PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The Department of Mathematics of
the University of Pennsylvania offers
a
full Graduate Program in Mathematics, conferring the degrees of Master
of Arts (A.M.), Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.), and Doctor of Philosophy
(Ph.D.) . The educational aim
of
this program is to provide wellrounded mathematical training for a career
of research and teaching in mathematics, as well as for other careers
which use advanced mathematics in a substantial way.
The purpose of this document is to describe the graduate program in
Mathematics at Penn. This program covers a variety of areas, including analysis,
geometrytopology, algebra, mathematical physics, combinatorics, logic, and probability.
See our Graduate Mathematics Page
and our Math Department home page
for information about other aspects of this program and of the Penn Math Department as a whole, including
its colloquia, seminars and lecture series, and the research
interests of the faculty. In addition, Penn offers
an interdisciplinary graduate program in
Applied Mathematics and Computational Science,
for which there is separate application process.
Supplementary information about the program is available
here,
concerning graduate fellowships,
the financial support package for
Ph.D. students, and the Ph.D. thesis.
ADMISSIONS AND APPLICATIONS
The Penn Mathematics Graduate Program
welcomes applications from interested and dedicated students who have done
substantial mathematical work of superior quality as undergraduates.
Note that it is not necessary to have a masters degree to enter the Ph.D. program.
Applications may be submitted by students in the last year of their bachelors degree
program, with the understanding that they will receive the bachelors degree
prior to starting the Ph.D. program.
Applicants for admission are expected to have a mathematical background
that is comparable to a strong undergraduate mathematics major. In
particular, applicants should be familiar with the material on our Masters Preliminary
Exam, which our graduate students take upon entering our program, and
which in particular serves as a placement exam.
Applicants' transcripts should include courses in advanced calculus and in
abstract and linear algebra that involved proofs, and preferably advanced
mathematical electives as well. Mathematics course grades should mostly
be A or A (or the equivalent).
Applications should be submitted
electronically.
This can be done beginning in October. Applications must be submitted by
December 15, when the online admission system closes. Letters of recommendation can be
uploaded by the recommenders, once the application is submitted with the recommenders'
names indicated. Those letters can be uploaded after December 15, but it is best that this is done
soon afterwards so that they will be seen by the admissions committee during its
review process.
Supporting application materials that cannot be submitted through this website
can be sent by email to the Mathematics Graduate
Coordinator, Reshma Tanna.
More information about the application procedure is available
here. Those applying should be careful to indicate whether
they are interested in being considered for the Graduate Mathematics Program (discussed below)
or in Penn's AMCS program in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science.
Those who are admitted will be notified by email and letter. Those who are rejected will have their
status indicated on the online application website. While some decisions will be made in February
or early March, others will not be made until close to the uniform reply date of April 15,
since our admissions committee must wait for replies from those admitted in the first round before
being able to make offers to those on our waitlist.
All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination
(GRE): both the
General test and the
Advanced Mathematics
Subject Test. (Institution code is 2926 and Department code is
0703.)
Applicants whose native language is not English must
take
the TOEFL (Test of
English as a Foreign Language)(Institution code is 2926 and Department
code is 72). This TOEFL requirement is waived for applicants who were undergraduates
in the US or Canada for their entire four year bachelors program.
If you are uncertain whether you are required to take the TOEFL exam, you should contact us to ask,
since the lack of a required TOEFL score would disqualify your application.
The GRE and English language exams should be taken early enough for the
scores to be received at Penn in time to be considered by the Admissions
Committee. Note that it can take a month or two after taking the exam
before the score is reported, and that advanced registration is required
for these tests. Also, the GRE subject test is given
only a few times each year, so advanced planning is needed.
Applicants are considered on the basis of their courses, grades, letters
of recommendation, test scores (basic and advanced GRE and TOEFL),
and other supporting material. Letters of recommendation should
preferably be from mathematics professors who know the applicant well, and
who can comment on the applicant's abilities, accomplishments, and
potential.
Applicants for the graduate program in mathematics are ordinarily admitted
for the Fall semester each year, with the deadline for
applications being December 15 of the previous calendar year. It is important
that the application be submitted by December 15, and that
all related materials, including
letters of recommendation and test scores, arrive by the
end of December (or at latest by midJanuary). It is therefore important
to take the
Advanced Mathematics GRE no later than October. Applications for which the related materials
are late may be considered on the basis of available space and financial
aid.
