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Qualifying Examinations

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 listed on this website were given as actual exams. Naturally exams vary from year to year. Additional historic qualifying exams are available in the Mathematics Program Office.
The exams are scheduled twice a year, in August/September and May. Students must sign up at least 48 hours (excluding weekends) 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 Assistant Program Officer will send the electronic sign up form link to all students that have not passed 3 Qualifying exams (also called the First Examination).
The May qualifying exams are held during the final exam period and the August/September exams are scheduled before classes start or overlapping first few days of classes. Each exam is given in the Math Thesis Examination Room, (4214.03) unless otherwise indicated.
Students must pass three exams (of their choosing) to be considered to have passed the First Examination (it is listed this way on the student transcript.) Exams are graded pass or fail. Students may retake a failed exam once unless the failed exam was taken prior to student’s first semester of class. Students who fail an exam prior to their first semester of classes will still have 2 opportunities to retake the exam.
Students will be informed by email of the results of their exam.

QUALIFYING EXAMS – December 2020 
The December 2020 exam period is replacing the missed May 2020 exam period due to Covid-19.  


Sign-Up:  You must sign up for any exam you plan to take at least 48 hours in advance here.  If you have trouble with the online form, send Debbie Silverman an email. 
Students may retake a failed exam once. If Fall 2020 is your first semester as enrolled student, you get a free pass on any exam you take in December 2020. 1st year students who fail an exam during December 2020 will still have 2 opportunities to retake the exam. 
 
Exam Dates:  Here are the six exam dates and times (in chronological order).  All Times are ET: 

December 2020 Qualifying Exams

Exam Topic Exam Day Exam Date Exam Time Sign up by
Algebra Thursday 12/10/2020 10am-1pm

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Real Variables Friday  12/11/2020 10am-1pm 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Complex Variables Monday 12/14/2020 10am-1pm 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Topology Tuesday 12/15/2020 10am-1pm

Friday, December 11, 2020

Differential Geometry Wednesday  12/16/2020 10am-1pm 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Logic Thursday 12/17/2020  10am-1pm

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Special Rules for COVID-19   

Process and preparation: 

(1) Return the signed honor form to Debbie at least 36 hours prior to exam.  You need to handwrite the following honor statement for EVERY EXAM separately:   

“I affirm that I will not give or receive any unauthorized help or materials on this exam, and that all work will be my own. I understand that in CUNY to behave otherwise is a serious affront to academic integrity.”   

(2) An email from an assigned faculty member will be sent about 24 hours before the exam. That faculty member will be administering the exam to you. Our goal is to have at most 3 students assigned to each faculty member. 

(3) Zoom with the faculty member at least 10 minutes before the start of the exam. Make sure all equipment is ready to be used and working as listed in the section below. 

(4) The exam will be 2 hours and 30 minutes followed by a short discussion part having do with the questions that were asked on the exam. The discussion part will be with each individual student- done by moving the zoom session to a breakout room. The intent of this is for the student to address any incomplete answers on the solution sheets. 

(5) At the conclusion of the written exam, submit your entire exam answers as a single PDF immediately. Make sure all pages are in order and your name and the exam subject are on the first page. As the filename put yourname.pdf  

Equipment: 

(1) Have a camera turned on so that you are visible to the proctor for the entire exam. 

(2) Use regulation size blank white paper such as printer paper (strongly recommended) using a pen or pencil. 

(3) A scanning app to take a picture of the exam sheets. Convert the entire exam to a single pdf file and send by email to the proctor of the exam. The file name on the pdf should be yourname.pdf . 

  • All exams will be taken remotely. 

  • Students must be on camera for the entire length of the exam 

  • Students will need to handwrite (or type) an honor statement and sign and date for each exam they take.   “I affirm that I will not give or receive any unauthorized help or materials on this exam, and that all work will be my own. I understand that in CUNY to behave otherwise is a serious affront to academic integrity.”    

  • Students will need to submit all scrap paper with the exam results. 

  • It is up to the individual Exam Topic Committee to decide whether exams can be completed by pen and paper or directly online. 

Results:  Debbie Silverman will email exam-takers individually of the result (pass/fail) of their exam as soon as she is notified by the respective exam committee.  This usually takes several days to a week, or sometimes longer. 

  
Good luck to all who will be taking the qualifying exams! 
 

