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Theses & dissertations
- University of Arizona Electronic Theses and Dissertations UA Libraries' open-access database of dissertations and theses submitted through the Graduate College by UA students (2005- ), Masters' reports from Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (2003- ), Honor's theses (2008- ), and some digitized dissertations and theses from earlier years.
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- Last Updated: Jan 4, 2023 12:15 AM
- URL: https://libguides.library.arizona.edu/arc101
LPL Grad Site
All About the Dissertation and the Defense
See the official LPL documents: PHD Requirements and PHD Procedures, the latest versions of which are posted on the Documents for Current & Prospective Students page.
UA forms are available on the Graduate Student Academic Services page.
You're finishing up your time here at LPL, and now it's time to write everything up. Maybe you're doing the "staple 3 papers together" route. Or perhaps you're writing one cohesive document. Either way, work with your dissertation advisor to figure out the best way to present what you have worked on as a graduate student to your committee and the public.
Before starting to write, you should consider whether or not you want to use Microsoft Word or LaTeX. Either system has its advantages and disadvantages, and there are templates in both formats, so in the end, you should use whatever software you have the most experience with and feel the most comfortable using. You should also be mindful of the formatting requirements for your dissertation that are published by the Graduate College.
If you want to use LaTeX, be aware that previous graduate students have maintained a LaTeX template that automatically does a lot of the work regarding these formatting requirements for you. That way, you can mostly just concentrate on writing. A copy of the running template from before Summer 2022 is available in the UA Thesis 2022 (ZIP) for archiving and for those who are still using this format. Sam Myers also reworked the entire template to follow the modern university guidelines including a new approval page and land acknowledgments. The newer UA Thesis (ZIP, updated Jan. 2024) is fully commented and uses simpler LaTeX commands for ease of use. (If you have trouble, please ask the current *TeX grad rep for help!) A Microsoft Word template and example pages are available from UA on the Sample Pages page and Sam has also made a Word Thesis Template (ZIP) that mirrors the LaTeX template.
The LPL library has copies of dissertations from past students, and often times these are valuable resources in following some sort of precedent in how dissertations are organized, layout of chapters, figures, etc.
Dissertations & Theses : Grad college samples, manual, etc
Sample Pages : Sample pages and templates
Stupid little things they won't tell you until later and you'll wish you knew earlier (updated 5/12/2022):
- Roman numerals are not allowed as page numbers.
- Your name should match what is in GradPath
- The Author Statement is removed in the latest LaTeX template version
- The above is included in the latest LaTeX template version, just update the name of the pdf
- LaTeX template tip: pdfpages is great for importing co-author papers into appendices
- Check on copyright issues if you do add journal reprints.
- D-1 year: Do you have a job/postdoc yet? You should be thinking about this a ~year before you defend! See Advice and Tips for Getting a Job/Postdoc and Non-Academic Career Information .
- D-1 year (or maybe already ongoing): Make a schedule for your path to defending. Here's a general example, modify it for your specific situation: Dissertation Schedule (PDF)
- Talk to Amy, let her know your timeline, and make sure you've completed all the requirements before proceeding. Keep in touch with her about what bureaucratic steps are next, deadlines, forms, etc.
- Reserve room 309 on LARS for the date your committee agreed to.
- D-6 months: Committee Appointment Form should be filled out on UAccess .
- Write the dissertation. Send out chapter drafts to your committee members. Keep them in the loop. Maybe they'll read it, maybe they'll skim it, maybe they can't get to it. Either way, it will only make your revisions easier.
- You may want to ask each committee member to acknowledge receipt of your dissertation. There's a good chance you won't hear back from them otherwise to confirm that you fulfilled this requirement.
- Send lots of reminders to your committee for the date, time, and place of your defense.
- D-7 business days: The "real deadline" : 7 business days before your defense date, the form entitled "Announcement of Final Oral Examination" is due to the Graduate College. You fill this out on GradPath and submit it online. Try to get this form submitted at least 2 weeks before your defense date.
- This is normally 30–45 min. long, plus time for questions. Check with your advisor in advance about the length, though — you don't want a last-minute misunderstanding about how long it's supposed to be (this actually happened...).
- Important Degree Dates and Deadlines from grad college.
Grad college instructions: Final Defense Instructions (PDF)
There are two parts to your defense:
- A public section which is open and advertised to the University community. This is a 30–45 minute presentation in which you outline the key aspects of your work.
- A closed section in which your dissertation committee grills you yet again. You will be expected to defend your research and to consider the impact of your work on other areas of planetary sciences.
- You need two copies and get everyone's original signatures on both at the end.
After the Defense
After your defense, relax and celebrate a job well done. Then get back to work:
- See the Grad college form Doctoral Post-Defense Instructions (PDF) on the Graduate Student Academic Services page.
- Revisions: Make sure you implement whatever revisions your committee requests by the deadline imposed by the Graduate College in order to graduate that same semester.
- Turn in your dissertation electronically to the Graduate College.
- Print 2 paper copies to the LPL library for archiving.
- Make sure your advisor fills out the Results of Final Oral Defense Form.
- Email Amy to tell her the above has been done.
Welcome to the UA Campus Repository , a service of the University of Arizona Libraries. The repository shares, archives and preserves unique digital materials from faculty, staff, students and affiliated contributors. Visit our About page to learn more about the types of digital materials we accept and our policies.
If you need to archive research datasets to meet data retention and sharing requirements from the university, funders, or journals, visit ReDATA , The University of Arizona's Research Data Repository.
You can contact our repository team at any time using our Feedback Form or by emailing us directly at [email protected].
- Rangeland Ecology and Management Vol. 71 (2018) and Tree-Ring Research Vol. 74 (2018) are now publicly available in the repository.
- Posters from the 2023 Poverty in Tucson Field Workshops are now publicly available in the repository.
- Fall 2023 Honors College Theses are now publicly available in the repository.
- The State Operating Budget FY23 (UA Budget) is now publicly available in the repository.
- Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law , Volume 40 Issue 2 (2023) is now publicly available in the repository.
- Pharmacy Student Research Projects from 2023 are now available in the repository.
- Senior capstone theses and posters from the Sustainable Built Environments program are now available in the repository.
- Articles from the October 2023 International Telemetering Conference are now available in the repository.
- Fall 2023 MS-GIST Reports are now publicly available in the repository.
- The 2023 issue of you are here: the journal of creative geography is now available in the repository.
- Pharmacy Student Research Projects from 2021 & 2022 are now available in the repository.
See more featured submissions
Communities in the UA Campus Repository
Select a community to browse its collections.
Mathas, toward understanding the public religious, educational, and political ascetic institution in South Asian religions
Leveraging virtual reality to understand human spatial navigation, accuracy of an objective binocular automated phoropter for providing spectacle prescriptions.
Connected Community Classification (C3): Development, Validation, and Geospatial Application for Population Health Promotion and Equity
Cultural and translation challenges in assessing health literacy among immigrants from the former soviet union, export search results.
The export option will allow you to export the current search results of the entered query to a file. Different formats are available for download. To export the items, click on the button corresponding with the preferred download format.
By default, clicking on the export buttons will result in a download of the allowed maximum amount of items.
To select a subset of the search results, click "Selective Export" button and make a selection of the items you want to export. The amount of items that can be exported at once is similarly restricted as the full export.
After making a selection, click one of the export format buttons. The amount of items that will be exported is indicated in the bubble next to export format.
Access physical and digital materials at the library.
Books that Matter
Anti-racist social justice bookshelf at Main Library, 2nd floor. For checkout or in-person browsing.
Latin American Weekly Report
Behind-the-scenes briefing on all the week's key developments throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Artists' Books: Photography + Imagination
Online exhibit from Special Collections that celebrates the history of these books and their makers, printers and designers.
PhD in Information
Phd in information, unleash your research prowess and shape the future of information as you work with top data and information science faculty..
Find out how the UArizona PhD is the right program for you:
Academic Units Required
Next Application Deadline
Full Funding Available for Qualified Students
The University of Arizona PhD in Information prepares students to excel as researchers and thought leaders in academia, government and industry.
Offered on campus, the PhD in Information is typically completed in five years , requiring 54 units for primary work plus 9-15 units for the PhD minor.
The School of Information is committed to creating an inclusive intellectual space for all, irrespective of background or characteristics, and we seek a wide range of students with diverse research interests and experiences , including machine learning, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, virtual/mixed reality, game development, immersive technologies, new media and internet studies, human-computer interaction, digital curation, archival studies and the future of work.
As the state's only member of the iSchools consortium , we foster interdisciplinary understanding, preparing students for advanced information and data careers as professors, scientists, consultants, directors and more.