On the first page of the application, applicants should indicate the final
degree that they hope to be awarded from the Penn Mathematics Graduate
Program (either A.M., M.Phil., or Ph.D.). Students who intend to obtain
an A.M. on the way to an M.Phil. or Ph.D. at Penn should indicate the
latter degree.
The Mathematics Department also offers a
submatriculation
program for
Penn
undergraduates, which gives students the opportunity to work toward a
Bachelors and Masters degree at the same time. Penn students interested
in submatriculation should contact the department's Undergraduate Chair
for additional information and guidance.
Application procedure
Admissions data
FELLOWSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID
Fulltime students admitted to our Ph.D. program are offered a financial support package
combining fellowships and teaching
assistantships, including a fellowship (with no teaching) in the first
year and two additional semesters (often in the fourth year). There is also funding
provided without teaching responsibilities during three summers.
This package, which covers tuition and fees and health insurance
and also provides a stipend,
continues for five years for Ph.D. students in good standing who are
making timely progress.
During 201516, the academic year stipend Ph.D. students is $25,900.
The summer 2016 stipend is $4,275. This is expected to rise in future years, as it has in the past.
Teaching assistants most often run recitations of calculus, meeting with
up to four small groups of undergraduates once a week to discuss homework.
Other possible TA assignments can include running problem sessions in more
advanced courses such as advanced calculus or algebra, or running review
sessions or grading for courses in which there are no problem sessions.
Counting contact hours, office hours, grading, record keeping, etc., the
TA responsibilities take up to twelve hours per week (and replace one of
the graduate student's own courses). Before beginning a teaching
assistantship, graduate students go through a severalday TA training
program run by the Math Department. There is also mentoring for TA's
during the semester.
Graduate students often teach courses over the summer, for an additional
stipend. (Doing this is optional, but is good experience.) Unlike TA
responsibilities during the academic year, grad students who teach during
the summer have full responsibility for the course, giving the lectures
and assigning homework and grades.
Students in the masters or M.Phil. program may also be considered for
teaching assistantships, which provide a stipend. These are awarded based
on merit and availablity, and are decided on a
semesterbysemester basis.
Additional information on Fellowships
and on Financial Support.
FIRST YEAR CLASS SCHEDULE
All entering graduate students take the Masters
Preliminary Examination before the Fall semester's classes begin. This
is a five hour exam which covers essential undergraduate material in
mathematics, including basic algebra, linear algebra and advanced
calculus. It serves in part as a placement exam, to help determine each
student's schedule of classes during the first year.
After taking this exam, students meet individually with the Graduate Group
Chair to design their first year program of courses. They also meet with their faculty advisors.
(Incoming students are assigned advisors by the
Graduate Group Chair, until such time as they choose advisors for
themselves.) Most often, firstyear students are advised to take the
three main introductory Ph.D.level courses
in GeometryTopology (Math 600, 601), Algebra (Math 602, 603), and
Analysis (Math 608, 609), plus a fourth courses of their choosing. But
those who demonstrate to the instructors that they already have a mastery
of the material in these introductory courses can instead take more
advanced courses. On the other hand, those whose performance on the
Masters Prelim showed significant gaps in training may be advised to take
one or more introductory masterslevel courses during the first year in
GeometryTopology (Math 500), Algebra (Math 502, 503), or Analysis
(Math 508, 509).
One of the first year graduate courses, the "Proseminar" (Math 504, 505),
attempts to bridge the gap between undergraduate and graduate mathematics
by treating the topics covered in the Masters Preliminary Exam more
intensively than is typical in undergraduate courses, with an emphasis on
problem solving and presenting proofs. Graduate students take this course
during the first year of study here if they do not pass the Masters
Preliminary Exam upon arrival.
The Masters Preliminary Exam is given for a second time at the end of the
spring semester. Passing it by the end of the first year in the graduate
program is a requirement for remaining in the graduate program. (The
passing level is ordinarily higher for the Ph.D. program than for the
masters.) The University's Qualifications Evaluation requirement is met
by passing this exam and doing well in the firstyear courses.
Syllabus of first year courses.
Yearbyyear sequence for graduate students.
THE MASTERS DEGREE
The Masters of Arts program in mathematics is intended for students who
wish to go into professional careers in mathematics, and who have a
background corresponding to an undergraduate mathematics major. The
masters degree is typically earned in approximately two years, though it
is possible to earn it in less time.
Students in the masters program take at least eight graduate mathematical
courses numbered 500 and above, including at least one each in algebra,
analysis, and
geometrytopology. The other courses can be in either pure or applied
mathematics, and some can be taken in other departments. There is also a
requirement to pass the Masters Preliminary Exam and to submit and defend
a masters thesis.
