Advising and Registration


Please direct inquiries about our graduate program to:

Faculty Mentor to Dissertation Advisor

The Director of Graduate Studies assigns a Faculty Mentor to each incoming graduate student. This person will serve as your advisor until you have secured a dissertation advisor later on. Your faculty mentor's role is to advise you on your curriculum or any other aspects of your graduate studies until you have secured a Dissertation Advisor.

If you wish to switch faculty mentor at any time, please secure consent from the new mentor and inform the Director of Graduate Studies of the change.

Your Dissertation Advisor is the faculty member under whose direction you write your PhD Dissertation and who is the Chairperson of your PhD Advisor Committee. Your Dissertation Advisor becomes your "academic parent", within the genealogy of mathematicians. It is interesting and inspiring to browse the Mathematics Genealogy Project, which endeavors to compile a genealogy of all mathematics PhDs.

Finding a Dissertation Advisor is an organic process that transpires at the individual level. Often a student will take a reading (7999) course with one or more professors whose course or research area seems interesting to try to gauge the prospect a student-advisor relation. Your Faculty Mentor and advanced peers can help you in the process. The student-advisor relation is affirmed after you pass your oral Degree Audit (a.k.a. General Exam), under the guidance of your to-be dissertation advisor.

Instructions for Advising and Registration each Semester

The Mathematics Department requires each doctoral student to consult with their Faculty Mentor or Dissertation Advisor each semester concerning courses for the following semester and progress toward the PhD.

The following steps ensure timely advising and allows the Director of Graduate Studies to keep updated on students' progress. The DGS will send an e-mail each semester, typically in the latter half of October or March, advising of the relevant dates.

  • Consultation. Student and advisor consult concerning courses for the following semester and progress in the PhD program.
  • Registering. The student registers for the courses which have been agreed upon during consultation. See below for independent study courses 7999 (reading course) and 9000 (dissertation research) and for how to audit a course.
    The student will then inform their advisor that they have registered for the agree-upon courses.
  • Approval. The advisor submits the Advising Form to the Director of Graduate Studies. This includes the advisor's acknowledgement of approval of the student's course schedule and the advisor's comments on the student's progress.

Here is how to enroll in independent study courses and how to audit a course.

MATH 7999 and MATH 9000: Reading courses, Math 7999, carry maximally 3 credit hours. Each must have a different topic, and the topic may not coincide with that of a regularly scheduled course. To enroll in an independent study course, either MATH 7999 reading course or MATH 9000 dissertation research, the professor of that course requests its creation by filling this 7999/9000 Form. Then the graduate secretary will create the course; sometimes this takes a day or two to be completed.

AUDIT: To audit a course, the student must fill out this Audit Form. Then the graduate secretary will add the course to the student's schedule for Audit.