Summary of Ph.D. Requirements

The information listed below is meant to act as a guide for Ph.D. studies while at the University of Rochester. It is not intended as a substitute for the graduate catalog, which contains more details.

  1. PERIOD OF SUPPORT: Under the present circumstances, students in good standing are supported for at least four years. Often we are able to support students for a fifth year, but this cannot be guaranteed.
  2. REGISTRATION: Graduate students who are teaching assistants must register for a minimum of 18 credits for the academic year ( 9 credits per semester). Graduate students who are not teaching assistants must register for a minimum of 24 credits.
  3. TRANSFER CREDIT: A Ph.D. degree requires a total of 90 credit hours earned at the University of Rochester. You can transfer up to 30 credits for a Master's degree earned elsewhere. This means that you need an additional 60 credit hours earned here. This should be done as soon as possible so the credits will appear on your Univ. of Rochester transcript.
  4. PRELIMS: Written prelims are given in January and in August. Please see the Coursework and Prelims page for more details.
  5. MASTERS DEGREE: Ph.D. students should apply for a Masters degree from the University of Rochester when 30 credits are accumulated. The credits must include the following: Math 436, 440, 467, 471, or their equivalent. The written prelims serve as the final exam for the M.A.; therefore, once prelims are passed and the Master's program form is completed, the M.A. will be awarded. (See Joan for the needed forms.)
  6. ADVISER: After passing the prelims, finding a thesis adviser is the next step.
  7. ORAL PRELIMINARY EXAM: This should be taken within approximately six months after passing the written prelims. It is an exam on a substantial paper, generally in the thesis area, selected in consultation with the thesis advisor. Must be passed at least 9 months before the thesis defense.
  8. PH.D. COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Ph.D. students are required to maintain a B average or better. For specific course requirements, see the Coursework and Prelims page. There is a also three-year teaching requirement, satisfied by teaching assistantships.
  9. FINAL THESIS DEFENSE: The main requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a doctoral thesis, written under supervision of an adviser. Upon completion of the thesis, students must schedule a thesis defense.