The masters degree can also be earned by Penn Math Ph.D. students, on the
way to their Ph.D. In addition, Penn Ph.D. students in allied fields of
study can also apply to enter the masters program in mathematics, which
can allow them to earn both degrees simultaneously.
Detailed requirements:
 Admission to candidacy: Admission to Masters
candidacy is achieved by passing the Masters
Preliminary Exam by the end
of the first year in the graduate program, and by satisfactory performance
in the first year's courses.
 Course requirements: A minimum of eight
units of graduate courses at the University of Pennsylvania, numbered 500
and above, is required for the Masters degree, including at least four
taken at the Penn Mathematics Department. Among these courses, every
student must take at least a semester of graduate courses in each of
algebra, analysis and geometrytopology.
 Language requirement: There is no foreign language requirement for
the Masters degree.
 Masters thesis: Each student must write, under the
supervision of a Mathematics Department faculty member, a satisfactory
Masters thesis, of modest length, which is typically expository in nature,
but may also be a research paper. The preparation of this thesis should
involve the mastery of some area of mathematics beyond the curriculum of
the courses that the student has taken, and should ordinarily take less
than one semester to complete.
 The Masters General Examination: Following
submission of the Masters thesis, the student will take a General
Examination for the Masters degree. This exam consists of a presentation
by the student of the content of the thesis, followed by questions from
the faculty on the topic presented and related areas of mathematics.

Concentrations in Applied and Computational Mathematics: Since Masters
degree students may wish to pursue a course of study which emphasizes
either applied or computational mathematics, the Mathematics Department
recognizes this by offering Masters degrees with concentrations. Courses
given in the Mathematics Department or elsewhere in the university can be
designated by the Graduate Group Chair as being in the applied or in the
computational mathematics concentration (some courses may be in both
concentrations). To receive a Masters degree with a concentration in
Applied Mathematics or in Computational Mathematics the student must
fulfill the requirements for a Masters degree in mathematics. In addition
both the Masters Thesis and at least four of the courses taken for the
Masters degree must be designated as being in that concentration.
 Some important administrative details:
 Administration of the Graduate Program: The Graduate Group
Chair directs and oversees the administration of the graduate
program, advises the graduate students in this program, and
assesses their progress on a continuing basis. The Graduate Group
Chair is aided in this by the Masters Preliminary Exam Committee,
the Graduate Advising Committee, and the First Year Course
Committee.
 Timing: The program leading to the Masters degree should
ordinarily be completed within two years of full time study, and
in any case must be completed within three years of full time
study. Part time study, when allowed, will have a corresponding
timetable set in each case by the Graduate Group Chair.
 Course schedules: Each semester, the student's course
schedule must be approved in advance by the Graduate Group Chair
and the student's advisor. Students are reminded that, while the
course requirements for the masters degree include at least a
semester of graduate courses in each of algebra, analysis and
geometrytopology, the course requirements for the Ph.D. include a
full year in each of these subjects at the 600 level, and may want
to take this into account when planning their course schedules.
 Course requirement: Approval of the Graduate Group Chair is
required for courses taken outside the Penn Mathematics Department
to be counted toward the course requirement for the Masters Degree
in Mathematics.
 The Masters General Examination Committee is appointed by the
Graduate Group Chair after consultation with the student. It will
consist of two or more faculty members, at least one of whom must
be tenured, and one of whom will ordinarily be the supervising
faculty member. The Graduate Group Chair will notify the entire
mathematics faculty of the exam; all faculty are explicitly
invited to attend, and those who do are full voting members of the
Exam Committee.
 If the Masters General Examination is not passed on the first
try, it may be taken just once more, and this must occur before
the end of the following semester. Passing the Masters General
Examination on the second try, at the latest, is a requirement for
remaining in the graduate program.
 Satisfactory performance in the graduate program is determined
by the Graduate Group Chair, with the aid of the Graduate Advising
Committee and (for first year courses) the First Year Course
Committee. Satisfactory performance, which includes maintaining a
B average every academic year and meeting requirements in a timely
manner, is a requirement for remaining in the graduate program.
THE M.Phil. DEGREE
The Master of Philosophy in mathematics is a terminal professional degree
that is designed for students who want to go beyond the usual masters
degree. Entering students should have previously completed either an
undergraduate or a regular masters program in mathematics. The degree is
typically earned one or two years after beginning to take courses that go
beyond the regular master of arts degree.
