After admission to candidacy, and before submission of the Ph.D. thesis, students must pass a preliminary exam (Prelim). The Prelim can only be attempted twice and has to be completed within two years after admission to candidacy.
The purpose of the Prelim is to test the student's in-depth understanding of an area of mathematics which goes beyond any particular course. The Prelim is intended to check the student's mathematical maturity and knowledge, at a high level, in more than one area of concentration. This understanding is usually the consequence of several years of graduate studies. In particular, the exam is not intended to rehash tests given in other courses that the student took.
Prelims are individually tailored by the student's Ph.D. committee with the approval of the Departmental Graduate Committee, and the procedure to set up a preliminary exam is as follows. At least two semesters prior to the desired target date for the exam, the student's Ph.D. committee submits to the Departmental Graduate Committee a detailed plan of courses and reading material the student has completed and is planning to complete in preparation for the Prelim. The exam is conducted by the student's Ph.D. committee and one representative from the Departmental Graduate Committee.
For information contact:
Prof. Yuan Wang, Graduate Director
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades RD
Boca Raton, FL 33431