"The PhD in Information at the University of Arizona offers the perfect union of history, mathematics, programming, causal inference, formalizing language, teaching and logic." Salena Torres Ashton, PhD in Information '25
ADMISSIONS & FUNDING
The annual application deadline for all students is:
- Fall 2024: January 20, 2024
The iSchool successfully supports all PhD students in securing funding, including full tuition plus a stipend for living expenses, through at least four years of the program.
CURRICULUM & DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
Offered on campus, the PhD in Information consists of:
- 36 credits of major coursework
- 9 to 15 credits of minor coursework
- 18 dissertation credits
The program includes research methods, graduate seminars, directed research, elective courses, dissertation research, comprehensive exams and dissertation proposal and defense.
Research at the iSchool
Our faculty and PhD students are engaged in research around all aspects of the information sciences without regard for disciplinary boundaries.
- Information collections, libraries, databases, archives and ethics
- Machine learning, artificial intelligence and algorithmic thinking
- Applied natural language processing
- Virtual reality, video game design and human-computer interaction
- Biological informatics
- Data science, social network analysis and computational social science
- Social science and internet studies
- Internet of things
Learn More and View Faculty
RESEARCH CENTERS & LABS
- Center for Digital Society and Data Studies
- Biosemantics Research Group
- Computational Language Understanding Laboratory
- Digital Storytelling and Oral History Laboratory
- Extended Reality and Games Laboratory
- Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
- Metadata Analytics Laboratory
- The co/lab: Critical Archives and Curation Collaborative
Learn More and View Centers & Labs
Our innovative, interdisciplinary doctoral program prepares students for positions in research-intensive institutions in academic, corporate, nonprofit and governmental fields.
ISCHOOL PHD STUDENTS
The PhD in Information hosts a diverse mix of interdisciplinary, research-focused students who come from across the U.S. and around the world to study information science at Arizona's iSchool.
Are you ready to shape the future of information?
Learn more about the PhD in Information by contacting us at [email protected] or begin your application today:
Start Your Application
Theses and Dissertations completed after Spring, 2006. are available as pdf files click on PDF after the title.
Search by first letter of author's last name..
- Applebaum, Steven. 1975 Geology of the Palo Verde Ranch Area, Owl Head Mining District, Pinal Co., Ariz. 2 copies U PDF Fig. 2
- Barter, Charles F. 1962 Geology of the Owl Head mining district, Pinal County, Arizona M.S. 73p. PDF Plate 1
- Durning, William Perry 1972 Geology and mineralization of Little Hill mines area, northern Santa Catalina Mountains, Pinal County, Arizona M.S. 2 copies 91p. PDF Durning Fig. 3 Durning Fig. 4 Durning Fig. 21 Durning Fig. 39
- Gross, Michael P. 1969 Mineralization & Alteration In the Greaterville District, Pima Co., Ariz. M.S. (2nd.Copy) 2 copies U PDF Gross Fig. 3 Gross Fig. 12B Gross Fig. 16
- Robinson, Donald James 1975 Interpretation of gravity anomaly data from the Aravaipa valley area, Graham and Pinal Counties, Arizona M.S. 57p. PDF Robinson Fig. 3 Robinson Fig. 4 Robinson Fig. 9 Robinson Fig. 10 Robinson Fig. 11
- Request Information
Archiving the Master's Thesis
Thesis archiving requirement.
Master’s theses present significant research by students and are a vital part of the University of Arizona’s academic contributions. A master’s student who completes a thesis is required to submit the final approved thesis for archiving. Archiving does not preclude publication by other methods. Successful master's candidates are also encouraged to submit thesis material for publication in scholarly or professional journals. Suitable acknowledgment must indicate the publication to be a thesis, or portion of a thesis, submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master's degree at the University of Arizona.
The instructions below apply to students who completed a Thesis (course number 910) as a requirement for a master’s degree. They do not apply to a master’s report completed under course number 909.
The master's degree for a student completing a thesis will not be awarded until the Graduate College receives and accepts the thesis submission with the supporting forms (see the submission steps below and Steps to Archiving Your Thesis ).
Thesis Submission Deadline
All requirements for the master's degree, including the submission of the final, approved thesis for archiving, must be completed by the published deadline for graduation in that semester or term. The submitted thesis must be the final thesis approved by the thesis committee with no edits or revisions remaining.
Instructions for Thesis Archiving
All master's theses will be archived both with ProQuest/UMI in their national archive of dissertations and theses and in the University of Arizona Campus Repository maintained by the UA Library. The thesis submitted for archiving must be the final thesis as approved by the student’s thesis committee.
Submitting the Thesis for Archiving
- Please submit your thesis through the submission site maintained by ProQuest/UMI: www.etdadmin.com/arizona . You will begin by creating your submission profile. Be sure to use your “@arizona.edu” e-mail address in the submission profile.
- Follow instructions on site to complete submission of thesis.
- Submit your signed Distribution Rights form to the Graduate Student Academic Services office in the Graduate College. (See below for details about these forms.) You may deliver these forms to the Administration Building, Room 316, fax it to (520) 621-4101, or scan and e-mail them to your Degree Counselor .
- You will receive a confirmation e-mail when your thesis has been accepted. The thesis will be added to both the ProQuest/UMI archive and the UA Campus Repository . (There may be a delay of a few weeks before the thesis will be available from ProQuest/UMI.) Any corrections post publication may incur a fee.
Restricting Access to your Thesis (Embargo Option)
If you do not want your thesis to be available to the public, you may deposit it in the archives with a temporary or permanent embargo on distribution. You may specify any length of time for which you want your thesis restricted from public access. An embargo requested from ProQuest while making your submission will also be observed by the UA Campus Repository.
Not sure whether to make your thesis immediately available online? Read more about reasons to release or embargo your thesis .
Thesis Approval Pages
- Option 1: Your Graduate Coordinator will use Adobe Sign to gather signatures for your approval page. Once the chair/co-chairs and committee members have all signed, you will include that signed approval page as page 2 in your dissertation.
- Option 2: If your chair/co-chairs and committee members prefer to physically sign your approval page at the final defense, please follow these instructions:
- Download the sample to prepare your approval page. Be sure to use the correct version, depending on whether you have one thesis chair or co-chairs. Type your name, thesis title and names of the members who will participate on your thesis defense committee. Use your defense date as the date for the signature lines.
- Print out a hard copy to take to your thesis defense and get the signatures of all your committee members. Your Thesis Chair Co-Chairs will need to sign the form twice (as a member and as chair/co-chair). If a committee member or chair attends the defense remotely, scan the page, have them sign and send back to you.
- When all signatures are received, scan the signed approval page and email it to your Graduate College Degree Counselor. Keep the original for your records. DO NOT add to ETD ProQuest as a supplementary file.
- Once you receive the approval page back with the UA watermark, insert the page into your thesis as page 2.
Distribution Rights Form
You will prepare and sign the Distribution Rights form to grant permission to the UA Campus Repository to store your thesis. If you have requested an embargo on public access to your thesis, you should list the date for permission to publish the thesis consistent with the date you agree to make the thesis publicly available. Email the signed Distribution Rights form to your Degree Counselor in the Graduate Student Academic Services office.
Archiving with ProQuest and the UA Campus Repository is free of charge.
However, if you elect Open Access publishing through ProQuest/UMI, you will pay an additional fee directly to ProQuest. By paying the Open Access fee, you enable ProQuest/UMI to make your thesis available at no cost to readers. Note that all theses are available free from the University of Arizona Campus Repository regardless of your publishing option with ProQuest/UMI.
You may elect to have ProQuest/UMI file for a copyright for your thesis in your name. You can find more information on our About Copyrighting web page . If you choose to file the copyright for your thesis, ProQuest will charge you the copyrighting fee directly. Please note that once you make your online submission, you will NOT be able to change your copyrighting decision.
Requests for Technical Help while Submitting your Thesis
Technical assistance with submissions available at http://www.etdadmin.com/cgi-bin/main/support .
Please refer to the Thesis Formatting Guide for our formatting guidelines and our site providing sample pages of the standard thesis title page and approval page. You can contact your Degree Counselor in the Graduate College with any questions about thesis formatting.
Graduate Exit Survey
After submitting your thesis, please complete the Graduate College Exit Survey . Your feedback assists the Graduate College in improving graduate education for all students.
Doctoral Program (Ph.D.)
General overview of the ph.d. degree.
The Ph.D. program is designed to provide students with advanced coursework and substantive research experience to prepare graduates to be the leaders in industry and academia. There is an emphasis on producing original work to present at conferences or published in peer-reviewed journals. Students who successfully complete the Ph.D. program go on to take leadership, entrepreneurial, and scholarly positions.
PhD students progress through four phases in their study. Initially, students are required to begin coursework while identifying a faculty mentor to serve as their research advisor. As students progress in coursework and research, they will be evaluated each semester on their progress towards their Qualifying Exam by the completion of a Portfolio (initially evaluated in the 3rd semester and completed by their 5th semester). Students are required to complete a minor either as a CS internal minor or in another degree program at the UA (see PhD Planning Sheet ). As research progresses and coursework is completed, students next identify their committee and propose their dissertation work during their Comprehensive Exam , completed by their 7th semester. Finally, once students complete their research, they will defend their Dissertation .
Progress Through the Degree
Students should become familiar with the Graduate College Policies and CSC Graduate Program Policies and refer to them throughout the program. Submission of Ph.D. GradPath Forms are required throughout the program starting with the first semester.
Students are evaluated for satisfactory progress every fall and spring semester. Semesters are counted from when students enter the Ph.D. program. The table below indicates when evaluations take place, along with what benchmarks are used to determine satisfactory progress.
The table below shows what the ideal progression through the Ph.D. program looks like. View the Ph.D. Curriculum for a more in-depth look at the required courses.
Note: The timeline can be shifted earlier; shifting later requires approval of faculty.
*Students may elect to replace one elective course in the major and up to two courses in the internal minor with independent studies (CSC 599/699).
**4th minor course only required if minor requires four courses.
***Students cannot register for 920 until they pass their comp exam.
Ph. D. Requirements
In addition to the information on this page, the Mathematics Graduate Program Handbook provides comprehensive policies regarding satisfactory progress towards satisfying the Ph.D. requirements. Students should refer to the graduate catalog, available on the Graduate College website , for more details on graduate college requirements for PhD candidates.
Graduate Students are expected to follow the policies and procedures for both the UA Graduate College and for the Department of Mathematics. Policies are updated frequently and it is the student’s responsibility to comply with current policies. Graduate College policies can be viewed on-line at https://grad.arizona.edu/new-and-current-students ; university policies can be found at https://catalog.arizona.edu/ .
Students are required to complete 36 units of graduate credit in the major and 12 units in a supporting minor, which may be declared in Mathematics, although outside minors are encouraged. Units may not be counted towards both the major and minor. In addition, 18 units of dissertation (Math 920) must be completed. Students cannot register for 920 until they have passed their oral comprehensive exam. This rule can be waived by the Associate Head for the Graduate Program in exceptional circumstances.
Traditional Core Courses
For each of the traditional core courses, Algebra, Real Analysis, and Geometry–Topology, students must either take the course and receive a grade of B or better in both semesters or earn a high pass on the corresponding written qualifying exam. The material in these courses is essential knowledge for all mathematicians, and it is assumed in all further advanced course work in the department.
Further Mathematics Coursework
Two year-long Mathematics course sequences that are not dual-numbered and are not part of the required core of algebra, real analysis, and geometry-topology are required. Students should seek advice on appropriate courses from their advisor (if they have one already), faculty in the area in which they plan to do research or the director of the graduate program. For many students Complex Analysis is a good choice for one of these sequences.
Outside of Department Courses or Internship
Students who entered prior to Fall 2022 , unless they elect to adopt the new Community and Professional Development requirement (see below), must take two courses (6 units) outside the mathematics department. These may be applied toward the minor, if appropriate. The spirit of this requirement is that students should learn to communicate with and appreciate the perspectives of users and producers of mathematics in other disciplines. The requirement may either be satisfied by either taking two courses (6 units) outside the Mathematics Department or by doing an internship.
Courses which fulfill this requirement should (a) have significant content in mathematics or mathematics education; and (b) not be substantially equivalent to courses in the mathematics department. We maintain a list of a priori acceptable courses . For courses not on this list students should ask the Associate Head for the Graduate Program if they would fulfill the requirement. A priori unacceptable courses include those cross listed in mathematics or taught by a mathematics faculty member. An exception is that courses offered by the math department in mathematics education may be used to satisfy the outside course requirement by students whose dissertation is not in mathematics education.
An internship with a company or government lab may satisfy this requirement if it involves mathematics in a significant way. Students should consult with the Associate Head for the Graduate Program before such an internship to see if it would satisfy the requirement. The student's internship supervisor may be asked to provide documentation of the amount and mathematical nature of the work involved in the internship.
Students who entered the program Fall 2022 or later are encouraged but not required to take out-of-department courses or internships. If taken, these may be applied towards their course units and/or Professional Development requirements (see G2. Professional Development Requirements).
The University requires that PhD students declare a minor. PhD students in mathematics may declare their minor in mathematics or in a supporting discipline. Requirements for the minor are determined by the minor department. Up to 12 units of course work may be in the minor. Students contemplating a minor other than Mathematics should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies and their thesis advisor regarding the suitability of their plans. Typical minors include Statistics, Computer Science, Education, Physics, and Applied Mathematics, though others may be considered.
Program of study
The Plan of Study should be completed after the student has passed their qualifying exams. Each student must present a coherent collection of courses in which the work outside of Mathematics is related to part of the studies in Mathematics. There are many such possibilities, including: algebra, and computer science or discrete methods in operations research; probability, and statistics or reliability/quality control; numerical mathematics, and computer science or computational science; mathematical foundations and history, and education; analysis, and physics or optics; etc.
Graduate Faculty Advisor
All students in the Mathematics Ph.D. program are required to have a Graduate Faculty Advisor (also called Major Professor) in order to maintain Satisfactory Progress. First year students should select a faculty advisor and have it approved by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). If the student cannot find an advisor, the DGS will work with the student to appoint one. Students may change their advisor in consultation with the DGS at any time. Once an advisor is chosen, the student will inform the Graduate Coordinator. By the time a student starts to prepare for their Comprehensive Exam, it is expected that the chair of Comprehensive Committee will take over the role of Graduate Faculty Advisor will It is typical for the Dissertation Advisor to serve as Graduate Faculty Advisor once the research area is selected. The primary responsibilities of a Graduate Faculty Advisor include:
1. Be a source of academic information for their graduate students
2. Provide assistance with details in determining the Plan of Study
3. Be proficient in inputting, managing, and approving forms in GradPath as needed to assure smooth progression to final degree
4. Meet periodically with their students and provide regular, timely input to determine academic progress. This may include review of Plan of Study and Prospectus as prepared by the student.
When selecting the Graduate Faculty Advisor, the student should contact the faculty member to discuss expectations for both the faculty member and the student. The two shall meet throughout the academic year and at the end of each semester the student will complete the end of year conversation form to discuss with the advisor. A survey will be filled out at least twice yearly to report progress to the Graduate Office.
Research Tutorial Groups
Students must enroll in MATH 596G and complete a research tutorial group (RTG) project starting in the spring semester of their first or second year of enrollment. In the spring, MATH 596G is a one-unit course in which faculty members present short lecture series on research topics of current interest. In the following fall, students choose one of the proposed topics and work with the corresponding faculty member on a research project. This project and a presentation of it at the end of the fall semester is the basis for three more units of credit in MATH 596G. The RTG project is meant to be an early introduction to research in mathematics and forms part of the evaluation of the qualifying exam.
The qualifying examination is based on the following assessment options:
- A written exam in algebra
- A written exam in analysis
- A written exam in geometry and topology
- An MS thesis
Students must attempt at least three assessment options. Two of the assessments must be chosen from the traditional core exams (the first three options). Each written exam is offered in August and January. There is no limit to the number of attempts for the written exams. Students may attempt more than three assessment options. Students with prior preparation may attempt the examinations upon entrance to the program, or after one semester.
Each of the options has three possible grades: fail, pass, and high pass. In general, a grade of high pass indicates the student is ready to go on to advanced course work and to prepare the comprehensive exam. For the MS thesis option the meaning of pass is that the thesis is acceptable for the MS degree. The meaning of high pass is that the quality of the thesis indicates the student is capable of PhD level work. The thesis need not contain original work, but the quality should indicate that the student has the potential for such work. The grade for the MS thesis is determined by the thesis committee. Prior to scheduling your thesis defense, you will need to get your MS committee approved by submitting the Committee Approval form to the Graduate Office. Once your committee is approved, you will need to print out the Results of the MS thesis form and take this to your thesis defense for a final grade. Both forms can be found on the forms page on our website .
The written exams in algebra, analysis and geometry/topology cover material from the traditional core courses, Algebra (MATH 511A-B), Real Analysis (MATH 523A-B), and Topology–Geometry (MATH 534A-B). They also include a small amount of undergraduate level material. For the algebra exam this undergraduate material is from linear algebra. For the analysis exam it is from rigorous advanced calculus. For the geometry/topology exam it is from undergraduate complex analysis. Short lists of topics on the exams and copies of recent examinations are available on the web .
To successfully complete the Ph.D. qualifying examination, a student is expected to obtain a result of high pass in two of the assessment options and a result of pass or high pass in a third. The Graduate Committee will be responsible for making the final determination as to whether the student has successfully completed the Ph.D. qualifying examination and may take into account all factors relating to the student's work.
