Each PhD student must complete two of the four area requirements: mathematical statistics, probability, applied statistics, or pure mathematics. Each student may attempt each qualifying exam twice. Each student must pass two area qualifying exams at the PhD level within three years of joining the Department's graduate program, regardless of whether they have a Master's degree or not.
Ph.D. students must take and pass the Preliminary Oral Examination given by the student's Doctoral Committee before advancing to candidacy. The purpose of this examination is to ensure that the student has gained extensive knowledge on advanced topics in the areas surrounding his/her proposed dissertation topic and engaged in sufficient preliminary reading and research on the topic. The candidate needs to convince his/her Doctoral Committee that he/she is capable of preparing an acceptable dissertation. The examination requires a satisfactory presentation by the student of his/her proposed research topic and the results of his/her preliminary reading and research on the topic.
A student is eligible to advance to candidacy when he or she has finished the required coursework, passed the qualifying examinations, passed the preliminary oral qualifying examination, and is ready to begin working on the dissertation.
There are two sets of requirements the student must meet before advancing to candidacy: requirements established by the Academic Senate, and requirements established by the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability.
Academic Senate Regulations
- Minimum 3.0 GPA in all upper division and graduate classes completed since admission
- A transcript free of any "incomplete grades" or "no grades"
- Registration for three consecutive quarters, and registration during the quarter the student will advance.
Department of Statistics and Applied Probability Regulations
- Completion of all the core courses required for their degree with a minimum letter grade of "B" in each course
- Completion of two Qualifying Exams at the Ph.D. level
- Completion of the Preliminary Oral Qualifying Examination to the student's Doctoral Committee
The doctoral dissertation constitutes a major and essential part of this program. Students will select a topic under the guidance of their advisor and a doctoral degree committee. Pre-research will begin as soon as possible during their second or third year of graduate study. More advanced research will continue after the student advances to candidacy (upon completion of the written and oral qualifying examinations). The dissertation must contain an original contribution to the field of statistics and applied probability that will expand the theory or methodology of the discipline, or contribute to the expansion of statistical methods used to solve critical problems in applied disciplines. The dissertation must be completed and submitted to the dissertation committee at least two weeks prior to the dissertation defense.
Defense of the dissertation will take place before the doctoral degree committee. Pass or no pass is determined by the doctoral degree committee. The candidate for the PhD must make his or her dissertation available to all the members of the PhD committee at least two weeks in advance of the date of the defense. Students must also send the dissertation title and abstract to the graduate program advisor one week in advance to the defense. The defense is public, and will be announted to the department via email one week in advance of the defense. The question session is closed between the student and the committee.
The last step before program completion is to file your completed and finalized dissertation with the Graduate Division. For details about the dissertation filing process, visit Filing Your Thesis/Dissertation/DMA Document.