August 2020 Qualifying Exams

Exam Topic Exam Day Exam Date Exam Time Sign up by
Logic Friday 8/21/2020 10-1pm

Wed, Aug 19

9:00 AM

Real Variables Friday 8/21/2020 2-5pm

Wed, Aug 19

1:00 PM

Complex Variables Monday 8/24/2020 10-1pm

Thu, Aug 20

9:00 AM

Differential Geometry Monday 8/24/2020 2-5pm

Thu, Aug 20

1:00 PM

Algebra Tuesday 8/25/2020 10-1pm

Fri, Aug 21

9:00 AM

Topology Tuesday 8/25/2020 2-5pm

Fri, Aug 21

1:00 PM

May 2020 Qualifying Exams

Postponed due to Covid-19

August 2020 Qualifying Exams

Exam Topic Exam Day Exam Date Exam Time Sign up by
Logic Friday 8/21/2020 10-1pm

Wed, Aug 19

9:00 AM

Real Variables Friday 8/21/2020 2-5pm

Wed, Aug 19

1:00 PM

Complex Variables Monday 8/24/2020 10-1pm

Thu, Aug 20

9:00 AM

Differential Geometry Monday 8/24/2020 2-5pm

Thu, Aug 20

1:00 PM

Algebra Tuesday 8/25/2020 10-1pm

Fri, Aug 21

9:00 AM

Topology Tuesday 8/25/2020 2-5pm

Fri, Aug 21

1:00 PM

August 2019 Qualifying Exams

Exam Topic Exam Day Exam Date Exam Time Sign up by
Algebra Monday 8/19/2019 10-1pm

Thurs, Aug 15

9:00 AM

Real Variables Monday 8/19/2019 2-5pm

Wed, Aug 15

1:00 PM

Complex Variables Tuesday  8/20/2019 10-1pm

Fri, Aug 16

9:00 AM

Topology Tuesday 8/20/2019 2-5pm

Fri, Aug 16

1:00 PM

Differential Geometry Wednesday 8/21/2019 2-5pm

Mon, Aug 19

9:00 AM

Logic Wednesday  8/21/2019 10-1pm

Tues, Aug 19

1:00 PM

May 2019 Qualifying Exams

Exam Topic Exam Day Exam Date Exam Time Sign up by
Algebra Thursday 5/16/2019 2-5pm Tues, May 14, 2019
Real Variables Friday 5/17/2019 2-5pm Wed, May 15, 2019
Complex Variables Monday  5/20/2019 2-5pm Thurs, May 16, 2019
Topology Tuesday 5/21/2019 2-5pm Friday, May 17, 2019
Differential Geometry Wednesday 5/22/2019 2-5pm Monday, May 20, 2019
Logic Thursday  5/23/2019 2-5pm Tues, May 21, 2019

August 2018 Qualifying Exams

Exam Topic Exam Day Exam Date Exam Time Sign up by
Algebra Monday 8/20/2018 10-1pm Thurs, Aug 16 9:00AM
Real Variables Monday 8/20/2018 2-5pm Thurs, Aug 16 1:00PM
Complex Variables Tuesday 8/21/2018 10-1pm Friday, Aug 17 9:00AM
Topology Tuesday 8/21/2018 2-5pm Friday, Aug 17 1:00PM
Logic Wednesday 8/22/2018 10-1pm Monday,Aug 20 9:00AM
Differential Geometry Wednesday  8/22/2018 2-5pm Friday, Aug 20 1:00PM

May 2018 Qualifying Exams

Exam Topic Exam Day Exam Date Exam Time Sign up by
Algebra Thursday 5/17/2018 2-5pm Tuesday, May 15th
Real Variables Friday 5/18/2018 2-5pm Wednesday, May 16th
Complex Variables Monday 5/21/2018 2-5pm Thursday, May 17th
Topology Tuesday 5/22/2018 2-5pm Friday, May 18th
Differential Geometry Wednesday 5/23/2018 2-5pm Monday, May 21st
Logic Thursday 5/24/2018 2-5pm Tuesday, May 22nd

August 2017 Qualifying Exams

Algebra:
Date: August 25, 2017
Time: 10:00AM - 1:00PM
Location: TBA


Real Variables:
Date: August 25, 2017
Time: 1200PM - 5:00PM
Location: TBA


Complex Variables:
Date: August 28, 2017
Time: 10:00AM - 1:00PM
Location: TBA


Topology:
Date: August 28, 2017
Time: 200PM - 5:00PM
Location: TBA


Logic:
Date: August 29, 2017
Time: 10:00AM - 1:00PM
Location: TBA


Differential Geometry:
Date: August 29, 2017
Time: 200PM - 5:00PM
Location: TBA


Spring 2017 Qualifying:
Algebra:
Date: May 22, 2017
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Real Variables:
Date: May 23, 2017
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Complex Variables:
Date: May 24, 2017
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Topology:
Date: May 25, 2017
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM

Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Differential Geometry:
Date: May 26, 2017
Time: 10:00AM - 1:00PM

Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Logic:
Date: May 26, 2017
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)


 

Fall 2016 Qualifying Exams Dates:

Logic:
Date: August 24, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Differential Geometry:
Date: August 25, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Real Variables:
Date: August 26, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Algebra:
Date: August 29,2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Topology:
Date: August 30, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Complex Variables:
Date:August 31, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Spring 2016 Qualifying Exams:

Logic:

Date: May 19, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Differential Geometry:
Date: May 20, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Real Variables:
Date: May 23, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Algebra:
Date: May 24, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: C205 (new location assigned)

Topology:
Date: May 25, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)

Complex Variables:
Date: May 26, 2016
Time: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: Math Thesis Room (4214.03)