Students must successfully complete the qualifying exams before the end of their sixth semester to continue in the PhD program.
The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to determine whether the student has mastered the necessary general and specialized knowledge required to carry out dissertation research. The comprehensive exam has written and oral parts. To complete the written part, students write a short paper which may give an account of a research problem of interest, a significant example, or significant computations. The written part must be approved by the examining committee, which consists of a minimum of 4 tenured or tenure-track faculty, at least two weeks before the oral examination. The oral examination consists of a representation by the student, typically lasting one hour, followed by questions from the examining committee.
As part of the comprehensive examination, students are encouraged to prepare a detailed plan for the last years of their program. This plan should include a discussion of courses to take, seminars to participate in, faculty beyond the dissertation advisor to interact with, and possibly conferences to attend and professional development activities to undertake.
The Oral Comprehensive Examination is primarily, but not exclusively, on material in the area of concentration. The examination covers background material for the general area together with advanced references in a more specific sub-specialty.
After completing the comprehensive exam, students are expected to prepare a prospectus in consultation with their advisor. The prospectus is a detailed plan for the last years of their program. This plan should include a discussion of the research being undertaken as well as courses to take, seminars to participate in, faculty beyond the dissertation advisor to interact with, and possibly conferences to attend and professional development activities to undertake. Students must complete a departmental approval form.
G1. Professional Development Requirements (for students entering prior to Fall 2022)
PhD students must complete two professional development requirements chosen from this list:
- a foreign language requirement,
- a computing requirement, and
- a communication skills requirement.
Details of each requirement are given below. The requirements have been designed so that to a great extent they should be satisfiable by activities that would normally be undertaken by any good PhD student. The need for foreign language and computing skills varies considerably among fields of mathematics and so students should consult with their advisors on which requirements would be the best choice. Advisors may also suggest that students complete more than the minimum of two of these requirements. Students are urged to complete the professional development requirements as early in their programs as possible. In all cases, they must be completed before advancement to candidacy.
Foreign Language Requirement
A substantial portion of the mathematical literature is written in languages other than English, principally French, German, and Russian. Knowledge of Spanish is important for some fields of Mathematics Education. Being able to read and accurately translate these texts is a valuable skill in Mathematics and Mathematics Education research.
In order to fulfill the foreign language requirement, students will demonstrate their abilities to read and accurately translate mathematical texts in French, German, or Russian, (or, for students in Mathematics Eduction, texts relevant to that field in Spanish) by passing an examination given by a faculty member approved by the graduate committee. The student will prepare a careful, written translation of a text chosen by the examining faculty member (typically 5–10 pages) in a limited amount of time (typically 48–72 hours), with the aid of a dictionary and language reference works, but without the assistance of computers or other people. As a minimum standard, the translation must be mathematically accurate. We maintain a list of approved examiners .
Grading of language examinations is a significant burden on faculty and students should not make frivolous attempts to pass the examination without sufficient preparation. Faculty members may administer an oral “pre-test” to gauge whether the student appears to be prepared for the examination.
Results of foreign language examinations should be communicated to the graduate office by the examining faculty member using the language examination form .
Machine computation is an increasingly important component of mathematical research. Students for whom such computation will be relevant should master the needed programming skills and software packages during their graduate careers.
To fulfill the computing requirement, students should demonstrate their mastery of the relevant skills by carrying out a significant computing project under the supervision of a mathematics faculty member. This project might be tied to course work, the student's MS thesis, or his or her dissertation research. The precise nature of the project will be determined by the student and the sponsoring faculty member, but projects must have substantial mathematical content and should typically involve the following aspects of computing:
- formatted input and output
- appropriate use of data structures and algorithms
- use of structured programming techniques, possibly including calls to externally provided subroutines or functions.
Projects may be written in a standard programming language such as C or Fortran, or may use software packages such as Matlab, Maple, GAP or Pari.
At the conclusion of the project, working code and documentation must be made available on the department's web site. The completion of the requirement should be communicated to the graduate office by the sponsoring faculty member using the computing examination form .
Communication Skills Requirement
The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing and to audiences of varying levels of sophistication, is essential to a successful career in industry, research, or teaching. The communication skills requirement gives students an opportunity to develop their capabilities in a variety of directions. To complete the requirement students must:
- prepare a basic web page containing information on the student's research, teaching, and other professional activities and make this page available on the department's web site
- prepare a professional CV and post it on the web site
- write articles or proposals and give lectures or presentations for audiences of various levels of sophistication so that at least one activity occurs in each row of the following table of examples. At least one of these activities must be verbal, and at least one must be written.
The entries in the table are meant to be illustrative and do not exhaust the possibilities. Written components should use TeX or other scientific text processing software. Verbal components may involve the use of such technologies as overheard transparencies or presentation software. Each component must be sponsored by a faculty member who will review the text or presentation and provide constructive feedback. When the sponsoring faculty member is satisfied with a student's performance on a component of the requirement, this fact should be communicated to the graduate office using the communication skills progress form .
G2. Professional Development Requirements (for students entering Fall 2022 or later or who opt in)
Students entering Fall 2022 or later will be subject to the following professional development requirements. Students who entered prior to Fall 2022 have the option of following these requirements or the requirements in the handbook listed under “Professional Development Requirements prior to Fall 2022.” Students who wish to use the new requirements must formally “opt in.” Note that those who opt in to the new requirements will be exempt from both the prior Professional Development requirement (G1) and the out-of-department course requirement. These requirements are to be reviewed again during the 2024-2025 academic year.
Context: Students graduating from the Mathematics PhD programs move on to many different careers, including those in the academic, industrial, and government fields. In each of these fields, it is essential that applicants have more skills than those developed singularly through PhD research and teaching. Successful applicants to academic positions must be able to contribute to multiple axes of the academic endeavor, including mentoring, service, and leadership. Successful applicants to industrial positions must be able to work in teams with both their supervisors and colleagues and be able to communicate effectively with stakeholders. It is notable that most recently there has been a significant trend among graduating PhD students away from academic positions and toward industry regardless of the field of mathematical study.
Purpose: The overarching goal of these requirements is to help students develop into well-rounded individuals who will gain important skills and competencies that will help them be competitive toward multiple career paths.
The goal of professional development and community development requirements are to develop important “soft skills” necessary for future employment and job success. These include, but are not limited to communication, teamwork, critical thinking, organization, networking, problem solving, and leadership. Many of these are interpersonal skills which require interaction with people outside the mathematics community. Professional and community development are done throughout one’s career. The goal of the professional development requirement is to set a precedent for students to become lifelong learners toward bettering themselves as professionals. The goal of the community development requirement is to set a precedent for students to engage in their communities and work to improve them.
Requirements: In order to help balance and guide students through this process and create an individualized experience that allows students to handle changing circumstances throughout their time in the program, students will work with advisors each year to plan and assess the amount of work to be devoted to professional development and community development each year. For instance, if a student serves as an officer in an organization that takes significant time one year, it may be prudent to do community development with a lower time commitment the following year. Some years require more time to devote to studies (such as during qualifying exams or when finishing a dissertation), and this should be taken into consideration when planning, and also revisited during the year if changes need to be made. The student-advisor relationship will be relied upon to ensure that the student is able to complete these activities taking into account any mental or physical limitations such as anxiety, and to ensure students find a program that promotes their development without getting in the way of other necessary pieces of the graduate program such as exams and defenses.
Students will discuss a plan for community development and professional development at the beginning of each year and touch base with their advisor through the year with updates. It is expected that students will explore a few areas of work with the community (each with a low time commitment) in their initial years and then take a leadership role in later years in one or more areas of their choice. This will provide a wealth of different experiences and help the students develop a narrative for use in later job applications and interviews. Professional and community development activities may be paid; being paid does not preclude them from being considered as professional development or community development requirements for the year. The advisor and the student will need to agree on use of such requirements. It is generally expected that the time commitment for all of these requirements averages no more than 1-2 hours per week, and any commitments that will be longer (for instance, taking an out-of-department course) should be specifically discussed in this context as to whether it is a good plan for the student.
The Graduate Committee will review all plans each Fall semester in order to ensure that the plans are not too onerous on the student and satisfy the spirit of the requirements as stated above.
