Degrees Offered
Pure Mathematics

MS Degree.

All students enrolled in the pure math graduate program who have taken 36 graduate credit hours of graduate courses, and have passed the three core course sequences are eligible for a masters degree. This includes students who are intending to continue on as a doctoral candidate as well as students who opt to leave the program with a masters.

For more information about the MS degree, visit the MS Degree Checklist.

PhD Degree.

After qualification, the first step toward a PhD is to choose a major professor and pass a candidacy examination. This is usually done by the end of the students' third year of graduate study. To retain (or gain) TA status, a graduate student is expected to finish their candidacy by the beginning of their 7th semester of graduate study. Once a candidate, the student continues work with the major professor on an original research problem. Typically by the end of their 5th or 6th year of study, they write and defend a PhD thesis, thus earning their doctoral degree.

For more information about the PhD degree, visit the PhD Checklist page.

Course Requirements

All pure math graduate students must pass (or exempt, see below) the following three core course sequences:

Visit the Course Grids page to see examples of course grids depending on the student's background and interests.

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Qualification

PhD students must qualify in all three core subjects:

  • Algebra,
  • Topology, and
  • Analysis.

In order to retain (or gain) TA status, students are expected to qualify by the end of their fourth semester of graduate study. Qualification consists of either getting A or A- in Parts I and II of a course sequence, or passing a corresponding qualifier exam on the same material.

The qualifier exams are offered twice each academic year at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters (in August and January). Students who arrive with advanced background in the form of previous graduate coursework may take a qualifier exam to exempt all or part of a course sequence. See the qualifier exam topics page and guidelines page for more information.