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Degree Requirements

Requirements for admission to candidacy

The following are required for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D., or to obtain an M.S. degree in Applied Mathematics:

  1. Prerequisite to the graduate program are familiarity with analysis and algebra at the advanced undergraduate level (e.g., MATH 4130-4140 and MATH 4330-4340). Students lacking either prerequisite (which may be determined by their special committee chair and/or the CAM Director of Graduate Studies), should take the appropriate courses within their first two years of study. No more than two of these courses can count towards meeting other CAM degree requirements.
  2. Students are required to take at least eight courses in mathematics and its applications that are approved by her/his special committee, at least 4 of which must be numbered 6000 or above. Suggested areas for these courses are given in the list of Focal Areas for Applied Mathematics.
  3. The courses taken to satisfy item (2) must include an advanced course in computational methods (focal area (a)). In order to achieve breadth in Applied Mathematics, courses from at least three other Focal Areas should normally be included. Should a course be listed under more than one focal area, then it will count towards only one such area as chosen by the student's Special Committee.
  4. Students are required to have minors in Mathematics and in another filed relevant to their doctoral research. Note that the course requirements listed above may suffice to satisfy the requirements for a graduate minor in Mathematics.

Exceptions to these requirements can sometimes be made, if approved in advance by the student's Special Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies. 


Requirements for the Graduate Minor

A student majoring in another graduate field (excluding Mathematics) can obtain a Minor in Applied Mathematics by successfully completing four courses, drawn from at least two of the Focal Areas, each of which contains substantial mathematical content. Two of the courses must be at the graduate level, the others numbered 4000 or above. The courses must be approved by a member of the Field of Applied Mathematics who is a member of the student's Special Committee. Any course used to satisfy requirements of the student's major field of doctoral study may not be used to satisfy the Minor in Applied Mathematics.

If field members or students feel that these requirements should be updated or altered, please inform the Director of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Study Guidelines

Selection of committees

A committee chair (thesis advisor) must be selected by each Ph.D. student before the end of the second semester (i.e., before the end of Academic Year 1).

The committee chair will aid the graduate student in selecting a Special Committee, which shall consist of a minimum of three faculty members and which will directly supervise the graduate study and research of a student. The committee chair, who is also the thesis advisor, represents the major field of applied mathematics. The other faculty members represent two minor fields; one of these must be mathematics and the other is a field outside mathematics. This committee must be formed before the end of the third semester.

Exceptions to the above requirements must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). Failure to comply with the above requirement may result in a hold being placed on your registration by the Graduate School.

A Special Committee Selection and Change form must be submitted to the Graduate School to establish a committee or change/add committee members. Forms can be printed from the Graduate School web site. A copy of all forms must be given to the GFA in CAM before submission to the grad school.

Selection of a Special Committee (including the thesis advisor) is a mutual agreement between a student, the chosen faculty members and the DGS. During the pursuit of the degree, changes in circumstances may cause the student and/or faculty members to desire the termination of this commitment.

A-Exam and Residence Units

The A-Exam must be scheduled before the beginning of the seventh semester unless a special petition is filed. The A-Exam should be scheduled well in advance of the exam and the appropriate form (Schedule of Examination form) MUST be submitted to the Graduate School at least 7 calendar days ahead. CAM graduate students are eligible for a Non-Thesis Masters Degree upon completion of the A-Exam. In order for this to be awarded, the Committee Chair must check the relevant box on the Results of Examination Form. The form must be turned into the Graduate School within 3 days after the exam.

A registration (residence) unit is typically awarded to a student who has been registered and enrolled for the full semester. Six registration units, two of them after the A-Exam, are the minimum requirement for the Ph.D. degree. At least four registration units are required for a non-thesis master requirements must be earned from full-time, academic-year study on the Ithaca campus.


The B-Exam (thesis defense) is scheduled with the same form as the A-Exam and must be submitted to the Grad School at least 7 calendar days ahead.

The timetable for fulfilling all degree requirements is covered here.