(Note: the following requirements are for students beginning in Fall 2016 or later; students who arrived before then should consult with the Graduate Chair.)
The PhD program in Mathematics at UH Mānoa has four principal components:
- Course requirements
- Qualifying exams
- Comprehensive exam
- Dissertation and defense
There are further specific requirements presented below.
For graduate courses offered by the department, click here.
Students must pass 30 credit hours of mathematics courses numbered 600–699 subject to the following conditions:
The department offers qualifying exams in four subjects:
- Applied mathematics
Students must pass two of these exams. They must do so by the end of the fall semester of their fourth year. Additionally, students must have at least attempted two qualifying exams by the end of the fall semester of their third year. Other than the constraints imposed by these time requirements, students may attempt each qualifying exam any number of times.
The applied mathematics and topology quals are scheduled to take place each fall, while the algebra and analysis quals will be given in the spring. Four courses, numbered 601, 621, 611, and 631, respectively, are meant to cover a fair portion of the material for the qualifying exams. It is however expected that the students will need to learn some material on their own, as well. For further details on the content of the qualifying exams and to see some past exams, click here.
A written or oral comprehensive examination on a subject chosen by the student and their advisor, and with the approval of the graduate chair, must be completed by the end of the student’s fourth year. Students are allowed to attempt the comprehensive exam at most twice.
Dissertation and defense
The writing and oral defense of a PhD thesis covering substantial original contributions to research are the hallmark of a PhD program. After passing your comprehensive exam, you can officially form a ‘dissertation committee’ chaired by your advisor. As you approach completion, make sure to discuss the timing with your advisor and your committee. You should contact the graduate chair at least a month ahead of defending so that they can ensure all the various forms and announcements go out in time.
Additional university-wide requirements can be found on the Office of Graduate Education website.