Programs by Campus


College of Arts and Sciences

Departmental E-mail: mathdept [at] indiana [dot] edu (

Departmental URL: 

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degrees Offered

Master of Arts, Master of Arts for Teachers, and Doctor of Philosophy

Special Departmental Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Admission Requirements

Undergraduate mathematics major or its equivalent.

Area Options

In order to describe the various concentration requirements, the Department of Mathematics has classified its courses into two areas: pure mathematics and applied analysis. Each of these areas is fur­ther subdivided into fields. Pure mathematics is subdivided into analysis (real and complex), algebra, topology and geometry, probability, and logic and foundations. Applied analysis and computation is subdivided into applied mathematics, mechanics, and numerical analysis. Students with a strong interest in Physics might consider the Ph.D. program in Mathematical Physics.

Master of Arts Degree

Course Requirements 

A total of 30 credit hours, of which 18 credit hours must be mathematics courses at the 500 to 700 level, excluding M553, M555, M556, M595, M596, and M599. The total coursework submitted must include courses satisfying one of the follow­ing options and must be approved by the director of graduate studies.

  1. Applied Analysis and Computation Option. Courses including M511, M513, and at least two of the following: M540, M541, M544, M545, M571, M572. In addition, the student must take at least one 3 credit hour graduate course outside the Department of Mathematics.
  2. Pure Mathematics Option. At least 6 credit hours in each of three of the following groups: algebra, analysis, applied analysis and computation, logic and founda­tions, probability, topology and geometry, outside area (biology, psychology, computer science, eco­nomics, chemistry, physics, and others).
Master of Arts for Teachers Degree

Course Requirements

A total of 36 credit hours, with at least one 3 credit hour course in each of the following groups: algebra, analysis, probability and statistics, topology and geometry, applied analysis and computation. At least 21 of the 36 credit hours must be mathematics graduate courses. At most 6 credit hours of non-graduate mathematics courses may count towards the 36 credit hours with consent of the director of graduate studies.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Course Requirements

The following course requirements are designed to provide the broad background needed for the successful pursuit of research leading to the dissertation. Students must complete 36 credit hours in mathematics at the 500, 600, or 700 level, excluding M553, M555, M556, M595-M596, and M599, and, in addition, must complete 2 credit hours in M599. Their program of study will depend upon their background and interests. Students should formulate a program in consultation with their faculty advisor. The total coursework submitted for the degree must satisfy one of the options below. Reading courses may not be used to satisfy the requirements of these options unless they are specifically approved by the graduate director. A dis­sertation is required.

1. Applied Analysis and Computation Option. Students must complete M511-M512, M513, M540, M541, M542, and M544. Students must complete a two semester sequence in Numerical Analysis, either M471-M472 or M571-M572. Students must also complete either 6 credit hours of graduate credit outside the Department of Mathematics in an area conducive to mathematical treatment and approved by the student’s advisor, or 12 credit hours of graduate credit that is cross-listed with the Department of Physics. In addition, students must complete 6 credit hours of graduate credit in each of two of the following groups:

  • Algebra, and logic and foundations
  • Topology and geometry
  • Analysis (other than M511, M512, M513)

2. Pure Mathematics Option. Students must complete 6 credit hours of graduate credit in five of the following groups, including 6 credit hours of 500-level courses in two of groups 1-4, and 6 credit hours of 500-level courses in another of groups 1-6.

  • Analysis
  • Algebra
  • Topology and geometry
  • Logic and foundations
  • Probability and statistics
  • Applied mathematics and numerical analysis
  • Outside and miscellaneous courses (cryptography, quantum computing, financial mathematics, computer science, economics, and physics are commonly used, but others may also be appropriate). Any courses in this category must be approved by your advisor and the director of graduate studies.


You must complete a minor in mathematics, or in some other department. If you choose to minor in another department, you must satisfy that department’s requirements as described in the University Graduate School Bulletin and have that department notify the Department of Mathematics Graduate Office that you have done so. To complete a minor in mathematics itself, there are two pos­sible options:

  1. Nine credit hour minor. This requires 9 credit hours of coursework at the 500-700 level in an area different from that of the dissertation. This area then becomes the “area for minor” while forming the Research Committee (see below).
  2. Twelve credit hour minor. This requires 6 credit hours of coursework at the 500-700 level in each of two fields (Analysis, Algebra, Topology and Geometry, Logic and Foundations, Applied Mathematics [Differential Equations], Mathematical Physics, Numerical Analysis, Probability, Sta­tistics) other than that of the dissertation. One of the fields chosen must be in an area other than that of the dissertation. Any of these two fields can be chosen as the “area of minor” while forming the Research Committee (see below). In addition, reading courses (e.g., M800) and courses taken at the other universities will not satisfy the course requirements for the Ph.D. minor.

