Carnegie Mellon University

Ph.D. Programs

Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematical Sciences

Students seeking a Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences are expected to show a broad grasp of mathematics and demonstrate a genuine ability to do mathematical research. The Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematical Sciences is a traditional research degree, and its requirements are representative of all doctoral programs.

After being admitted to graduate status by the Department, a student seeking a Ph.D. must be admitted to candidacy for this degree by fulfilling the appropriate program requirements.

The most important requirement for the Ph.D. degree is timely completion and public defense of an original Ph.D. thesis. The Ph.D. thesis is expected to display depth and originality and be publishable by a refereed journal.

Doctor of Arts in Mathematical Sciences

The Doctor of Arts degree shares all requirements and standards with the Ph.D., except with regard to the thesis. The D.A. thesis is not expected to display the sort of original research required for a Ph.D. thesis, but rather to demonstrate an ability to organize, understand, and present mathematical ideas in a scholarly way, usually with sufficient innovation and worth to produce a publishable work. Whenever practical, the department provides D.A. candidates with the opportunity to use materials developed to teach a course. While a typical Ph.D. recipient will seek a position that has a substantial research component, the D.A. recipient will usually seek a position where research is not central.

Doctor of Philosophy in Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization (ACO)

This program is administered jointly by the Department of Mathematical Sciences, the Department of Computer Science, and the Tepper School of Business. It focuses on discrete mathematics and algorithmic issues arising in computer science and operations research, particularly the mathematical analysis of these issues. The participating units evaluate applicants separately. The requirements for this degree and information on participating faculty are available at the ACO page.

Doctor of Philosophy in Pure and Applied Logic (PAL)

This is an interdisciplinary program with faculty from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, the Department of Philosophy, and the School of Computer Science. The participating units evaluate applicants separately and set their own program requirements. Students who have been admitted to the PAL program, and who complete the requirements for the Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences with a thesis in the area of logic, can choose to receive either a Ph.D. in Pure and Applied Logic or a Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences. The choice of which degree to receive is usually based on the intended career path.