Graduate Studies and Ph.D program in
Computational and Applied Mathematics
at Penn State: an Overview


Graduate studies in Computational and Applied Mathematics (CAM) prepare our students for careers in academic institutions, government, and industry.

CAM@PS is within the department of Mathematics at Penn State, and thus, any student pursuing Ph.D in CAM areas gets the doctoral degree in mathematics and thus must fullfil the Ph.D degree requirement set by the department and the graduate school. Yet, with regards to graduate training, CAM@PS recognizes the particular importance of interdisciplinary research in the modern era. Our faculty and research facilities and resources provide a unique, highly-interactive, stimulating and yet relaxed, study environment for our students.

A CAM student normally enters the program by taking the first year qualifying exam courses. Upon completing these year-long sequence courses, the student is required to pass the written qualifying exams in those subjects to officially enter the Ph.D program.

Due to the diverse background and differences in past training, some students may not have the necessary pre-requisite for some of the qualifying exam courses in the first year, there are other less advanced courses offered in the department to help them through the transition. On the other hand, more advanced students may be able to pass the exams upon arrival, in such case, they are exempted from taking the corresponding qualifying sequence courses.

Upon passing the quals, a Ph.D student then works under the supervision of some members of the CAM faculty on the Ph.D thesis research in any of the CAM research areas represented in the group.

While working on research problems, CAM student may continue to take more advanced courses offered in both mathematics department or in other disciplines to further enrich and broaden their knowledge base. Participating in the CAM related seminars and conferences/workshop outside campus are also important research activities.

Once a thesis topic is chosen and some promising progress is made, a student may take the oral comprehensive exam, normally administered by the student's thesis committee.

The last requirement before granting the Ph.D degree is the completion and the public defense of the Ph.D thesis. Before that, the student must fullfil the course, residence, and continuous registration requirements, along with the English competency certification.

CAM students also get a lot of advice and help from the CAM@PS group in their job seeking. Our recent CAM graduates have done very well in getting desirable positions after graduation.



For additional information, please contact individual CAM faculty or :
           Graduate Studies Office, Department of Mathematics
           224 McAllister Building, University Park, PA 16802
           (814) 865-7529, gradstudies@math.psu.edu

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