The following constitute the requirements:
Professional development requirement
Professional development is required yearly after year 1. In jobs, this is sometimes called training and sometimes people get certification. Possible examples are:
Community development requirement:
It is expected that the student will start to take leadership roles in the later years of their program. Here are several communities that may be considered:
Broader Impact requirement :
All National Science Foundation grants require the applicants to describe BOTH the proposal’s “Intellectual Merit” and “Broader Impact.” Intellectual Merit is the scientific content, and the research work would satisfy this piece. Broader Impacts are areas that benefit society. All students are expected to participate in at least one Broader Impact activity prior to completion of the PhD, which will likely come from the community and/or professional development activities. Some possible areas of broader impacts could be:
At the end of each year, students will be evaluated in terms of the amount and quality of their community development and professional development and create recommendations for the following year. Part of this procedure will require keeping a current CV and writing a short narrative (not a list) on their community development and professional development activities as well as broader impact efforts. The evaluation will take place in the yearly Career Conversations between the Student and their Advisor, to be submitted to the Graduate Office. Professional and community development for the year will be evaluated at Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, or Unsatisfactory. Students with fewer than four years of Satisfactory community and professional development will need to petition for completion of the requirements and may be asked to remediate. The broader impact requirement can be satisfied at any time and completion will be submitted via form to the Director of Graduate Studies.
Advancement to Candidacy
A student may advance to candidacy once they have completed all program requirements other than the dissertation. Students must advance to candidacy at least one semester prior to their dissertation defense. Failure to do so will delay the date of the dissertation defense.
The dissertation is a polished written account of a substantial new contribution to the mathematical sciences, publishable in a reputable journal. It is evaluated by an internal committee of at least 4 members who must be tenured or tenure-track faculty members or approved as equivalent by the Graduate College. One member may come from the minor department. Otherwise the members must be from the Mathematics Department. (Exceptions to this last rule may be granted by the Graduate Committee.) The dissertation committee approves the dissertation after a final oral defense. Students must give a copy of the dissertation to each member of the committee at least four weeks prior to the oral defense. Students have the option of also including an external reviewer who is not on the faculty of the University of Arizona. The inclusion of such an outside reviewer can provide the student with valuable feedback as well as help make the student's research known outside the local community. Students should register for Math 920 while working on their dissertation. The Graduate College requires 18 units of Math 920.
Students are encouraged to form their dissertation committee as soon as possible after the comprehensive exam. Requirements for how often this committee must meet may be found in the handbook .
The dissertation is by far the most important component of the PhD program and its quality and originality will have a major impact on the beginning of the student's professional career. Writing a quality dissertation should be the student's top priority.
Final Oral Examination
The final oral examination is a presentation and defense of the student's dissertation; the first part of the exam is open to the public.
The following gives an example of how students might schedule their coursework, community & professional development, teaching, and other milestones. It is meant to be a guideline and not prescriptive.
Note that underlined items are possible Broader Impact activities.
Typical electives by research area (important core courses are in parentheses):
Ph.D. Degree Requirements: MATHEMATICS EDUCATION OPTION
The course requirements are 36 units of graduate credit in the major and 12 graduate units in a minor in Education (or related field) and 18 units of dissertation (Math 920).
Courses in Mathematics
Students will normally either take the first year graduate core courses in Algebra ( MATH 511A-B ), Real Analysis ( MATH 523A-B ), and Topology–Geometry ( MATH 534A-B ), or otherwise learn this material by the end of their first year of Ph.D. studies for the Qualifying Examinations. The remaining 18 units will be chosen in consultation with an advisor. These remaining units will include one year-long Mathematics course sequence that is not dual-numbered and is not part of the required core of algebra, real analysis, and topology-geometry. Some of the units will include relevant courses in Mathematics Education research (to be discussed with an advisor).
Courses in Education (or related field)
The 12 units in Education (or related) will be chosen in consultation with an advisor to ensure a coherent program of study. The courses will primarily be in Education. Courses in psychology, anthropology, sociology, women's studies, etc., may also be appropriate, depending on the student's research focus. Some suggested Education courses are listed below. EDUC 500, 501, 600, 601, 602; TTE 521, 524, 532, 545, 621, 640. Two courses in research design and methods (e.g., EDUC 600, 601, 602, or appropriate research methods courses in other fields such as sociology, anthropology, agriculture, ...) are required.
Teaching Experience or Practicum
Two or more years of pre-college teaching experience are required. Students can fulfill this requirement through 9 units of practicum in local schools. Such students will take 3 units per semester to complete one practicum at the elementary school level, one at the middle school level, and one at the high school level. (Note: these 9 units do not apply toward the required 36 units of mathematics nor the 12 minor units.)
Program Of Study
The same stipulations as given for the Ph.D. program in Mathematics .
Same as for the Ph.D. program in Mathematics .
Similar guidelines to those for the Ph.D. program in Mathematics , but the area of concentration will be in Mathematics Education.
Professional Development Requirements
Same as for the Ph.D. program in Mathematics except that the foreign language requirement may be satisfied in Spanish or American Sign Language as well as French, German, or Russian.
Same guidelines as for the Ph.D. program in Mathematics . The dissertation will be in Mathematics Education.
Navigating Thesis and Dissertation Challenges: Advice from Experts
I like to think that crafting a thesis or dissertation is akin to setting sail on an academic odyssey, navigating uncharted waters filled with challenges. Fortunately, in this expedition at UArizona, we have seasoned academic advisors like Drs. Leslie Dupont, Shelley Hawthorne Smith, and Andrea Hernandez Holm. They, serve as wise navigators, offering insights that help you chart a course through the complexities of project data management, writing dilemmas, time constraints, and the climactic defense.
Meet the three experts interviewed for this article.
Dr. Andrea Hernandez Holm
The Director of the Writing Skills Improvement Program (WSIP) at the University of Arizona, Dr. Holm has two decades of expertise as a writing specialist. With a focus on academic and professional writing, she coordinates projects like the Graduate Writing Institute and is an adjunct professor in the Mexican American Studies Department, holding a PhD in the field. She is also a published researcher, essayist, and poet, who contributes to the literary landscape.
Dr. Shelley Hawthorne Smith
Dr. Hawthorne Smith is an Assistant Professor of Practice and Associate Director of the Graduate Writing Lab where she passionately supports graduate students' writing development. Creator of Fellowship Application Development Programs, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Rhetoric from the University of Arizona.
Dr. Leslie Dupont
Dr. Dupont is a writing coach who helps College of Nursing students, staff, and faculty improve their scholarly and professional writing skills. With a PhD in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English, she has been teaching writing since 1989, both at UA and online with Johns Hopkins University. Her passion lies in collaborative coaching and mentoring.
The Writer’s Blueprint: Strategies from Thesis and Dissertation Writing Mentors
According to Dr. Holm, one of the most important aspects of thesis or dissertation writing is mentorship. Though there are plenty of online resources that can help, students also need personalized guidance. Mentors can address student writers’ individual experiences, changes in academia, and the evolution of disciplines.
One area that Dr. Holm notes is often addressed last when it should be in the forefront is one's identity as a writer. In graduate school, the personal perspective often gets relegated to the bottom of the priority list. It's important to consider how you're feeling, assess your confidence level, and actively nurture your identity as a writer.
Dr. Holm suggests the following self-reflections:
- Celebrate what you have accomplished so far. Most students forget that writing their thesis/dissertation means that they have completed or are about to complete their coursework, which is in itself a great accomplishment. Recognizing that gives you more confidence to tackle the next task and helps you find your voice as an academic writer.
- Use the lessons you have learned while writing for courses or as a teaching assistant. What has worked for you so far and what hasn’t?
- Change your mindset. Do not view this piece of writing as a final hurdle but an opportunity to express your work in writing to a captive audience (your committee) and to the wider community. This is an opportunity to have your voice heard, your work expressed and shared.
On a similar note, Dr. Hawthorne Smith says that having a strong sense of purpose for your projects is important for success. While some students start with a clear understanding of this in their graduate studies, most develop it over time, often by the end of their dissertation. The challenge is understanding the significance of their work, which may not be clear at the beginning as ideas take time to develop. Students who develop their ideas later may not have the same initial motivation as those who start earlier. Therefore, it's essential to cultivate a deep understanding of the 'what' and 'why' behind your academic endeavors. However, if you do not know this at the start of your project, it is okay. Dr. Hawthorne Smith stresses that coming into the program with all the necessary understanding and motivation is rare. In fact, in her 12 years of working closely with writers, she has only met 3 such students. Don’t doubt yourself; you will in due course find your strong motivations and a richer understanding of the importance of your work that will propel you forward.
Data Management and Writing
- Dr. Hawthorne Smith maintains that you do not have to finish data collection before starting the writing process. You can write as you go. Even writing twice a week in 30-minute sessions will help you develop your ideas and make progress in the writing phase.
- Dr. Dupont advises students to store data so they always have access to it. Even if you do not micro-organize it into specific subfolders, at least have a “project data” folder instead of simply keeping everything in your downloads. In addition, keep backups of your data on hard drives, flash drives, or a secure cloud storage platform, so you can access the work from any device. A good resource for information about secure storage of sensitive data is the Institutional Review Board .
- If you consult the internet while working on your writing, you can end up with too many open tabs. To avoid losing the links, create bookmark subfolders for your project, name it accordingly, and add to the subfolder all relevant papers and webpages you have open.
