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Qualifying Examinations


The Mathematics Qualifying (or Preliminary) Examinations are given in six areas of mathematics (view right column to obtain the syllabus and sample exams by topic):

  • Algebra
  • Complex Analysis
  • Differential Geometry
  • Logic
  • Real Analysis
  • Topology

The sample exams and syllabi were given as actual exams. Naturally exams vary from year to year.

The exams are scheduled twice a year, in September and May. Students must pass three exams (of their choosing) to be considered to have passed the Qualifying exams (also called the First Examination; it is listed this way on the student transcript.) Students may retake a failed exam once. Exams are graded pass or fail. Students must sign up at least three days in advance of any exams that they wish to take so that the proctor will know how many students to expect. Each exam is scheduled for three hours, either from 10 - 1pm, or 2 - 5pm.

The dates and times for the May qualifying exams (held during the final exam period) will be announced in the spring as soon as they are set.

Each exam is given in the Math Thesis Examination Room, Rm. 4214-03 (near the administrative area) unless otherwise indicated. Please remember to sign up for each exam at least three days in advance (excluding Saturday & Sunday) of the date that it is to be given. See Rob in Rm. 4208 for the sign-up sheet.

Students will be informed by email of the results of their exam. You can call the Math office a week or so after the exam to obtain your results if you have not heard by then.

Study materials (some previous qualifying exams) for the examinations are available in the Mathematics Program Office.