overview of the graduate program


We are a large department: about 60 tenured/track faculty and growing (+5 hires this year).

Many of you will come here with a firm idea of what research area to follow, – great, but keeps your eyes open.

Attention a research group recieves is a function of the fraction of the global output it produces.

Denominators matter!

program demographics


  • 150 PhD students
  • 50/50 domestic/international
  • 35% women

Admission is a complex process: many interdependent parts; goals; constraints.


All PhD students are fully funded

Most as Teaching Assistants (TA):

  • Typically 120 out of 150 students are on TA
  • The remainder: RA, fellowship

not all TA jobs are the same:

  • Running discussion attached to large lecture (Calculus classes)
  • Grading assignments
  • Stand-alone course
  • Merit program

three stages:

  • completing comprehensive exam
  • finding advisor and passing preliminary exam
  • doing research
comprehensive exams

Early years: Comp system

  • Five graduate-level subjects: Analysis, Algebra, + 3 electives
  • Exam or course (B+)
  • Exams offered at three points during the year
    Analysis/Algebra: all three periods; other courses: once per year
  • Courses
    Analysis/Algebra:  every semester; other courses: once per year
finding research home
  • Most students find advisor in 2nd year (expectation: prelim during your 3rd year)
  • Difficult process (think: prom date)
  • Structures to help
some details


  • Typically: 3 courses each semester
  • Other departments fine

MS degree:

  • Typically gotten at some point
  • MS Math, MS Applied Math (several options)
  • Also possible in other departments (ECE, Physics)
end of life cycle (here)


  • Academia vs. industry: about 50% of each
  • Multiple career path programs/activities
  • Thinking about role of mathematicians in the world seriously

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