Students who already have a regular masters degree take six additional
graduate courses numbered 600 or above to earn an M.Phil. degree. Students
who enter the program with just an undergraduate degree will fulfill the
usual masters course requirements plus an additional six (for a total of
14 courses). Students in this program also need to pass the Masters
Preliminary Exam and an oral exam in one area of mathematics, and to
submit and defend an M.Phil. thesis (which is somewhat longer and more in
depth than a thesis in the usual masters program).
Detailed requirements:
 Admission to candidacy: A Bachelors degree (but
not a masters degree) is
required for entrance to the program. Admission to M.Phil. candidacy is
achieved by passing the Masters Preliminary
Exam, and the oral M.Phil.
Preliminary Exam (described below). If the student so requests before the
exam, the Masters
General Examination can serve as the M.Phil. Preliminary Exam. In this
case, the exam will test the depth and breadth of knowledge expected of
entering M.Phil. candidates.
 M.Phil. Preliminary Exam: This is an oral exam in
the subfield of mathematics which is the student's intended area of
specialization. The student should demonstrate both depth and breadth of
knowledge, as well as real mastery of basic material and the ability to
apply it to specific examples. Typically, the content of this exam will
be somewhat more than that of a onesemester graduate course at or above
the 610 level.
 Course requirements: A minimum of six units of
graduate courses (beyond the course requirements for the Masters)
at the University of Pennsylvania, numbered 600 and above, is required for
the M.Phil. Degree, including at least four taken in the Mathematics
Department. These courses cannot include any that are counted towards a
Masters degree. Students who do not have a Masters degree must in
addition satisfy the course requirement of a Masters degree (while those
who already have a Masters degree need take just these six). Among these
six courses, every student must take at least a semester of graduate
courses in two of algebra, analysis and geometrytopology.
 Language requirement: There is no foreign language requirement for
the M.Phil. Degree.
 Seminar requirement: The student must satisfactorily
present a lecture in one of the department's graduate or research
seminars, and answer questions about the material. The intention of this
requirement is to help the student gain experience in digesting and
presenting advanced material and fielding questions about it before an
audience of mathematicians. Guidance in the preparation of these lectures
is provided by faculty members in the department.
 M.Phil. Thesis: Each student must write, under the
supervision of a Mathematics Department faculty member, a satisfactory
M.Phil. thesis, which is typically expository in nature, but may also be a
research paper. The preparation of this thesis should involve the mastery
of some area of mathematics beyond the curriculum of the courses that the
student has taken. (To obtain an M.Phil. degree, it is not necessary to
have previously written a masters thesis. But a student in the M.Phil.
program who previously submitted a masters thesis cannot resubmit that
thesis toward the M.Phil.)
 The M.Phil. Comprehensive Examination: Following
submission of the M.Phil. thesis, the student will take a Comprehensive
Examination for the M.Phil. degree. This exam will consist of a
presentation by the student of the content of the thesis, followed by
questions from the faculty on the topic presented and related areas of
mathematics.
 Concentrations in Applied and Computational
Mathematics: Since M.Phil. degree students may wish to pursue a course of
study which emphasizes either applied or computational mathematics, the
Mathematics Department recognizes this by offering Masters degrees with
concentrations. Courses given in the Mathematics Department or elsewhere
in the University can be designated by the Graduate Group Chair as being
in the applied or in the computational mathematics concentration (some
courses may be in both concentrations). To receive an M.Phil. degree with
a concentration in Applied Mathematics or in Computational Mathematics the
student must fulfill the requirements for a M.Phil. degree in Mathematics.
In addition both the M.Phil. Thesis and at least two of the courses taken
for the M.Phil. degree must be designated as being in that
concentration.
 Some important administrative details:
The administrative details listed earlier in connection with the
Masters Degree program apply to the M.Phil. program as well. In
addition, we have the following:
 When the student asks that the Masters Gen'l Exam serve as the
M.Phil Prelim exam, there are two possible positive outcomes: Pass
at the M.Phil level, which requires demonstration of the required
depth and breadth in the subject matter; Pass at the M.A. level
(described in the requirements for that degree). If the student
does not pass at either of these levels, he may retake the exam
one more time; if on the initial exam, the student passes at a
level below the desired outcome then he may also retake the exam
one more time. In either case, the single retake of the exam must
occur before the end of the next semester.
 Timing: The program leading to the M.Phil. must be completed
within two years of full time study (after completion of the
masters coursework). Part time study, when allowed, will have a
corresponding timetable set in each case by the Graduate Group
Chair.
