Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.) in Mathematical Sciences

Our Ph.D. in mathematics program allows you to focus your work in one of four areas:

  • Pure mathematics
  • Applied mathematics
  • Mathematics education
  • Statistics and probability

You must pass a written qualifying examination. Once you've chosen a dissertation advisor and topic, you should take the oral candidacy examination.

Most of your course requirements will be based on your area of focus. Our Ph.D. study plans provide examples of doctoral programs of study.

Applications Involvement Component

By completing the required Applications Involvement Component (AIC), you'll be exposed to mathematics in nonacademic settings. An AIC typically has three parts:

  • Colloquia: You'll attend presentations by guest speakers from industry, government and education to learn how mathematics is used outside of math departments.
  • Internship: You'll participate in an internship in industry, government or education.
  • Report: You'll write a report and give a presentation about your internship experience.


AIC internships usually take place during the summer. They're arranged by our AIC director in consultation with you. The organizations at which our interns have been placed include:

  • Abbott Research Laboratory
  • Allied Signal
  • Ames Research Laboratory
  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • AT&T Bell Labs (Murray Hill, New Jersey)
  • Boeing Computer Services
  • Cray Research Corporation
  • DeKalb Genetics
  • General Electric
  • General Motors
  • IBM (Watson Research Center)
  • Motorola
  • NASA (Langely)
  • Numerical Algorithms Group
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • United Aircraft
  • Wolfram Research
  • Wright Patterson Air Force Laboratory


For additonal information about our Ph.D. program in mathematical sciences, please contact:

Professor Sien Deng
Director of Graduate Studies
Mathematical Sciences Department
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115


Contact Us

Department of Mathematical Sciences
DeKalb, IL 60115


Registration or class questions

Chair's office

Director of Graduate Studies
Sien Deng, Professor

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