The aim of the doctoral program in mathematics is two-fold:

To prepare graduates for productive careers in industry, government, or education

To produce capable scholars who excel at communicating their knowledge to their students, fellow mathematicians, and surrounding communities

The program is designed to develop a fundamental understanding in broad areas of mathematics, together with advanced expertise in a specific area of research. Emphasis is placed on the abilities of recognizing significant research problems, formulating solutions, and transmitting successful outcomes to others.

Degree Requirements

General doctoral degree requirements at CGU may be found in the Doctoral Degrees section of the Bulletin. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of and to meet these requirements.

Course Requirements. A total of 72 units of coursework are required to complete the doctoral degree. These units must include one transdisciplinary course, per University policy.

Residency. Students must fulfill the CGU residency requirement: at least two semesters of full-time study within a two-year period or 48 units within a three-year period. It is recommended that coursework be completed on a full-time basis; while part-time attendance is an option, degree requirements should be fulfilled within a seven-year time frame.

Satisfactory Academic Progress. The University’s policy on satisfactory academic progress applies. Students who do not maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 in Mathematics courses are placed on academic probation. Students who remain on academic probation after taking an additional 8 units of Mathematics courses may be excluded from the program.

Advising. Students are assigned an academic advisor upon entering the program. As they reach the advanced stages of coursework, they select a research advisor, who assumes primary advising responsibilities. In order to advance to candidacy (see below), students must select a PhD committee consisting of at least three Mathematics faculty members from within the Claremont Colleges, chaired by the research advisor.

Qualifying Examination. The written qualifying examination is given once per year, at the end of the Spring semester. Full-time students in the Mathematics PhD program take the exam immediately following the first year of coursework. Part-time students may wait until they have completed 16 units of CGU coursework.

The six-hour exam is scheduled in two three-hour sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Students failing the exam on the first attempt must repeat the exam the following year. Failure to pass the exam on the second attempt results in dismissal from the program.

Students dismissed from the doctoral program in Mathematics for failure to pass the exam may, at the discretion of the faculty, qualify for a terminal master’s degree. However, they may not transfer to another doctoral program offered through the Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Preliminary Examinations. Upon successful completion of the qualifying examination, students are required to pass two written preliminary examinations, each covering roughly two semesters of advanced graduate coursework. Subject to advisor approval, students select their examination areas based upon their research interests and orientation toward pure or applied mathematics.

Students have two opportunities to pass each exam and must complete these exams within one year of passing the written qualifying exam. Unless there are mitigating circumstances, failure to complete the exams within the specified period is cause for dismissal from the program.

Research Tools. Two research tools, intended to help prepare students for independent research, are required. Mathematics students may be examined in scientific computing, specific computing languages, statistical research methods, computer database management, or designated foreign languages such as French, German, or Russian. Selection of research tools is subject to approval of the advisor.

Advancement to Candidacy. After completing the qualifying and preliminary examinations, doctoral students must prepare a written dissertation proposal. In the advancement to candidacy examination, the student presents the proposed dissertation research. The examination must be scheduled within six months of completing the required 72 units of coursework.

Dissertation Completion and Final Oral Examination. The dissertation must be completed within seven years from the semester in which the student was admitted. The dissertation defense may not occur earlier than six months after advancement to candidacy. The defense is a public event announced to the University’s academic community by the registrar’s office. Full policies and procedures are detailed in the Doctoral Degrees section of the Bulletin and on the registrar’s Completion of Degree webpage.