This page provides some information about when you should accomplish various milestones in your degree and what other events must occur along the way. It is for convenience only. Consult with the Graduate Chair to ensure you have all the information you need.
The typical time to degree for a PhD here is 5 to 6 years and the maximum length of support is set to 6 years. In your first couple of years, you’ll be taking classes and studying to pass your qualifying exams. It’s also a good idea during that time to try to figure out what type of math you might do research in; attending various seminars, talking to more advanced students about what they do, and asking professors about their research are a few ways you can go about accomplishing this. We encourage you to attempt qualifying as exams as soon as you can. Even if you fail, you’ll have a better idea of what they are about. By the end of the fall of your 3rd year, you need to have attempted at least 2 quals and by the end of the fall of your 4th year, you need to have passed 2 quals.
Once you pass your two qualifying exams, your top priority should be to find an adivsor; getting up to speed on the cutting edge of research, and then doing your own, takes a lot of time! Still, finding an advisor is an important decision and, while your interest in their research is a very important factor, personal chemistry should also be considered. If you’ve spent some of your early years talking to some professors, this important step should go more smoothly.
Your advisor will determine the format of your comprehensive exam. You must pass this exam by the end of your 4th year and you only have two tries. Once this is behind you, you can form a ‘thesis committee’.
Then, you do math.
Once you’ve done math, it’s time to write it up. The way in which you go about this will depend a lot on you and 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.
The typical time to degree for an MA here is 2 to 3 years and the maximum length of support is set to 3 years.
In your first year, you’ll be spending a lot of your time taking classes. As suggested above for PhD candidates, it’s also suggested that you try to figure out in what general area, and with whom, you’ll want to write your MA paper. Attending various seminars, talking to more advanced students about what they do, and talking to professors about what masters projects they might have in mind are a few ways you can go about accomplishing this.
By the end of the fall of your second year, you will need to have chosen an advisor. You will work with them to produce a masters paper and prepare an oral presentation. As you near completion, you should discuss timing with your advisor, form a masters committee, and talk with the graduate chair to ensure all the various forms and announcements go out in time.