Program Requirements

The following benchmarks have to be passed on your way to the Ph.D. degree:

  • Passing of the qualifying exam. This is an exam in Real Analysis and Applied Linear Algebra. If you are admitted directly into the Ph.D. program you are expected to take this exam by the end of the first year at the latest.
  • Completing 54 semester hours of courses at the 600 or 700 level. The minimum acceptable grade in each course is a B. The selection of courses must be approved by your supervisory committee and the Joint Program Committee that administers the program. At least 18 hours must be in a major area of concentration, while at least 12 hours have to be in a minor area of study in a subject outside mathematics.
  • Passing a language or tool of research exam. The exam content is determined by your Ph.D. committee.
  • Passing the comprehensive exam, consisting of a written and an oral part.
  • Conducting dissertation research (at least 24 semester hours of MA 799).
  • Preparing a dissertation that must be a genuine contribution to mathematics.
  • Passing the final examination (thesis defense).


A list of courses is available in the UAB Graduate Catalog.

Time to Complete

Coursework may be finished within two years after the Qualifying Exam. Research should be started while coursework is still underway. Typically, work on the thesis itself takes 12-18 months. Therefore, depending on your background, it can take four to six years to obtain both the M.S. and the Ph.D. degree.