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Passing the qualifying examination is required to become a Ph.D. candidate. Admission to the graduate program does NOT guarantee admission to the Ph.D. program.
The qualifying exam consists of two components: an Algebra Examination and an Analysis Examination. Candidates will be deemed to have passed the qualifying examination only after passing BOTH the Algebra and Analysis components. Copies of previous qualifying exams are available online.
Both exams are offered twice yearly: in August at the start of the Fall Semester and in January at the start of the Winter Semester. Eligible candidates may attempt one or both examinations in any semester. Both examinations must be attempted at least once during the first three semesters of graduate study. Failure to attempt the examination within the above time period will result in disqualification for Ph.D. candidacy.
To help with preparation for the Qualifying exam, two graduate courses will be offered every Fall Semester: 8210 (Basic Algebra) and 8220 (Basic Analysis). Students are strongly urged to attempt the qualifying exams at the first opportunity in January following the completion of 8210 and 8220.
Eligibility: Students with a master’s degree in mathematics will be allowed two academic years from admission to the graduate program to pass both components. Students without a master’s degree in mathematics will be allowed three years from admission to the graduate program to pass both components. Exceptions can be made with the recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies and the approval of a majority of the Doctoral Faculty. For purposes of eligibility, an exam is considered to be part of the semester immediately following it.
Satisfactory progress towards the degree: Before passing the qualifying exams, a student who is continuously enrolled in 9 credit hours of approved courses and with a B average or better is deemed to be making satisfactory progress. After passing the qualifying exams, a student with continuous enrollment in 6 credit hours of approved courses, with a B average or better and a supporting letter from his or her advisor is deemed to be making satisfactory progress. (Note: The Coordinating Board of Higher Education considers 9 hours to be full-time graduate student standing in the Fall and Winter semesters, and fewer hours to be part-time standing. Some students may need to maintain 9 hour full-time status to remain eligible for certain graduate fellowships, or deferal of repayment for certain undergraduate student loans, or discounts on certain insurance policies.)