 Course requirement: Approval of the Graduate Group Chair is
required for courses taken outside the Penn Mathematics Department
to be counted toward the course requirement for the M.Phil. Degree
in Mathematics.
 The M.Phil. Comprehensive Examination Committee is appointed
by the Graduate Group Chair after consultation with the student.
It will consist of two or more faculty members, at least one of
whom must be tenured, and one of whom will ordinarily be the
supervising faculty member. The Graduate Group Chair will notify
the entire mathematics faculty of the exam; all faculty are
explicitly invited to attend, and those who do are full voting
members of the Exam Committee.
 If the M.Phil. Comprehensive Examination is not passed on the
first try, it may be taken just once more, and this must occur
before the end of the following semester.
THE Ph.D. DEGREE
Information on the Ph.D.
thesis.
The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics is an advanced degree
designed for those who wish to pursue a career involving mathematical
research. It is
conferred in recognition of marked ability and high attainment in advanced
mathematics, including the successful completion of an original research
project of merit. The Ph.D. program is designed to guide students,
yearbyyear, toward becoming research
mathematicians. Typically the program takes five years to complete,
including the dissertation (although it can be completed in less time,
depending on the student).
There are several stages to the Ph.D. program. The first, which is
centered on the course requirements and the masters preliminary exam, is
designed to help the student acquire a broad background in mathematics.
The second stage includes the oral Ph.D. preliminary exam on two topics of
the student's choosing, and on participation in seminars. Breadth is one
of the goals of this second stage, but the main objective at that point is
to assist the student in choosing a field of specialization and in
obtaining sufficient knowledge of this specialized field, including recent
research developments. Ph.D. students also have an opportunity to earn a
masters degree at this stage. The third and key stage of the Ph.D.
program is the dissertation (or "Ph.D. thesis"), in which the student will
make an original contribution to mathematics. The entire Ph.D. program is
designed to help students move toward taking this significant step in
creating new mathematics. Along the way the student is required to
acquire some teaching experience.
The program leading to this degree is described below, and may include
work completed at the University of Pennsylvania for a Masters degree.
(Up to eight courses taken at other universities, while a candidate for a
graduate degree, can also be counted toward the Ph.D. requirements.)
Detailed requirements:
 Admission to candidacy: Admission to Ph.D.
candidacy is achieved by passing the Ph.D. Preliminary Examination.
Students must previously have passed the Masters
Preliminary Exam in their first year, and have taken at least six
graduate mathematics courses (including those taken elsewhere). (See the
third item of section 10 below.)
 The Ph.D. Preliminary Examination: This is an oral
exam in two distinct subfields of mathematics, one of which should be the
student's intended area of specialization. The student should demonstrate
both depth and breadth of knowledge, as well as real mastery of basic
material and the ability to apply it to specific examples. Typically, the
content of each of the two parts of this exam will be somewhat more than
that of a onesemester graduate course at or above the 610 level
(though sometimes the material in an advanced 500level course may be
appropriate).
 Course Requirements: Twenty units of graduate
courses, numbered 500 and above (or the equivalent), are required for the
Ph.D. degree, including at least twelve courses taken at the University of
Pennsylvania and, amongst these, at least eight taken at the Penn
Mathematics Department. Of these courses, at least sixteen, including
those transferred from other institutions, must be in mathematics.
(Independent study courses at Penn may be counted toward the twenty course
requirement.) Among the courses, every student must take at least two
semesters
of graduate courses at the 600 level in each of algebra and analysis
(Math 602, 603, 608, and one of 609 or 610), and
at least three semesters of
geometrytopology (Math 600, 601, 618). The approval of the Graduate
Group Chair is required for any course taken outside the Penn Mathematics
Department to be counted toward the Ph.D.
 Language Requirement: There is no foreign language
requirement for the Ph.D. degree. Depending on the nature of their research, however,
students may in practice find it necessary to learn to read mathematical papers
that have been written in a language other than English.
 Seminar Requirement: It is expected that all
advanced graduate students will regularly attend and participate in at
least one seminar series each semester. Students must also satisfactorily
present a lecture in one of the department's graduate or research
seminars, and answer questions about the material, by the end of the third year.
Although one lecture
is the formal minimum, it is expected that students will give a number of
such talks to audiences of students and faculty. Guidance in the
preparation of these lectures is provided by faculty members in the
department. The intention is for the student to gain experience in
digesting and
presenting advanced material and in fielding questions about it before an
audience of mathematicians, as well as actively participating in research
interactions and being a part of the mathematical community of graduate
students in the Mathematics Department.
