2011 - 2012 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Mathematics, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: February 15

Applications are processed on a semi-rolling basis. Applications that are late will be considered on the basis of available space and financial aid. International students are recommended to apply by December 15 of the previous calendar year. To be considered for a University-wide fellowship, applications must be received by January 15.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from individuals who are well acquainted with the applicant's abilities and achievements in mathematics and related areas, particularly former instructors in mathematics courses and projects. Letters from instructors in related areas such as computation or the physical and life sciences are also appropriate. In certain cases, letters from employment supervisors or project leaders may be appropriate as well.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Applicants must have completed fundamental undergraduate mathematics courses. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the department to discuss their background.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A master's degree is not required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

All applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.

Statement of Goals:

A Statement of Goals should describe the strengths and motivation of the applicant, the purpose for applying to a graduate program in mathematics, and why the applicant is interested in the intended degree. This forum should be used to make the applicant's strongest case for admission and, thus, should be well written.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. The department considers an applicant's overall record and does not use rigid minimum score criteria. Students who wish to discuss their scores are encouraged to contact the department directly.

The GRE Subject Exam in Mathematics is required.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based (PBT), 213 computer-based (CBT), or 79 internet-based (IBT).


A resume is required.

Transfer Credit:

Students who have taken graduate courses at other institutions, or at Temple University prior to matriculation, may apply for transfer credit. Applications for transfer credit are not considered until the student has completed at least one semester of full-time graduate study or the equivalent, if the student is part-time. All applications for transfer credit are reviewed by the Mathematics Graduate Committee and may be denied if the Committee decides that the courses involved are substantially inferior to similar courses offered by the department. No course completed more than five years before the date of application will be awarded credit. Credit for courses substantially similar to courses taken since matriculation will not be awarded. If a course was taken before the bachelor's degree was earned, it cannot be awarded transfer credit. Transfer credit is only available for graduate-level courses in mathematical content. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 9.

Advanced Standing:

A student who has completed an M.A. degree at another institution may apply for advanced standing. Students are awarded varying numbers of credit of advanced standing. This differs from transfer credit in that the number of credit hours awarded is recorded on the transcript without specific information about the courses transferred. The effect of having advanced standing is to reduce the total number of credit hours the student is required to take at Temple University. Credit for advanced standing can only be awarded to students who have completed an M.A. degree at another institution. Although there is no requirement that the degree must have been completed recently, the amount of time since the degree has been completed is taken into consideration. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 30.

Test Waivers:

An applicant who wishes to have certain admission requirements waived must contact the department directly. Requests are considered by the department on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, an additional appeal to the Graduate School may be required. In such a case, the department makes a preliminary determination for the applicant and, if positive, issues a supporting letter to the Graduate School on the applicant's behalf.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Credit Hours Required Beyond the Master's: 48

Required Courses:

MATH 8011-8012:  Abstract Algebra

MATH 8041-8042:  Real Analysis

MATH 8051-8052:  Functions of a Complex Variable

Many students also take MATH 5041: Concepts of Analysis I.

All of the courses listed above should be taken during the first two years of graduate study. Students who have had graduate courses in these subjects prior to admission may omit some or all of the courses with the consent of their advisor. Students are required to take six additional credit hours of MATH 9999:  Dissertation Research.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: A language examination is required. Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of French, German, or Russian.

Culminating Events:

Written Comprehensive Examination:

The written comprehensive examination should be taken after no more than two years of graduate study at Temple. Students who have had a year or more of graduate study elsewhere are advised to take the examination after one year at Temple, and students who hold the M.A. degree in Mathematics are required to do so. The examination is offered the week before classes start each semester. It consists of four sections: Algebra, Complex Analysis, Partial Differential Equations, and Real Analysis. Each is a three-hour test based on the subject matter normally covered in a two-semester graduate course, and is divided into two parts. Part I contains four questions, of which the student is to answer three; these questions are designed to test mastery of the facts of the subject. Part II contains three questions, of which two are to be answered; these questions test one's ability to attack a problem in the subject.

Each section is graded independently by two faculty members, using a scale of 0-25. The grades are compared, and reconciled in the event of a discrepancy. A total score of a least 60, with a score on each individual section of at least 13, is passing. The performance of students who fall slightly short of this standard is discussed in a meeting of the graduate faculty, where academic records are reviewed, and a pass or fail decision is made. If the examination is failed, it may be repeated only once. A student who fails the examination with a score of not less than 40, with no individual section below 8, has fulfilled the examination requirement for the M.A. degree. The case of a student who falls slightly short of this standard is discussed by the graduate faculty to decide whether or not the student has passed.

Preliminary Examination:

The preliminary examination is a two-hour oral exam. It must be taken before the end of the fourth year and can be repeated only once. No student is permitted to take the preliminary examination before passing the Ph.D. written comprehensive examination and satisfying the foreign language requirement.

The student chooses a chief examiner with the advice and consent of the Mathematics Graduate Committee -- and with the consent of the proposed chief examiner. The chief examiner, in accepting his/her assignment, implicitly offers to be the student's dissertation supervisor if the examination is passed. Approximately one-half of the preliminary examination is conducted by the chief examiner, who asks questions in the area that the student has chosen as a specialty. The other half of the examination is devoted to questions asked by other faculty members on two or more elementary topics related to the area of specialization. The exact description of the elementary topics to be included in the examination is determined by the chief examiner, who will also be responsible for assigning examiners to cover the topics. The examination committee consists of the chief examiner, the examiners for the elementary topics, and any other faculty who choose to attend. All faculty in attendance may vote on the outcome of the examination. The examination is considered passed if the chief examiner and at least one-half of the other faculty present vote in favor of passing.


