Skip to main content

Qualifying Exams

Qualifying Exams

The Ph.D. qualifying examination in Mathematics is a written examination in two parts. The purpose of the Ph.D. qualifying examination is to demonstrate that the student has achieved a degree of mathematical depth and maturity in the core areas of real analysis and abstract linear algebra, has additionally cultivated advanced problem solving skills in graduate level mathematics, and is poised to undertake independent mathematical research. The content and timing of the qualifying exam allows this determination to be made within the first two years of graduate study.

The two parts of the examination are as follows.

  • Part 1 covers the material presented in the core course MTH 511, Real Analysis
  • Part 2 covers the material in MTH 543, Abstract Linear Algebra.

The qualifying exam is given twice each year, near the beginning of Fall and Spring terms. The two parts of the exam are usually given one or more days apart. A student may take each part of the Ph.D. qualifying examination a maximum of three times, with one additional free attempt before a student's first term in the program. To advance in the Ph.D. program, a student must pass both parts, but they do not need to be passed at the same time. A student must pass both parts of the exam by the end of spring term of the student’s second year of study.

Questions about the qualifying exam can be directed to the Chair of the Qualifying Examination Committee (

Spring 2024 Qualifying exams

Real Analysis

Wednesday, April 3, 2024, from 4:00-8:00 pm.

Linear Algebra

Friday, April 5, 2024, from 4:00-8:00 pm.

Past Exams