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Grad Guide – Academics

Getting Started

The first section described the orientation the week before classes begin, the mentoring program with both faculty and graduate student mentors, the core courses most entering graduate students take, and includes the insight of Francis Adams on his initial choice of courses.


In the second section the system of tiers of courses we offer is described and some sample schedules are included.

Choosing an Advisor

In the third section we offer some friendly advice on choosing an advisor, a critical decision for your sucess.

Supervisory Committee

The fourth sections is on forming a supervisory committee. Your advisor together with your supervisory committee with support from the graduate secretary and graduate coordinator over see your progress through our programs.


The fifth section on exams covers First Year Exams, a language exam (French, German or Russian), and written and oral parts of the qualifying exam of the


The sixth section is about writing a thesis or dissertation, which is often more challenging than people expect.

Defending your Dissertation

The seventh section describes a typical doctoral dissertation defense and gives helpful advice on planning and preparing for one.

PhD Timeline

The final section outlines the milestones of the PhD program year by year.

The Math Grad Guide is an informal introduction to our programs. For more information, see the program requirements and academic progress criteria:
Current PhD requirements
Satisfactory progress criteria for the PhD
Math Grad Academic Handbook 2013-14
Math Grad Academic Handbook 2013-14
PhD requirements for those entering prior to May 18, 2012
MS requirements
MAT/MST requirements
Graduate Catalog of the academic year in which you entered.