Checklist for PhD Candidacy
- Major Professor and Committee: The major professor and committee must be declared and officially appointed by the Department Chair at least a month before the candidacy exam takes place. The major professor is the main advisor to the student, and will guide the student toward a Ph.D. thesis and degree. The rest of the committee should consist of at least three mathematics faculty members and one faculty member from an outside department. All members of the committee must have Doctoral Directive Status. This outside member, also called the University representative, need not have any relationship with or specialized knowledge concerning the dissertation topic. The primary function of the outside committee member is to oversee the proceedings and verify that these took place in accordance with University rules.
- Courses: In order to achieve candidacy, the student must have finished all course requirements and passed 3 qualifier exams. Students should be enrolled in at least one graded course (a core course or a topics course) per semester until candidacy is achieved. During the semester of candidacy, students register for 2-4 credit hours of a DIS course with their major professor (MAT6908).
- Format: The student, major professor, and committee agree on a format for the candidacy exam. Typically, this will include one or two seminar-level presentations. Sometimes the student will also be asked to write a presentation demonstrating his mastery of the material agreed to previously. Assigned written material must be submitted in a timely manner, at least two weeks before the candidacy exam.
- Final Approval: The committee officially approves the student's work, and puts the approval in writing usually after a final oral Candidacy examination.
- Official Candidacy: Immediately upon passing the Candidacy Exam, the student must register for MAT8964 for 0 credit hours. Only then is a student officially considered a PhD Candidate. Students maintaining timely progress must achieve candidacy by the end of their 3rd year in residence.
According to University rules, a student may only keep his/her status as PhD candidates for a length of five years after candidacy, after which a renewal process is necessary to reinstate a student's candidacy