of study to the Graduate College prior to the end of the third semester of enrollment in the doctoral program.

     

  •  The student should complete the core courses of his/her specialization by the end of his/her second year in the program.

  •  The preliminary research project should be well underway by the end of a student’s second year and should be completed by the end of the third year in the program.

     

  •  The advisory committee holds an advisory conference, in preparation for the qualifying exam. The syllabus for the exam is given to the student at least two months prior to the exam.

     

  •  The student passes the qualifying exam.

     

  •  The advisory committee holds the second advisory conference, to evaluate the dissertation proposal prepared by the student. This meeting may be held in conjunction with the qualifying exam. Students are expected to have an approved dissertation proposal by the beginning of their fifth year in the program.

     

  •  The advisory committee meets periodically to assess the student's progress on research for the dissertation.

     

  •  As the date for the dissertation defense approaches, the student should periodically provide drafts of the dissertation to the committee. Three weeks prior to the defense, the student gives copies of the dissertation to each member of the advisory committee. At least a week prior to the dissertation defense, the presentation is announced on the department's bulletin board and electronically.

     

  •  The student passes an oral exam defending the dissertation.

     

  •  The student makes any changes in the dissertation required by the committee and by the Graduate College, then s/he submits the dissertation in final form signed by the committee to the Graduate College.