Foreign Language Requirement

Reading proficiency in one foreign language in which major research articles in mathematics are published. Acceptable lan­guages are German, French, and Russian or another language deemed to be more relevant by the dissertation advisor. The Graduate Policy Committee of the Department of Mathematics will consider petitions for substituting other languages.

Qualifying Examinations

The Department of Mathematics qualifying exam comprises a three-tier system designed to help determine as quickly and efficiently as possible whether students have mastered basic graduate-level mathematics, exhibit the necessary abilities and self-discipline, and have prepared themselves to pursue the independent research necessary for the Ph.D.

Tier 1 (Comprehensive 400-Level Written Exams)

Ph.D. students will take a two-part written exam on 400-level algebra and analysis. The exams will be given during the week before classes begin in the fall and in the spring. Each part of the exam lasts four hours. New students may take either or both of the Tier 1 exams in August when they first arrive. A student is allowed to try each exam each time it is offered, but s/he must pass both exams prior to the end of the second year of study.

Syllabi, references, and sample problems for these exams are available on the Department of Mathematics Web page.

Tier 2 (Committee Review)

Each spring/summer, a departmental committee will review the record of every student who has either:

  • Completed two years in the program without previous review, or
  • Passed the Tier 1 exams on entrance to the program and elects the review at the end of the first year.

The student will:

  • Provide to the graduate office a personal statement that describes the student's plan for futher study and research.
  • Request an "endorsement" from a faculty member. By endorsing a student, a faculty member agrees to help the student prepare for the Tier III exam.

The review committee will decide which students may continue toward Ph.D. candidacy. The committee’s considerations will include:

  • Performance on the Tier 1 exams.
  • Performance in 500-level coursework.
  • Written personal statement by student.
  • Student’s performance of assistantship duties.

In support of the Tier 2 review, grades in 500-level courses will be given and evaluated according to the following guidelines:

  • A grade of A means that, based on the student's work in that course, the instructor believes the student will succeed in being admitted to Ph.D. candidacy.
  • A grade of B means that the student work in that course is satisfactory, but the instructor has reservations (based on that work) about the student's ability to be admitted to candidacy.

All students must maintain at least a B average in their coursework, in accordance with currently published departmental and university guidelines.

As indicated above, students can accelerate their progress in the program by passing the Tier 1 exams on entrance into the program and electing to take the Tier 2 review at the end of their first year. The review committee will treat this as favorable for a student’s case. Students who do not receive a recommendation to continue will be encouraged to complete the M.A. degree. If they have financial support at the time of review, they will be entitled to at least one additional semester of support in order to do so.

Tier 3 (Oral Exam)

After passing the Tier 2 review, a student must arrange and pass an oral examination before October of their fourth year. The student will seek the direction of a faculty member as a scientific advisor for this exam. The faculty member will assign a reading list consisting of texts and research-level papers; this material will comprise the major topic of the exam. The student will also propose a minor area, to be approved by the director of graduate studies.

-If and when the scientific advisor feels the student is ready for the exam, the advisor will arrange for a three-member faculty commit­tee to administer the exam. These exams are projected to last approximately two hours, and one of the committee members must be qualified to examine the student in the minor area, where the student must demonstrate 500-level mastery. In order to pass the exam, the student must:

  • Demonstrate a level of mathematical ability and maturity sufficient for successfully undertaking a Ph.D. dissertation (normally in the major area of the exam), and
  • Identify a faculty member willing to serve as Ph.D. advisor. This will typically, but not necessarily, be the faculty mem­ber who organized the exam.
Ph.D. Minor in Mathematics
Doctoral students in other departments may complete a minor in mathematics by satisfying one of the following options: (1) 9 credit hours of mathematics courses at the 400 level or above, or (2) M343-M344 and 6 credit hours of mathematics courses at the 400 level or above. Reading courses (e.g., M800) and courses taken at other universities will not satisfy the course requirements for the Ph.D. minor.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.