The written PhD qualifying exam, also called the PhD Comprehensive Examination,
is administered twice yearly, during the two weeks just prior to the start of
the Spring semester (January exam) and Fall semester (August exam).
The qualifying exam is offered in six separate sections, out of which
students need to pass three:
- Applied Mathematics (Thursday)
- Geometry & Topology (Friday)
- Abstract Algebra (Monday)
- Complex Analysis (Wednesday)
- PDEs (Thursday)
- Real Analysis (Friday)
The sectional exams are given in the above order on the indicated days.
Algebra, Complex Analysis, PDE and Real Analysis take place during the week
just before the start of the semester; the sections Applied Mathematics and
Geometry & Topology at the end of the week prior to that. Each
section of the exam
begins at 10:00AM and ends at 1:00PM.
The Geometry & Topology and Partial Differential Equations sections
were added in August 2013 and 2011, respectively, while the
Applied Mathematics exam was offered for the first time in
August 2014. Two Applied Mathematics practice exams are available
In addition to the past PDE exams listed below,
two sample PDE exams are available
here. Sample problems for the
Geometry & Topology exam are posted
Please consult the Graduate Handbook for current rules and timelines about taking the exam.