The PhD program has two stages: precandidacy and candidacy. A student in the PhD program may enter candidacy only after completing all precandidacy requirements. Admission to candidacy is granted only if the student's performance on the General Examination and in courses gives a good indication of success in candidacy; passing the General Examination at the minimum level does not necessarily give this indication. The prospective dissertation advisor makes this judgment and recommends advancement to candidacy if he or she is confident that the student will be able to complete candidacy.
Full-time PhD students typically complete the program in five years; part-time students usually take somewhat longer. CCAS has an upper limit of eight years for completing all degree requirements. If endorsed by the department, extensions may be granted upon petition to the Dean.
Credit Hours of Graduate Work
The PhD program requires 72 credit hours of approved graduate course work (which includes Dissertation Research credits, Math 8999). Students must complete at least 48 credit hours during precandidacy. Credit hours are accumulated through approved course work and transfer credit. To encourage breadth of course work, (a) before 36 credits have been completed, Math 6995, Reading and Research (independent study), can be taken only by petition to, and with the approval of, the graduate committee and (b) at most 15 credits of any combination of Math 6995, 398, and 8999 may be among a student's final 18 credits (typically the fourth year of full-time study) and at most 12 credits of these courses may be among the previous 18 credits (typically the third year of full-time study).
Subject to the approval of the graduate committee (requested via petition) and the agreement of the instructor, mathematics graduate students may take the following undergraduate courses for graduate credit: Math 3710, 3720, 3730, 3740, 3613, 3632, 4239, 4240, 3848 and 4981. Graduate students in such courses must be assigned appropriate additional work to bring the courses up to the graduate level. The graduate committee may limit the number of such courses that students take.
Students wishing to take courses outside the department must petition and obtain the approval of the graduate committee. The committee may limit the number of such courses that students take.
Up to one-sixth of the credit hours toward a PhD may be via courses offered by other institutions in the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Students wishing to take such courses must petition and obtain the approval of the graduate committee.
Dissertation Research Credits
A PhD student must take 12 to 24 credits of Dissertation Research (Math 8999) as part of the required 72 credit hours. Math 8999 may be taken during precandidacy. Students in candidacy must register for at least three hours of Math 8999 per semester until they have attained the 72 hours.
During candidacy, students register for at least 3 credit hours of Dissertation Research (Math 8999) each Fall and Spring semester until they fulfill their credit hour and dissertation research credit requirements. Those needing time beyond that to complete the degree requirements register for one credit hour of Continuing Research (CCAS 940) per semester. Continuing Research does not count toward the credit hour requirement.