Program Requirements

Our master's and doctoral programs require written examinations. The doctorate also requires an Applications Involvement Component and a dissertation.


Students in the Ph.D. program take the qualifying examination. Students in the M.S. program take the comprehensive exam. Read guidelines for the qualifying and comprehensive exams (DOC).

Schedule of Upcoming Comprehensive and Qualifying Exams 

January 12, 2024
9 a.m.-noon
DuSable Hall 306

  1. Saad --- Algebra (Ph.D. Level)
  2. Langellier--- Numerical Analysis (Ph.D. Level)
  3. Hamidi --- Algebra (M.S. Level)
  4. Asante --- Statistics & Probability (Ph.D. Level)

Please contact Prof. Deng if you have any questions

Previous Exams

After passing the qualifying examination and choosing an advisor, Ph.D. students must complete the candidacy examination. The examination includes a presentation about the dissertation topic and a question and answer session. Read more about the candidacy examination and dissertation proposal (DOC)

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.


Completing your doctoral program involves defending your dissertation. The Thesis and Dissertation Office can help guide you through the process. The steps involved include:

  1. Application to graduate filed.
  2. External examiner contacted (four to six weeks before the defense).
  3. Defense committee assembled (three to four weeks before the defense).
  4. Draft distributed to the defense committee (three to four weeks before the defense).
  5. Committee nomination and pre-defense copy submitted to the Graduate School (at least three weeks before the defense).
  6. Dissertation defense takes place.
  7. Post-defense version submitted to the Graduate School.
  8. Final version of the dissertation submitted.

Read a more detailed overview of the dissertation process (DOC).


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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