- The University of Arizona Libraries website has helpful information about both project and data management.
Unlocking the Writing Process
If you are in graduate school and have no idea how to navigate academic writing, you are not alone. After speaking to these three writing mentors, I understood that most graduate students need guidance as they start communicating their findings to the academic community.
Here are some tips that can help you improve your writing or gain the confidence to keep going.
1. Overcoming the Dreaded Writer's Block
- Take breaks strategically, especially after significant milestones. Seek support from peers, tutors, or colleagues. Remember, community and support systems are your lifelines.
- Gamify your writing process, set achievable goals, and reward yourself. Create a dynamic outline, experiment with different environments, and if you have an alternative way of processing information or dealing with some neurodivergence, utilize resources like the Disability Resource Center .
2. Crafting the Manuscript: A Symphony of Words and Ideas
- Understand your audience and the scholarly conversation you're joining. Break down the writing process into manageable steps. Leverage the support of writing tutors and groups at the Graduate Writing Lab .
- Make a mess during drafting. The first draft is for yourself, so don't aim for perfection. Start with organizing ideas, address content issues, and focus on sentence-level details later.
3. Harnessing Tools for Enhanced Writing
- Tools like Grammarly and Chatgpt can be beneficial for non-native speakers. Use them for pattern recognition and flow improvement. AI tools are tools, not substitutes; use them ethically and professionally.
- Read aloud for flow and pattern identification. Use AI tools for brainstorming, proofreading, and organizing ideas.
4. Thriving Amidst Challenges
- Overcome shame and imposter syndrome by seeking support. Remember, challenges are part of the journey, and many share similar struggles.
- Celebrate achievements along the way. Perceive writing as an opportunity for growth and knowledge dissemination. Prepare diligently by understanding department expectations and utilizing campus resources.
5. Charting the Course to Dissertation Defense
- Collaborate with graduate writing tutors, set goals, and seek feedback. The dissertation defense is a performance; prepare like an actor rehearsing a play. Embrace nerves as a sign of readiness.
- Know your department's expectations, communicate with advisors, and leverage campus writing resources. Feedback is not criticism; it's a tool for growth. Navigating writing challenges is a shared experience; avoid internalizing external opinions and seek support from writing specialists.
Time as a Precious Resource
Time management is paramount for success in graduate school. Here is valuable advice from our interviewees on optimizing your time for effective and efficient thesis or dissertation writing.
- Creating Structures for Consistent Progress
Establishing writing structures and systems is laying tracks for a smooth academic journey. As suggested by seasoned writers, consider forming or joining writing groups . These forums provide not only accountability but also a sense of camaraderie, fostering a conducive environment for consistent progress.
- Embracing Flexibility and Acknowledging Trade-Offs
Flexibility is the ally of productivity. Recognize that sacrifices and trade-offs are often integral to academic pursuits. While commitment to your research is non-negotiable, understanding the art of balance is crucial. Whether it's compromising on leisure time or adjusting your schedule, being flexible is a key to success.
- The Power of Accountability through Writing Partnerships
Embark on your writing odyssey with a companion. Join a writing group or find a writing partner who shares your academic aspirations. This not only adds an element of accountability but also provides a support system during the inevitable peaks and valleys of your writing journey.
- Carving Out Dedicated Writing Time
Time, even in small increments, is a formidable ally in the writing process. Set aside dedicated periods for writing, making it a non-negotiable part of your routine. Daily commitment, even if brief, accumulates into significant progress over time. Remember, consistency is the linchpin of success.
- Leveraging University Resources for Writing Improvement
The University of Arizona has a treasure trove of resources. Explore writing improvement programs and coaching services tailored for graduate students. These tools not only enhance your writing skills but also offer personalized guidance, aligning your academic pursuits with the highest standards.
Here is where you can start:
- Graduate Writing Tutors - Free consultations by appointment with trained and certified graduate writing tutors. Our tutors offer helpful feedback on any kind of writing at any stage in the writing process. Work with them to set writing goals and create strategic plans. The Graduate Writing Tutors service is a collaboration between the THINK TANK Writing Center and the Graduate Center’s Graduate Writing Lab .
- Writing Skills Improvement Program Tutoring and Consultations - A free service for UA undergraduate and graduate students. Meet with a WSIP tutor to receive focused feedback on a shorter sample of writing. Sessions are 15-30 minutes, depending on availability. No appointment is necessary.
- College of Nursing Writing Coaching - Dr. Dupont works directly with Nursing students, staff, and faculty on strengthening their scholarly and professional writing.
- Task Prioritization and Safeguarding Writing Time
The academic landscape is teeming with tasks and commitments. Prioritize your responsibilities and zealously guard designated writing time against encroachments. Establishing clear boundaries ensures that your scholarly endeavors receive the attention they deserve.
Cultivate a Positive Attitude
When you get to the thesis or dissertation phase, it is important to remember that in addition to the anticipated challenges, there will likely be some unforeseen ones. However, no challenge should stop you from achieving your goal. This section consists of advice from Drs. Dupont, Hawthorne Smith, and Holm on the support you can get across campus, cultivating a positive mindset, and dealing with some ‘perceived’ writing problems.
Instead of isolating yourself while you marinade in thoughts of self doubt, acknowledge the potential for loneliness and combat it with intention. Tap into available resources and community support. Whether you turn to a mentor, fellow graduate students, or campus groups, writing can be easier when shared. Join the Graduate Center’s Graduate Writing Groups and Writing efficiency sessions . Even seasoned writers like Dr. Hawthorne Smith and Dr. Dupont meet up and write together in a cafe or online.
A Strategic Approach to Preparing for the Thesis or Dissertation Defense
As you near the pinnacle of your academic journey—the defense—it's crucial to be prepared and confident. Dr. Hawthorne Smith offers suggestions for a successful defense that is also a celebration of your scholarly achievement.
- Attend Dissertation Defenses
Familiarize yourself with dissertation defenses before your own moment in the spotlight. Attending peers’ defenses not only educates you about the process but also provides a firsthand look at the expectations and dynamics of a successful defense. Learn from others' experiences and envision yourself in a similar position.
- Communicate with Advisors and Committee Members
View your advisors and committee members as allies. Foster open communication with them to demystify the defense process. Seek their guidance on what to expect, understand the nuances of the evaluation criteria, and discuss any specific areas they may emphasize. By learning their expectations, you set the stage for a more collaborative and informed defense.
- Tap into the Wisdom of Recent Graduates
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes from those who have prior experience. Connect with recent graduates who have successfully defended their dissertations. They can offer you practical advice, share common pitfalls to avoid, and provide a nuanced perspective on the entire experience. Learn from their triumphs and challenges to better navigate your own defense.
Tune into our Graduate Student’s Guide Podcast where you can listen to the conversations I had with these three writing experts. Their recommendations about embracing your identity as a writer, effective data management, unlocking the writing process, time mastery, and defense preparation serve as a compass for graduate students.
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Request Information About Our Natural Resources Program
Natural Resources Graduate Programs
The Natural Resources Graduate Program gives you five emphasis areas to choose from to earn your Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy.
Areas of study include:
- Ecology, Management, and Restoration of Rangelands
- Fisheries Conservation and Management
Natural Resource Studies
- Watershed Management and Ecohydrology
- Wildlife Conservation and Management
About the M.S. & Ph.D. in Natural Resources
Graduate students in the M.S. and Ph.D. programs work with a faculty advisory committee during their first semester to develop an individual plan of study including choosing a research topic, identifying appropriate coursework and transfer credit, and selecting potential thesis committee members.
Prior to the meeting, students must provide the committee a proposed program of study and a description of their background, general research area, and career objectives. The committee will either accept the proposal or suggest modifications to be made within two weeks.
Our M.S. program require a minimum of 30 to 36 units, depending on the program, while our Ph.D. requires a minimum of 63 units. Non-thesis options are available in some programs.
To see a list of courses offered in SNRE, see our course offerings page .
Dual Degree Program
A dual degree program is available with this natural resources master's degree. When paired with a Master of Business Administration , you may earn two degrees in three years, saving you time and money and increasing your professional career options.
School of Natural Resources & the Environment Graduate Program Handbook
- View our Natural Resources Graduate Student handbook
Ecology, Management, & Restoration of Rangelands
Study the biological and physical processes of ecosystems to understand how to promote the sustainable use of rangelands and manage the diverse and complex systems they support.
Fisheries Conservation & Management
Study basic aquatic ecology and apply research to conservation and management initiatives.
Take an interdisciplinary approach to natural resource policy and management factoring in technical, economic, legal, political, and social elements.
Watershed Management & Ecohydrology
Study the role of water in managing natural resources including interactions between hydrologic processes, management activities, and land surface condition.
