The primary requirement for a doctoral degree in mathematics is a dissertation containing an original and significant result in mathematics and its application. Candidates will work under the guidance of a faculty advisor who is an expert in their area of research.
Preparation for dissertation work includes both courses in mathematical fundamentals and practice in communicating mathematics orally and in writing. Courses will not necessarily include everything that candidates need to know. Doctoral candidates are expected to learn some mathematics on their own outside of class. Seminars afford a means to that end. They can be organized informally among students or more formally with a faculty advisor. Seminars of the latter type may be taken for academic credit. Candidates are encouraged to identify subjects they would like to study and to seek out faculty advisors.
- A minimum of 84 credits. At least 48 must be course credits (see the Mathematics Graduate Catalog) and at least 30 must be research credits. Incoming students who have already taken graduate classes elsewhere (e.g., for a master's degree) may have a maximum of 30 credits transferred. Transfer credit will be determined by the Department’s Graduate Program Committee. For more information, visit the Office of Graduate Academics.
- General Exam. This is a written exam covering analysis, complex variables, and algebra. A detailed description of the subjects covered, as well as suggested references, are available from the Mathematics Department. This exam is offered twice a year, at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. The General Exam should be taken before the student has accumulated 30 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree or within the first year of study at Stevens. One failure of the General Exam is allowed. A second failure will result in the students being dropped from the Ph.D. program.
- Ph.D. Candidacy Presentation. After the General Exam, the student will choose a thesis advisor in the area of his/her special interest. The Ph.D. Committee can provide help and advice with this important choice. In collaboration with the thesis advisor, the student will compose a plan of study in the field of interest and present this plan to the Department.
- Dissertation. The final and most important step of the Ph.D. program is writing a dissertation of publishable quality. This will embody the results of the student's original research in mathematics, and the dissertation will be presented by the student at a public defense. If the suitably appointed Dissertation Committee approves the defense, the student will be recommended to the Office of Graduate Admissions for the Ph.D. degree.
Visit the links on the right-hand side of the page for additional information on the department's graduate committee, the structure of the qualifying exams, and life as a graduate student.