 Teaching requirement: In order to gain experience
in classroom teaching, the student is required to perform satisfactorily
as a teaching assistant or instructor for at least two semesters. Teaching
for more than two semesters is encouraged, especially for those students
who plan to teach after their Ph.D. Graduate students participate in
a TA training program before they begin their teaching.
 The Dissertation: The dissertation, also known
as the "Ph.D.
thesis", is the heart of the Ph.D. program. It must be a
substantial original investigation in a field of mathematics, done under
the supervision of a faculty advisor.
 The Ph.D. Advisory Committee: This committee is
appointed by the Graduate Group Chair after consultation with the student,
when the student begins to work on a thesis. It consists of three faculty
members, including the thesis advisor, and meets at least once a semester
with the student to discuss progress and to offer helpful comments.
 Dissertation Examination: When the dissertation is
complete, it must be defended in a Dissertation Exam, at which the student
will be expected to give a short public exposition of the results of the
thesis, and to satisfactorily answer questions about the thesis and
related areas.
 Some important administrative details:
The administrative details listed earlier in connection with the
Masters degree program apply to the Ph.D. program as well. In
addition, we have the following:
 Combining the Masters General Examination with the Ph.D.
Preliminary Examination: The oral defense of the Masters thesis
may be used as the examination on one of the two subjects of the
Ph.D. Preliminary Exam, provided that it occurs simultaneously
with the other part of the Ph.D. exam, and that the requisite
depth and breadth of knowledge are demonstrated.
 The Ph.D. Preliminary Exam Committee: This committee is
appointed by the Graduate Group Chair after consultation with the
student. It consists of three or more faculty members, at least
two of whom are tenured members of the department. The syllabi
for the exam are agreed upon by the committee and the student,
with the approval of the Graduate Group Chair. The Graduate
Group Chair notifies the mathematics faculty of the exam (date,
time, place, committee members, reading lists). All faculty are
to be explicitly invited, and each faculty member who
attends the exam is a full voting member of the Exam Committee.
 Scheduling the Ph.D. Preliminary Exam: To take this exam, the
student should have passed the Masters Preliminary Exam and be in
good standing. The student also should have taken at least six
graduate mathematics courses (including those taken elsewhere).
The student discusses in advance the topics, syllabi and the
composition of the oral exam committee with the Graduate
Group Chair, whose written approval is needed. The exam is
to be taken by the end of the student's second academic year in
the program. A one or two semester extension may be requested
from the Graduate Group Chair in the case of students who took
mostly 500level courses in their first year.
 If the Ph.D. Preliminary Exam is not passed on the first try,
it may be taken just once more, and this must occur before the end
of the following semester. Passing the Ph.D. Preliminary Exam on
the second try, at the latest, is a requirement for remaining in
the Ph.D. program.
 Course Requirements: The Graduate Group Chair may, in
exceptional cases, modify the requirement that at least 16 of the
20 graduate courses for the Ph.D. be in mathematics. A maximum of
6 of these 20 courses may be reading courses (independent
studies). Permission of the instructor is needed in order to sign
up for an independent study course. First and second year students
also require permission of the graduate chair, as do third year
students who wish to take more than one such course in a given semester.
 Timing for satisfying the Seminar Requirement: This
requirement must be satisfied no later than one year after
admission to Ph.D. candidacy.
 The Dissertation Exam Committee: This committee is appointed
by the Graduate Group Chair after consultation with the student,
and consists of three or more faculty members, at least one of
whom is a tenured member of the Penn Mathematics Department, and
at least one of whom is outside the area of specialization of the
thesis. All mathematics faculty are to be explicitly invited to
attend the exam, and those who do so are full voting members of
the Exam Committee.
 The student must deliver a finished copy of the Ph.D. thesis
to the graduate secretary at least two weeks before the
Dissertation Exam, so that it will be available for reading by the
mathematics faculty.
 Timing for the Dissertation Exam: This must be successfully
completed no later than six years after entering the graduate
program. It should occur no later than the end of the third
academic year after admission to Ph.D. candidacy. In exceptional
situations, the Graduate Group Chair may, after consultation with
the Graduate Advising Committee, provide an extension.
 Satisfaction of Requirements: When not otherwise specified,
this is determined by the Graduate Group Chair, in consultation
with the Graduate Advising Committee and involved faculty members
and (in the case of the teaching requirement) the Undergraduate
Chair.
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