Wildlife Conservation & Management
Study the management of wildlife resources for conservation, recreation, or yield.
Biological Chemistry Program
Bcp program framework.
The Biological Chemistry Program (BCP) is an NIH supported graduate training program that can be joined as a track through two departments: Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Drug Discovery and Development of Pharmacology and Toxicology. The program is interdisciplinary and students undertake research rotations, courses and seminars involving all three Graduate Programs: Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Drug Discovery and Development. The background for BCP students is expected to include a year of biochemistry and a year of physical chemistry. In our program, students:
Satisfy all home program requirements . It is expected that students will remain in good academic standing in their home department, and will achieve candidacy and a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Pharmaceutical Sciences through their home department.
Undertake research rotations in at least two programs . Rotations can be with any BCP faculty member and should include at least two research disciplines. BCP faculty, research interests and current rotation opportunities are listed on our web page . Students often choose their thesis advisor by spring break and the fourth rotation can be in this lab even if previously visited. A rotation poster session is held during our Research Forum after each rotation period. Students are expected to devote 10-15 hours per week to the rotation and will receive a grade. Rotations are an excellent hands-on opportunity to learn about a new area of research as well as for learning more about a potential thesis lab. Students are encouraged to use one of their rotations for something completely out of their experience – for example, a synthetic chemist might try cloning and expressing a protein.
Undertake one cross-disciplinary core course and an ethics course . In addition to fulfilling the coursework required for a degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Pharmaceutical Sciences, BCP students must take at least two of the approved courses listed below, one each from the Biology and Chemistry disciplines. Students must also take an ethics course such as MCB 695e or CHEM 595A/B.
Undertake thesis research with any of the ~35 BCP faculty, regardless of home department. Although most students will have a thesis advisor from their home department, we offer the opportunity for BCP students to work with any of the BCP faculty.
Assemble a thesis committee with at least one member outside of their home program. Generally, this person will be a BCP faculty member with cross-disciplinary interests in the student’s research area. Students are encouraged to use this as a means for initiating cross-disciplinary collaborations.
Attend the weekly BCP Research Forum (also called Journal Club). Students are expected to attend throughout their graduate careers. Generally, students will present rotation posters in the Research Forum during their first year and full research seminars in their third and fifth years of study. In year four, students present a journal article.
Are eligible for BCP fellowships. Applications are solicited each spring; awards are made based on merit, generally within the second and third years.
Currently Approved Courses*
*Last Updated in 2022
Prospective Students should apply to one of the two participating departments, Chemistry and Biochemistry or Pharmacology and Toxicology , for admission to the University of Arizona. Students accepted into any of the two home departments are welcome to join the Biological Chemistry Program.
Currently Enrolled University of Arizona Graduate Students wishing to join the Biological Chemistry Program should contact Professor William Montfort.
Faculty participating in the program hold appointments in either the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Department of Immunobiology, or the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
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BCP Current Students
Inquiries should be addressed to:.
Lori Boyd Graduate Program Coordinator Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry 520-621-4348 [email protected]
Additional contact information:
William Montfort, Director Biological Chemistry Program Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry 520-621-1884 [email protected]
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Request Information About Our Programs
M.S. in Environmental Science
Expand your scientific skills and further your career with a master's degree in environmental science. Our distinguished faculty are experts in soil, air and water; solution-oriented in their research towards solutions of today's most pressing environmental issues, from water quality and food safety to mining remediation and environmental justice.
We encourage you to reach out to faculty directly to ask about their research and potential funding opportunities, as we do not admit applicants until a major faculty advisor has been identified.
Minimum of 30 units of graduate credit (all cour sework must be in 500-level courses or above plus thesis units). You will be required to use GradPath through the Graduate College to track your progress (through UAccess Student).
You can choose to focus in either Environmental Science or Soil and Water Science for our Master of Science program.
To read descriptions of our classes, please visit our course list.
ENVS 508 Scientific Writing for Environmental, Agricultural and Life Sciences (3 )
- ENVS 696B Inclusive Mentoring (1) or ENVS 697 Graduate Workshop for Professional Development (1)
Environmental Science (ES)
Select one from each category (9 units)
Soil and Water Science (SWS)
Select four (12 units)
Environmental Biology and Microbiology
- ENVS 525 Environmental Microbiology (3)
- ENVS 574 Aquatic Plants & the Environment (3)
- ENVS 577 Principles of Ecotoxicology (3)
- WSM 552 Dryland Ecohydrology and Vegetation Dynamics (4)
Environmental and Soil Chemistry
- ENVS 562 Environmental Soil & Water Chemistry (3)
- ENVS 564 Environmental Chemistry (3)
Environmental Physics and Water Science
- ENVS 520 Environmental Physics (3)
- ENVS 570 Soil Physics (3)
- ENVS 502 Nutrient Dynamics in Soils (3)
- ENVS 525 Environmental Microbiology (3)
- ENVS 531 Soil Genesis and Classification (4)
- ENVS 562 Environmental Soil & Water Chemistry (3)
- ENVS 570 Soil Physics (3)
- ENVS 580 Environmental Assessment for Contaminated Sites (3) or ENVS 582 Reclamation and Redevelopment of Impacted Lands (3)
When you are a Master of Science Student you will have:
- You may have a co-director or committee member outside of the department
- The Major Professor and one additional member must be tenure-track faculty
- Two must hold faculty appointments in our department
- Special committee members must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate College
By the end of the second semester you must choose a research topic and develop a Plan of Study , consulting with their your major professor committee and advisor.
If you choose this option:
- Minimum 24 units non-thesis, 15 units in ENVS
- 2-6 units ENVS 910 Thesis
- Presenting research results in a formal Master’s thesis defense to the department and closed door committee examination
- Submission of thesis to Graduate College
You can find information on formatting your thesis on the University of Arizona Graduate College .
You may choose to submit a professional report, approved by your committee and the department head, in the field of environmental or soil science in lieu of a thesis .
- Minimum 28-29 non-report units, 18 units in ENVS
- 1-2 units ENVS 909 Master's Report
- The report must be read and approved by at least 2 tenure-track faculty and one special committee member
- Present a seminar to the department in lieu of a Thesis Defense
A final exam for our Master of Science degree involves a defense of the thesis/report to the your committee and departmental submission of the Master’s Completion of Degree Requirements form. If a student fails the final exam, a second exam may be granted no sooner than four months from the date of the first exam.
All requirements for the Master of Science degree must be completed within six years.
Step 1. Print and use the following PDF rubric to record information during the student’s oral presentation; login via UA NETID is required.
Link to the printable ENVS Graduate Oral Presentation Rubric in PDF Format
Step 2. After the presentation, enter the results (student information, scores and notes) for the student using this secure link for faculty reporting; login via UA NETID is required. To ensure efficacy, equity and efficiency the results for the rubric should be entered on the same day as the presentation; reporting is done online and requires less than 5 minutes to complete.
Link to Report ENVS Graduate Oral Presentation Scores in Qualtrics
Step 3. Ensure the student completes their post defense survey within 24 hours of their presentation. An email will have also been sent to the student however it is the Chair's/Faculty Advisor’s responsibility to ensure that the student completes this brief assessment task as required.
Link to Student Post Presentation Self Assessment Survey in Qualtrics
Assessment is a required, essential and informative process and we appreciate your efforts in collecting this required data. Should you have any questions regarding this compliance protocol please contact Dr. Scott Cowell at [email protected] who serves as a POC for questions related to graduate oral presentations as part of the ENVS Assessment Committee.
For more in-depth information, please refer to our Graduate Handbook .
Connect with our graduate advisors, Katrina and Santiago
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2024 MFA Thesis Exhibition
April 13 – May 11, 2024
An annual tradition since 1970, the UAMA is proud to host the 2024 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition along with the UArizona School of Art’s Joseph Gross Gallery.
This exhibition is the culmination of the Master of Fine Arts Studio Degree and is presented during a graduate student’s final semester in the program.
During the last year of their coursework, graduates work closely with faculty to develop a body of original art to present to the public in lieu of a written thesis. The end result offers visitors the opportunity to see new, cutting-edge art in a variety of mediums and styles.
University of Arizona Museum of Art & Archive of Visual Arts
Street Address: 1031 North Olive Road Tucson, AZ 85721-0002
Phone: 520-621-7567 Fax: 520-621-8770
Admissions Visit Opportunities
The Charger Blog
Interior Design Major’s Honors Thesis Draws on Her Father’s Military Background
Brooke Cuthbertson ’24, who will be recognized as part of the University’s 2024 Commencement, envisions a therapeutic camp that would support the children of military service members. Her plan is inspired by her own childhood, as well as her interior design coursework at the University.
