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Department of Mathematics & Statistics

MS 476, Math Sciences Building
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
T. 403.220.6299

Doctoral (PhD) Thesis-based

These requirements apply to any doctoral student admitted in Fall 2015 or thereafter. Students admitted prior to Fall 2015 are subject to the old program requirements.

The PhD is a full-time degree with an expected completion time of 4 years, typically requiring a Master's degree in the same or a closely related discipline.

For holders of a Master's degree, there is a requirement of 2 years of full-time study; for others it is 3 years.

Completion Time

The expected completion time for PhD students is 4 years. The maximum time allowed is 6 years.

Course Load

The course requirements for a PhD are determined on an individual basis and must include 8 half courses in the student’s combined MSc and PhD program in addition to MATH or STAT 600 seminar course which must be taken in the first or second year of the program.

Performance Level: Should maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 calculated on a 4-point scale at the end of each registration year and attain at least a B- on each course taken for credit.

Excellent students admitted to the Master's program may be admitted after the first year to the PhD program with three completed half-courses with a 3.7 GPA and Graduate Committee approval.  Such transfers are to be initiated by supervisors and are to include information about the student's research ability.

Advanced Credit

To receive advanced credit, you MUST apply at time of your application. Advanced credit may be granted for a graduate level course with a B grade or higher within the past 5 years from a recognized institution that is not part of another degree. Advanced credit may not to exceed 1/3 of your graduate program.

Required Courses

Course requirements are taken from the following lists of courses:

  • List A: Mathematics 601, 603, 605, 607 (Syllabi)
  • List B: Mathematics 617, 621, 625, 627, 631, 641, 661, 681, 685, Statistics 701 (Syllabi)
  • List C: Statistics 701, 703, 721, 723 (Syllabi)

Course requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy beyond those for a Master’s degree are determined on an individual basis, but the following rules apply: doctoral students must include eight graduate half-course equivalents in their total graduate program (MSc and PhD).  In addition:

a) Mathematics students must include at least five courses taken during their doctoral program at the University of Calgary. Two of these courses must come from List A and a third from List A or List B. All Ph.D. students must take MATH 600 (seminar course, which is on top of the course load) in either their 1st year or 2nd year. Students might be asked to take the seminar course more than once.

b) Statistics students must include three courses from List C. All Ph.D. students must take STAT 600 (seminar course, which is on top of the course load) in either their 1st year or 2nd year.  Students might be asked to take the seminar course more than once.

Additional Requirement

All Mathematics PhD students are required to give three invited or contributed presentations during their doctoral degree, not including presentations that are required as part of a graduate course or the 600 seminar course.


You must complete a thesis on a topic to be agreed to by you and your supervisor.

Required Examinations


Doctoral students must pass written Preliminary Examinations during first year but no later than eighteen months from the beginning of their doctoral programs and before the oral candidacy examination.

Mathematics PhD students must pass Preliminary exams on material for three courses, two of which must come from List A and the third from List A or List B.

Statistics PhD students must pass two Preliminary Exams, one in Statistics and the other in Probability.


  • At least three months before a PhD Oral Candidacy Examination, students must submit a research proposal (prepared by the student and approved by the supervisor) to the student's Supervisory Committee.  The Committee will inform the student of the material (topics, books, articles, etc) to be mastered for the Oral Candidacy Examination.  The material will be based upon the proposal, and will be agreed upon with the student.
  • Exam MUST be taken and passed no later than 28 months from start of the doctoral program. Students MUST have passed their written preliminary examinations and completed all course work before the exam can be scheduled.

More information can be found under the following links:


  • After completion of the thesis, students must pass a thesis oral examination.
  • Oral examination must be scheduled at least 4 weeks prior to date of oral exam.
  • Examiners must have a copy of the thesis at least 3 weeks prior to the date of oral exam
  • Final thesis oral examinations are open

More information can be found on the following Faculty of Graduate Studies websites: