Jun 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mathematics and Statistics, Ph.D.

Return to: 3410 Department of Mathematics and Statistics  

The Ph.D. degree program in Mathematics and Statistics includes concentrations in applied mathematics, bioinformatics, biostatistics, and mathematics. These concentrations address the critical need for mathematics faculty and the need for highly trained specialists in the areas of bioinformatics and biostatistics. The concentrations in bioinformatics and biostatistics will graduate strong bioinformaticians and biostatisticians with a broad background in applied areas for direct placement in business, industry, governmental institutions and research universities. The mathematics and applied mathematics concentrations will graduate mathematicians with broad knowledge of core areas of pure and applied mathematics.

Majors are encouraged to consider carefully the career objectives they wish to pursue after graduation. Early selection of these objectives may suggest the degree programs or concentrations that will prepare students for their chosen careers. Faculty who serve as advisers for graduate majors will discuss with majors the degree programs and concentrations available to them.

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics accepts applications for all three semesters. However, in order to be considered for graduate assistantships for the fall semester, applicants must complete the application process in the Office of Graduate Services in sufficient time for the department to receive it by March 1. This process often takes several weeks. International applicants should allow at least two additional months for processing of applications for admission.

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of Mathematics and Statistics by contacting the Directors of Graduate Studies at the addresses at 3410 Department of Mathematics and Statistics 

Degree Requirements

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics have the following requirements for students who wish to enter into the Ph.D. program, regardless of concentration:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in mathematics, statistics, or a related field with a grade point average of 3.0 out of 4.0. Students with a grade point average of 2.75 will be considered for conditional admission.
  2. Three letters of reference,
  3. Recent GRE scores,
  4. A statement describing study plans.
  5. Applicants from non-English speaking countries must achieve a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Students must have completed courses in mathematics equivalent to the following with a grade of B or higher:

Coursework Requirements

Each of the concentrations requires a minimum of 54 hours of coursework and at least 30 hours of dissertation research.

Students must take four of the following six common core courses (12 credit hours):

Additional Coursework Requirements

At most four 6000-level courses can count toward a PhD degree.

The following 6000-level courses cannot count toward a PhD degree:

  • MATH 6258 Vector Calculus
  • MATH 6435 Linear Algebra II
  • MATH 6441 Modern Algebra I
  • MATH 6547 Introduction to Statistical Methods
  • MATH 6620 Numerical Analysis II
  • MATH 6661 Analysis I
  • MATH 6662 Analysis II

Of all the 7000-level courses, only MATH 7821 Historical and Cultural Development of Mathematics II can count toward a Ph.D. degree.

MATH 8800 Topics in Mathematics can be counted toward a Ph.D. degree at most twice.

Graduate Assistants

Graduate assistants are required to enroll for a minimum of 12 credit hours each for the fall/spring semesters and 9 credit hours for the summer semester. These credit hours will consist of courses required for the prescribed program of study, as well as additional hours of MATH 8801, MATH 8802, MATH 8900, MATH 8950, MATH 8999, MATH 9999, STAT 8691, STAT 8692, STAT 8900, STAT 8950, STAT 8999, and STAT 9999.

Transfer credit hours: Students can transfer at most 24 semester credit hours to the program with the approval of the appropriate Graduate Director of the Department. Petition documents include the transcript, the course syllabi, exams and course notes or the textbook.

Qualifying exam: The PhD qualifying exams for each concentration will consist of four exams, each covering one course, with at least two courses chosen from the following common core courses:

  • MATH 8110 Real Analysis I  
  • MATH 8200 Advanced Matrix Analysis  
  • MATH 8510 Applied Mathematics  
  • STAT 8600 Probability Theory  
  • STAT 8561 Linear Statistical Analysis I

The other possible courses for the qualifying exams are further specified within each concentration. Students who fail a qualifying exam on the first attempt may take it only one more time. Students must pass the qualifying exams within two calendar years of admission.

Candidacy exam: Students must pass an oral candidacy exam before a committee that includes at least two final members of the student’s dissertation committee. The candidacy exam is set by the committee and covers course material within the student’s area of specialization or a proposed topic of thesis research. The details are determined by the committee in a manner consistent with any guidelines stated above for the student’s concentration. A student must advance to candidacy by the fourth year. The candidacy exam can be taken only twice.

Dissertation Committee: The student and his/her dissertation adviser shall form a dissertation committee. The committee should consist of at least four faculty members. For students in the bioinformatics and biostatistics concentrations, one committee member should be from another department such as the School of Public Health, the Department of Biology, or from another institution.

Final dissertation defense: Upon completion of the research, the student must defend his/her dissertation publicly.