February 23, 2024
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
For Brooke Cuthbertson ’24, growing up as the daughter of a U.S. Navy crewman inspired a sense of pride, as well as some difficult emotions. Her father’s 26 years of service brought him on tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, and that often meant that Cuthbertson and the rest of their family had no contact with him for long stretches of time.
Cuthbert’s childhood experiences are now inspiring her as she completes her Honors thesis. An interior design major , she is, as part of her project, imagining a summer camp that would serve the children of members of the military. She envisions it offering them the support that she wished she had when she was growing up.
“As a child it was very difficult for me to cope with the emotions that I was feeling from missing an integral part of my family dynamic,” she explains. “Although our country does well in making sure our veterans have the resources they require to a point, I believe there is a gap in support for their immediate family, who suffer trauma, pain, and separation at the hands of the service as well.”
Cuthbertson believes that offering kids a community of their peers who understand what they are going through would be therapeutic. The community would, she hopes, help alleviate the stress of service while helping kids to learn healthy ways of coping. Cuthbertson is excited to bring together her own experiences as well as her coursework and background in interior design as part of her thesis.
“As an interior design student, I’m able to bring a unique perspective to this project that a psychology or a business major might not be able to,” she said. “I understand how building form and design attributes affect a user in either a positive or a negative way. Therefore, I can shape the built environment of the camp to cultivate the kind of community I want to form between campers. After all, the basis of a community is the ground it stands on.”
‘My job on campus has helped me to network’
Cuthbertson will accept her bachelor’s degree as part of the University’s 2024 Commencement , which will comprise ceremonies over three days in May on the University’s main campus. In addition to her time as an Honors student , Cuthbertson has immersed herself in being a member of the Charger community. She enjoys her position as a building supervisor, club sports supervisor, and creative team senior specialist for the University’s Beckerman Recreation Center .
An active member of the University’s intramural sports program, Cuthbertson is captain of the Women’s Club Volleyball Team , and she’s now in her third season with the team. She was also recently the captain of a flag football team.
“I really enjoyed participating in intramural sports during my four years on campus,” she said. “I’m still close with the friends I made playing intramural volleyball my first year. I also really enjoy hanging out with my coworkers at ChargerREC in-between shifts. My job on campus has helped me to network with so many different members of the University community, including faculty, staff, and alumni .”
‘Grow immensely as a student’
Cuthbertson has been applying what she’s been learning in the classroom. As a design intern at Wendy Mauro Design in Charleston, South Carolina, last summer, she gained experience communicating with clients and contracted employees, as well as with budgeting and sourcing materials.
“I loved seeing homes go from plans on paper to physical productions,” she recalls. “To experience this in such a beautiful city was even more of a blessing.”
As she looks forward to completing her thesis and her degree, Cuthbertson is thinking about where she will begin her career. She’s considering a commercial interior design firm in a larger city, and she’s recently been exploring the possibility of a residential design firm in a coastal community in New England. She now has a few prospects, and she’s planning to make a decision later this spring.
Cuthbertson says she’s grateful for the support and the experience she’s gained as a Charger that she expects she will continue to draw on throughout her career.
“I appreciate the rigor of academics at the University, including the classes I’ve taken in both the interior design and Honors programs,” she said. “I’ve gotten the opportunity to study a wide range of topics, which is something I’ve truly enjoyed. Interior design, as a small program, made it easy for me to create bonds with my professors, which has helped me grow immensely as a student.”
‘Beyond Borders’ Brings International Women’s Health into Focus
Inspired to explore the unique health challenges of international women, several Chargers recently collaborated on research that endeavored to spotlight the importance of these challenges. They recently shared their project with the Charger community as part of an exhibition at the University’s Seton Gallery.
Charger Blogger Discusses Spiritual Practices, Self-Care, Understanding Life
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 explores how incorporating practices such as stillness and movement into her routine have made a difference in her life. She shares the lessons she’s learned with her fellow Chargers.
International Affairs Major ‘I Feel Endlessly Grateful for All of the Ways the University Has Prepared Me’
Whether he was exploring Japan or Italy or interning in Washington, D.C., Samuel Weinmann ’24 has had a variety of exciting experiences as a Charger. He’s grateful for the support of his mentors – and for the opportunities he’s had to serve as a mentor for his classmates.
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Past Three Minute Thesis Final Competitions
The University of Colorado Boulder has been holding the Three Minute Thesis competition since 2018, with recordings going back to 2019.
Congratulations to the 2023 winners!
The 2023 3MT® Final Competition was held on Feb. 2, 2023
- Winner : Rob Streeter
- Runner-up : Alexandra (Lexi) Deal
- People's Choice : Lydia Wagenknecht
Watch the 2021 Three Minute Thesis Competition
Congratulations to the 2021 Three Minute Thesis winners!
Winner: Adam Lamson
Runner-Up: Jason Zhang
People's Choice Award Winner: Jocelyn Armes
Watch the Rest of the 2020 Competition
Winner: Hannah Glick
Your Brain on Hearing Aids Joint PhD in speech, language and hearing sciences; cognitive science; and neuroscience.
Runner up: Luke Bury
Deep Space and Ocean Worlds PhD, Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences
Watch All of the Videos from the 2019 Competition
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'Kangaroo Time' wins the annual Dance Your PhD contest in Australia
A former academic at Australia National University won the contest for his musical number about the behaviors of kangaroos. Scientists around the world relay their research through interpretive dance.
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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
2024 phd graduate – algorithm researcher – artificial intelligence, machine learning, and information fusion.
- Share This: Share 2024 PhD Graduate – Algorithm Researcher – Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Information Fusion on Facebook Share 2024 PhD Graduate – Algorithm Researcher – Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Information Fusion on LinkedIn Share 2024 PhD Graduate – Algorithm Researcher – Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Information Fusion on X
Do you have experience developing AI/ML algorithms OR a graduate-level research background in data fusion and/or distributed control?
Do you thrive in a collaborative research environment, working alongside an energetic, multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers?
Are you ready to help the US secure and maintain leadership in the development and fielding of algorithms for defense systems?
If you are graduating with a PhD degree in Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics or a related field, we are looking for someone like you to join our team at APL!
We are seeking a highly motivated researcher who will contribute to all phases of the development process. You will be joining a team of engineers and scientists who are at the forefront of APL’s mission to provide innovative solutions to critical challenges. Accurate, timely, and actionable information derived from a variety of sources provides the warfighter advantages over its adversaries. Our group at APL identifies, develops, and applies efficient and effective algorithms to support critical capabilities for a variety of DoD missions.
As a member of the Information Fusion and Artificial Intelligence group you will …
- Research, implement, prototype, and analyze algorithms, quantify and document the performance capabilities and limitations of algorithms for specific tasks, and provide metrics of robustness and confidence in specific approaches.
- Interact with large data sets of various types, formats, and structures for algorithm training and testing, data cleaning, pre-processing, normalization, or manipulation as needed.
- Prepare and present technical evaluations of algorithms to a broad audience that includes both decision makers as well as technical peers.
- Interact with external sponsors to discuss technical solutions and influence decision-makers.
- Serve as an internally recognized subject matter expert in one or more technical areas related to information fusion OR Artificial Intelligence.
You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you…
- Have a PhD in Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics or related field
- Have 2+ years of experience in the machine learning and data science fields; OR completed and have a strong interest in linear algebra, calculus, stochastic processes, detection and estimation theory, information theory, or related coursework
- Are fluent in Python or MATLAB, with the ability to translate mathematical concepts into well-documented and efficient code
- Have excellent time management skills and can effectively communicate ideas and results
- Are able to obtain an Interim Secret level security clearance by your start date and can ultimately obtain Secret level clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.
You’ll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you…
- Have 4+ years of experience in designing and implementing algorithms involving one or more of the following: classification, clustering, deep learning, decision making, AI explainability, stochastic processes, detection and estimation theory, information theory, Bayesian inference of time varying systems, tracking and data fusion (e.g., KF, MHT, IMM, etc.)
- Have demonstrated experience in working with version control software like Git
- Have experience developing AI/ML research prototypes in code, using one or more of scikit-learn, Tensorflow, PyTorch, or similar machine learning frameworks in Python.
- Have experience using high-performance computing structures like GPUs and CPU clusters.
- Willingness to travel up to 10% of the time, as needed and hold an active Secret clearance
Why Work at APL?
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation’s most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.
At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL’s campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at http://www.jhuapl.edu/careers
APL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, occupation, marital or familial status, political opinion, personal appearance, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.
APL is committed to promoting an innovative environment that embraces diversity, encourages creativity, and supports inclusion of new ideas. In doing so, we are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals of all abilities, including those with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in any part of the hiring process, please contact [email protected]. Only by ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard are we empowered to be bold, do great things, and make the world a better place.
We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, with Tucson being home to the O'odham and the Yaqui. Committed to diversity and inclusion, the University strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service.