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Expectations For Satisfactory Academic Progress For PhD Students

As noted above, doctoral study in the Department of Applied Mathematics consists of the following four stages:

  1. Mastery of core knowledge which is demonstrated by passing the Common Qualifying Exam. This exam is expected to be taken at the start of the second semester.
  2. Mastery of the theory and techniques of one of the four disciplinary areas. which is demonstrated by passing an Area Qualifying Exam. This exam is expected to be taken at the start of the fourth semester.
  3. Development of a thesis topic which culminates in a Preliminary Exam. This exam is expected to occur by the end of the fifth semester.
  4. Completion of dissertation research, which is demonstrated by a successful dissertation defense. The dissertation is expected to be completed by the end of the fifth year, at the latest.

A doctoral student must complete these stages in the time frames given above to be in good academic standing.

Second attempts
Doctoral students who fail either qualifying exam on their first attempt are allowed a second attempt which is expected to occur at the end of their second semester for the common exam; and at the end of their fourth semester for the area exam.

Delay in attempting an exam
A student needs the permission of the Graduate Program Committee to delay the time, beyond the semesters listed above, of their first or second attempt of either qualifying exam. Permission is also needed to delay advancement to candidacy beyond the end of the fifth semester. When a student is expected to take an exam, not taking the exam will count as a zero on the exam.

Failing Students
A doctoral student who fails a qualifying exam twice will normally have any departmental support terminated and be asked to leave the graduate program. A failing student supported on faculty research grants may be allowed to remain in the program to complete a project. In extenuating circumstances, a student may be allowed to continue in the graduate program by special vote of the full faculty. 




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