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The Path to a PhD

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Here are some milestones and requirements for PhD students. For more information look in the blue book.

  • Once you have 30 credits (with the restrictions given in the blue book) you can apply for your MS degree. You need to apply for an advanced degree and file a (momentary) change of classification from PhD to MS. Click here for the forms.  You should apply for your MS degree once you are able to, typically in your fourth semester. Do not wait for the end of your time at UD to file for this degree.
  • You have to be done with your preliminary examinations by the beginning of your fourth semester.
  • You have to be done with your candidacy examination by the beginning of your sixth semester. Typically you should take this exam in your fourth or fifth semester of study, but you can take earlier, once you have passed your preliminary examinations. To start the process of taking your candidacy exam you need to find a thesis adviser. Go to the department’s forms page​ to download the form.
  • Once you have 48 credits (with the restrictions given in the blue book) you can apply for candidacy. The form is h​ere. You are allowed to wait and keep on taking courses, including Research credits, Pre-Candidacy credits, and some courses outside the department (note that there is a limit to the latter). However, you are encouraged to file the recommendation for candidacy during your fourth year of study and not wait for the end.
  • Once your recommendation for candidacy has been approved you need to register for 9 credits of MATH969 Doctoral dissertation. Once you have satisfied this MATH969 nine credit requirement you will be moved to sustaining status. You need to be on sustaining status at the time of your graduation. You are encouraged to apply for candidacy and fulfill the MATH969 requirement in your fourth year of study.

In case of doubt, ask your adviser, the graduate director, or contact the graduate program staff in EWG301.​​​

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The Path to a PhD
  • Department of Mathematical Sciences
  • University of Delaware
  • 501 Ewing Hall
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2653
  • math-questions@udel.edu