The main thrust of the Ph.D. program is original research done under the supervision of a faculty member. Students choose a supervisor some time during their first year of study. Until then, the mathematics graduate advisor serves as an interim supervisor. The criteria for choosing a supervisor vary, but shared research interests play the decisive role. Students come into contact with faculty members in the academic setting of graduate courses, research seminars, and advanced workshops. Students can become more acquainted with faculty in less formal settings of weekly teas (before Colloquium talks) and social gatherings at the University Club (after Colloquium talks), and other departmental get togethers.
Once a supervisor has been chosen, a supervisory committee is formed. This committee consists of two or three additional faculty members. The committee meets with the student annually to chart progress toward the degree.
The course requirement for Ph.D. students is a minimum of two one-term graduate courses beyond the Master’s degree. This requirement is normally completed in the first year of study. Courses are chosen in consultation with the mathematics graduate advisor and/or the supervisory committee.
All Ph.D. students must pass the comprehensive exam requirement, which consists of a preliminary exam and an oral exam.
More information on Ph.D. requirements can be found in the Guidelines for Ph.D. Math Students.