Ph.D. in Financial Mathematics
A PhD in Financial Mathematics culminates in a dissertation of original
research written under the direction of a major professor or co-directors and
defended in an oral examination.
PhD students are not admitted to any particular professor's research group in
advance, but rather arrive in the program under the initial guidance of the Director.
Students spend their first year in coursework getting to know the faculty, and then
find a major professor during the second year. The major professor then takes over as
primary academic advisor.
Before submitting a dissertation, a student first advances to Candidacy for
the PhD, as described below. For full time students this normally takes five or
six semesters. See also the Graduate Program page
Timely Progress for FSU Funded Students.
In addition, starting in the third year, PhD students are expected to attend
MAP6939r Research Seminar in Financial Mathematics each semester.
Advancement to PhD Candidacy
Advancement to PhD Candidacy requires the following steps:
- Completion of the Master's degree course requirements(Details)
PhD students normally first earn the MS degree via coursework in the first two years of study. Those who arrive at FSU with a Master's degree from another university may elect not to earn our MS degree; for more details contact the Director.
For a list of required MS courses and a sample schedule of the first two years, see the MS degree page. Students will consult with the Director to formulate their individual course schedule until they obtain a major professor.
All PhD students are expected to take the qualifier exams during the
- Passing written qualifying exams(Details)
All Financial Math PhD students entering 2019 or later must pass the following two qualifying exams (each based on two semesters of coursework), which are offered at the start of each Fall and Spring semesters:
- MAD5403 and MAD5404, Foundations of Computational Mathematics I and II
- MAP5601 Introduction to Financial Mathematics and MAP6621 Financial Engineering I (which replaced the analysis qualifier for students starting the program in 2019)
Normal PhD progress means taking the corresponding course work in the first year and the qualifying exams in August of the second year. (See the Qualifiers page for more information.)
- Obtaining a major professor or co-directors(Details)
Students are responsible for finding a major professor, normally from the mathematics department, who agrees to direct their dissertation work. A co-director from another department is possible. If the major professor is from another department, a co-director in mathematics is required. This should normally happen before the end of the second year of study.
With the agreement of the student and professor, the department chair will officially appoint the major professor, co-director if applicable, and then, before the candidacy exam, the remainder of the PhD supervisory committee. The supervisory committee will include at least three members with graduate faculty status in mathematics, and will guide the student's work until graduation.
- Passing the PhD candidacy exam (Advanced Topics Exam - ATE)(Details)
After passing the qualifying exams, satisfying the requirements of the master's degree, and obtaining the approval of an intended major professor or co-directors, the student will normally take the PhD candidacy exam during or before the third year.
- The student will write an expository paper on an advanced topic selected with the guidance of the major professor, and distribute it to the supervisory committee at least two weeks in advance of the exam date.
- On an announced day, the student will give a short presentation on the material covered by the PhD Candidacy Exam paper. Then, in closed session, the supervisory committee will examine the candidate on the topic of the paper. Questions from the committee may concern general knowledge of the chosen topic and need not be limited to the material specifically covered by the PhD Candidacy Exam paper. The student must demonstrate scholarly competence and knowledge sufficient to begin work on dissertation research.
When the supervisory committee determines that the student has passed the PhD candidacy exam, the student is formally advanced to candidacy and begins working on the dissertation.