Qualifying Exam Info
The qualifying exams for each track are based largely on the M.S. course requirements for each track. Thus, in the first three semesters, the bulk of a doctoral student's coursework is what an M.S. students in that track would take. The qualifying exams are given in two parts. The first part, called the Foundation Exam, has a two-hour section on undergraduate linear algebra and advanced calculus that all students must take. The second two-hour exam is, depending on a student's track, either a test of probability or a test of analysis and more advanced linear algebra. The Foundation Exam is normally taken after one semester. The second part of the exam is specific to each track. Some tracks have a take-home component to the test. For details of the courses on which qualifying exams are based and for copies of past exams, go to Quals Website.
The qualifying exams are given twice each year, in late January and in late May. Students have two chances to pass the exams. Students who fail to pass the exams are required to withdraw the doctoral program. Typically, these students leave with an M.S. degree. Doctoral students are expected to pass the Foundation Exam by the end of the first year and the Area Exam by the end of the second year.