Students who are preparing to write their preliminary examination should confirm a time and date with the chair of their Doctoral Advisory Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary. The student and chair receive confirmation of the time, date, room, and proctor for the examination.


The candidate's dissertation must be a distinctive and original contribution to research in mathematics. It must be an individual work, with only one author. Previously published work by the candidate may be included, if it represents research done while the student was enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Mathematics at Temple University and was not used to obtain any other degree. Joint work that cannot be attributed to the candidate alone must not be included in the body of the dissertation, but may be attached as an appendix. All previously published work must be logically connected and integrated into the dissertation, with a common introduction, conclusion, and bibliography. Existing copyrights must not be violated.

Preparation of the dissertation is supervised by the student's Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC). This committee must include at least three Temple graduate faculty, two of whom must be in the Mathematics Department. The chair of the committee must be a member of the Temple University Mathematics Department. The DAC may include members of other Temple University departments; it is also possible for faculty from other universities or expert advisors employed in non-university settings to be included in the DAC.

The first step in preparing the dissertation is to write a dissertation proposal, which must be approved by the candidate's DAC. The proposal is kept on file, and if it becomes necessary to alter the proposal, the changes should be approved by the DAC and filed with the proposal.

The dissertation defense may be attended by faculty and graduate students from Temple University or other institutions, as well as mathematicians or scientists employed in a non-academic setting. The candidate's Dissertation Examining Committee (DEC) must attend the defense. This committee includes the candidate's DAC and at least one additional member, who must be a faculty of some Temple University department other than Mathematics or a faculty member of another university. The DEC meets at the conclusion of the dissertation defense and decides, by majority vote, if the candidate was successful.

If a student needs to change a member of a committee, the new member must be approved by the Mathematics Graduate Committee and registered with the Graduate Secretary and the Graduate School.

When the dissertation is deemed complete by the candidate and the DAC, a defense is scheduled. Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a date and time with their DAC and register with the Graduate Secretary at least 20 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The Graduate Chair arranges the date, time, and room. The Graduate Secretary forwards to the student the appropriate forms.

This dissertation defense must be announced in writing at least 10 days in advance of its occurrence. Copies of the announcement must be directed to each member of the candidate's DEC, each faculty member of the Mathematics Department, the Dean of the College of Science and Technology, and the Dean of the Graduate School. Copies of the announcement are to be posted at the Department Office, the College Office, and on the Graduate School website.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Department of Mathematics
638 Wachman Hall (038-16)
1805 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Kathleen Paul

Graduate Chairperson:
Gerardo Mendoza

Edward Letzter

About the Program

The Ph.D. program in Mathematics prepares students for careers that depend on advanced mathematics. These include broad directions such as advanced research and development, education, industry, government, and national laboratories. For new students, the program offers a repertoire of coursework and research opportunities that ease the transition from undergraduate to advanced graduate studies. The courses provide a sound mathematical background, while helping beginning students to mature mathematically. Naturally, individuals with enough maturity and knowledge need not take these more basic courses. In the Mathematics Department, our philosophy is to participate actively in our students' development as future professionals whose work involves advanced mathematics. We take pride in caring for our students. Our faculty are accessible and willing to talk mathematics with any inquiring student. It is this attitude that most distinguishes our program from other graduate programs in mathematics. While requiring excellence, we work hard at providing the environment for achieving it.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered before 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Department of Mathematics
638 Wachman Hall (038-16)
1805 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Interdisciplinary Study:

The program encourages interdisciplinary coursework, research, and interactions among faculty and students with interest in computer and information sciences, physical and life sciences, statistics, and engineering.


The Mathematics program at Temple University is affiliated with the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.

Study Abroad:

Department faculty are active internationally and sometimes travel overseas for conferences and extended research visits. In some cases, students may participate in these activities.


The Ph.D. program is designed to provide opportunities for education and research that are commensurate with national standards. Faculty are active in professional meetings and initiatives organized by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.


This program adheres to accepted professional standards of mathematics education and research.

Areas of Specialization:

The department offers a great variety of choices for areas of specialization. A strong research presence exists in the following areas:  algebra, algebraic and analytic number theory, combinatorics, computational mathematics, differential and computational geometry and topology, global geometry, harmonic analysis, mathematical physics, mathematics of materials, numerical analysis, partial differential equations, related probability and mathematical statistics, and several complex variables. Both prospective and matriculated students are encouraged to browse faculty web pages and contact faculty directly for more detailed information regarding areas of specialization and opportunities for further research.

Job Placement:

Graduates either continue advanced educational programs or pursue employment in industry, education, or government laboratories and agencies.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students must coordinate coursework with the Graduate Chair.

Financing Opportunities

Teaching Assistants teach basic undergraduate mathematics courses, ranging from remedial courses through calculus. The standard teaching load is 20 hours per term. In determining the load, credit is given for more difficult and challenging teaching assignments. Research Assistantships are sometimes available, typically through special projects and grants. Support generally includes a stipend and tuition of up to 9 credits per term.

Updated 9.29.11