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Foreign Language Requirement for Doctoral Students


The foreign language requirement for doctoral students depends on the area of specialization.

Applied Mathematics

The advisory committee of a student in applied mathematics must be satisfied that the student has a strong working ability with a computer language or symbolic computation.

Mathematics Education

There is no foreign language requirement for the Ph.D. degree with specialization in mathematics education; however, it is expected that students in mathematics education exhibit a strong working ability of calculator and computer-assisted instruction, which is then documented in their professional development portfolio.

Pure Mathematics: Foreign Language Reading Proficiency Examination

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree in pure mathematics must pass a written examination to demonstrate reading knowledge of one foreign language before they take the qualifying examination. Usually the language is French, German, or Russian. Other options, including demonstrating a working ability with a computer language or symbolic computation, may be substituted subject to the recommendation of the student's advisory committee and the approval of the Graduate Committee.

The language exam consists of the translation into English, with dictionary allowed, of a suitable passage from a mathematics paper or book in the language. The passage is to be about 300 words in length excluding any symbolic expressions, and the exam period is one hour.

Language exams are scheduled by the Graduate Committee at the request of the student.

A completed copy of the report form should be given to the graduate director after the exam is graded.