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Overview

The Ph.D. program has two tracks: pure and applied. The course requirements differ somewhat between the two tracks, although the number of credit hours is the same. Both pure and applied tracks have the following requirements.

Doctoral Program Profile (PDF)

  • Pass two qualifying exams: one in Algebra or Analysis, and one in Numerical Analysis or Probability/Statistics
  • Pass a preliminary exam in your area of research
  • Demonstrate knowledge of adequate computer skills
  • Complete the Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship training sequence offered by the department
  • Pass an oral comprehensive exam
  • Write and defend a Ph.D. dissertation containing original research

After graduation, our Ph.D. alumni typically obtain positions either in academia, as postdoctoral fellows or tenure-track faculty, or in the private sector. A comprehensive list of recent Ph.D. graduates and their positions can be found on our alumni page.


We have a long tradition of excellence. The first Ph.D. granted at the University of Kansas was in Mathematics, to Arnold Emch in the year 1895. Since then, our graduate program has been a central part of the research and teaching mission of our department, and is an important component of our long term planning. Our commitment to graduate education has boosted our recent growth in size and enhanced our reputation.

Prospective students are encouraged to read the information in this page and related links. Specific information about how to apply to our program can be found in the Admissions page.

Attractive features of our program

Our size

With about 34 faculty and 80 graduate students, our department is small enough to be friendly and large enough to give students a broad background and a wide choice of specialization in many areas of mathematics.

Our faculty

Our faculty is committed to excellence in teaching, is very active in research, and has a strong record of external funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Many of our faculty members are frequently invited to lecture at national and international venues, and several of them are involved in the organization of established annual workshops and conferences in their areas of research. According to ISI Web of Knowledge, our faculty member, D. Nualart, is among the 250 most cited mathematicians in the world.

Our interdisciplinary activities

We have strong links to other disciplines. Recent interdisciplinary work includes projects in biology, computer science, economics, engineering, geology, medicine, and physics. Such projects involve interactions with the KU Information and Telecommunication Technology Center, the KU Medical Center, the KU Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, the Kansas Geological Survey, and Sprint.

Our commitment to underrepresented groups

The mathematics department is committed to the recruiting and retention of female graduate students and students from underrepresented minority groups in mathematics. With seven tenure and tenure-track female faculty members in our department, we have one of the largest proportions of female faculty members in mathematics among peer research universities. Of all the Ph.D. graduates produced by our department since the year 2000, 30% are female. During the same period we graduated two Ph.D. students of Hispanic origin.

Practically all of our full-time graduate students are supported through a mix of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. We also have several forms of summer support, and some of our graduate students have had internships outside academia. In addition, we strongly encourage and financially support the participation of our students in summer workshops and the presentation of their research articles at professional meetings.

Recent Ph.D. Graduates

Our computer facilities

The computer facilities in our department are excellent. All our graduate students have computers in their offices as well as access to several computer labs. In addition, KU has connections to several supercomputer centers and data banks across the country and access to advanced information technology networks.

Our building and location

The mathematics department is in Snow Hall, a building that won a historic preservation award. Our recently remodeled offices provide ample, naturally illuminated, and appealing work space for our graduate students. Our physical location within the beautiful KU campus is very special too. We are atop a hill with spectacular views of the Kaw River valley and close to Lawrence's thriving, vibrant downtown.

If you would like further information, please contact us and take a few minutes to explore our website.


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One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times