Howard University

Dr. Paul Bezandry, Interim Chair
Howard University
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Mathematics
204 Academic Support Building B
Washington, DC 20059
(202) 806-6830

Programs - Graduate - Ph.D. Degree
Core courses | graduate Courses | M.S. Degree | Ph.D. Degree


This degree program requires a minimum of 60 graduate credits beyond the B.S. degree or a minimum of 36 graduate credits beyond the M.S. degree in course work. In addition 12 graduate credits are required for the Ph.D. dissertation.

Course Requirements

The courses for the Ph.D. degree presented by a candidate must include at most one course from Group 1, all courses from Group 2, at least two courses from Group 3 and a course on topics in History of Mathematics. Additional courses to cover the areas of qualifying examinations as well as topics courses will be on subjects corresponding to the research interests of the faculty.

Ph.D. Degree: Admission and Examination Requirements

To be admitted to the Ph.D. program, students must pass a screening examination or obtain an exemption from the faculty. To obtain a Ph.D. degree, a student admitted to the program must

  1. pass two qualifying examinations on subjects, not closely related to each other, chosen from two of the following six groups:
    1. Real Analysis or Complex Analysis or Functional Analysis or Harmonic Analysis
    2. Algebra or Number Theory
    3. Combinatorics
    4. Geometry or Topology
    5. Dynamical Systems or Ordinary Differential Equations or Partial Differential Equations
    6. Probability or Mathematical Statistics.
  2. take a third qualifying examination in an area of the student's choice, that may include one from the above six groups, and
  3. write a Ph.D. dissertation and defend it satisfactorily.

Financial Support

Financial support from the university is contingent upon the student making satisfactory progress. Those students who are required to take a screening examination must successfully pass that examination by the end of their first year in order to be guaranteed continuing university support. Students in the Ph.D. degree program are expected to have successfully completed six graduate courses in the first year in the Ph.D. program and to have passed at least two of the qualifying examinations by the end of their second year in the Ph.D. program in order to obtain continuing university support.

Language Requirement

Students must exhibit proficiency in two of the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Russian. In exceptional cases, other languages may be accepted by the Department. In lieu of one language and upon approval of the Chairman of the Department, students may take suitable graduate level courses from one of the following departments or schools: Computer Science, Sociology, Economics, Biology or Education.

Requirements for Admission to Candidacy for the

  1. Candidates must have passed two of the Qualifying Examinations.
  2. Candidates must satisfy the language requirement and the writing skills requirement.

Residence Requirements

At least four semesters of residence and full-time study or the equivalent, shall be in the Department of Mathematics of Howard University.

Other Requirements

  1. A minimum of 18 credits of work toward the Ph.D. degree shall be pursued after admission to candidacy.
  2. Doctoral candidates shall participate actively in at least two seminars during their candidacy.
  3. Only courses in which students earn grades of "A" or "B" may be counted toward the Ph.D. degree.
  4. A student in the Ph.D. program who accumulates more than two courses of grades below "B" shall be dropped from the Mathematics Graduate Program.


Department of Mathematics College of Arts and Sciences