Here is a brief outline of the requirements, read below for further explanation of each step.
The Ph.D. program requires students to complete at least 48 credits. This is equivalent to 16 courses (math courses are 3 credits each). All 7000-level courses may count toward the Ph.D. degree. Students who wish to improve their mathematical background, for example whose undergraduate major was not mathematics, may be advised by the Graduate Coordinator to take some undergraduate courses as 6000-level, but these cannot count toward the Ph.D. degree. Exceptions are 6210 (Differential Geometry) and 6300 (Complex Analysis). These two can be taken for Ph.D. credit if the Graduate Coordinator approves.
It is not enough for a student to complete 48 credits to satisfy this requirement. The credits must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator and must be taken in such a way that they represent breadth and depth.
Owing to these concerns, It is important that the student work closely with the Graduate Coordinator in order to formulate a sequence of courses that will satisfy the coursework requirement. This is done on an individual basis. A student who does not consult with the Graduate Coordinator may find that not all classes taken count toward the degree.
Up to two courses may be taken in other departments when approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. At most two reading courses in total can be counted toward the required 48 credit hours.
In addition, the transfer of up to 9 credits from another graduate program is possible with the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee.
This is a 4-hour exam on topics from undergraduate courses on Linear Algebra & Vector Calculus.
This exam is generally offered during the first week of each semester. A sign-up sheet is available in the math office near the end of the preceding semester.
Every first-year PhD student has to take the placement exam prior to his/her first semester at Tulane.
The topics covered in the Preliminary Exam are:
References you may want to study:
These are comprehensive written exams. The student must pass three exams one in Analysis and two others chosen from among:
The topics of each exam are based on the corresponding first-year graduate course sequence. For example, the Analysis exam covers roughly the material in Math 7210-7220 (Analysis I and II).
Qualifying exams are offered the first week before each semester. A sign-up sheet is available in the math office near the end of the spring semester for the following semester’s exams.
Students do not have to take all three exams at the same time; however, they should complete all three exams by the beginning of the third year in the Ph.D. program.
After a Ph.D. student has passed the Preliminary exam and three Qualifying exams, the student should:
The advisor and the student will decide on a reading list and topics for the oral exam.
The exam usually lasts one to two hours and consists of a committee of 5 faculty who ask questions from the list of topics.
The student and the advisor must choose the committee and set the date of the exam. This information must be communicated to the Director Graduate Studies prior to the exam for approval by the Graduate Studies Committee.
It is not necessary that the student complete all coursework before taking the oral exam.
SSE requires a written prospectus. The Mathematics Department requires in addition that the student gives an oral presentation of the prospectus to the committee. Students are encouraged to write a 4-8-page double-spaced prospectus and prepare a 40-minute presentation for the dissertation committee followed by discussion and questions. A suggested format is:
The prospectus should be submitted to the Dean’s Graduate Programs office along with a signed copy of the prospectus approval form.
The dissertation must contain original work by the student and demonstrate the student’s ability to carry on independent research that results in a genuine contribution to the field. The student must work closely with his/her advisor in order to have a clear vision of what is required of the dissertation.
The student's dissertation committee must sign the dissertation to accept it before it can be submitted to the SSE.
The student must also give a presentation of the research in the dissertation as an oral defense.
Refer to the SSE website for more information on the university requirements.
Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies if you have additional questions:
Dr. Kyle Zhao
Phone: (504) 865-5015
Office: Gibson Hall 417-B