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Mathematical Sciences, PhD

Specialization(s): College Teaching; Interdisciplinary Studies; Pure and Applied Mathematics; Statistics
Department: Mathematics and Statistics Department
College: College of Science

Mathematical Sciences

About This Degree

Students earning a PhD in mathematical sciences can choose to study in several different areas. The department’s excellent ratio of graduate students to faculty permits close personal guidance for each student. Students are able to tailor their programs of study to match their interests in specific areas of mathematics and statistics as well as interdisciplinary research.


Students must choose a specialization.

  • College Teaching: This specialization prepares students to teach undergraduate mathematics in two- and four-year colleges and universities, with broad training in pure and applied mathematics and a teaching internship supervising undergraduate student teachers.
  • Interdisciplinary Studies: This specialization combines training in mathematics or statistics, significant interaction with other fields that use advanced methodology from mathematics or statistics, and training in an area of application outside math/statistics, with program direction by scholars in math/statistics and in an external discipline.
  • Pure and Applied Mathematics: This specialization provides training in the foundations of modern mathematics and specialized areas of mathematical research.
  • Statistics: This specialization offers broad training in theoretical and applied statistics for students seeking careers in academe, industry, or government. This is the only PhD program in the region allowing students to specialize in theoretical or applied statistics.


  • PhD - Logan Campus

Students who receive the PhD in any of the available specializations are qualified to become tenured faculty at universities and colleges. They can also work in governmental and industrial research centers.

The college teaching specialization specifically prepares students to teach undergraduate mathematics in colleges and universities.

Admissions Requirements

Students may enter the PhD program directly from a bachelor's degree. While applicants are not required to have undergraduate degrees in mathematics or statistics, they must have strong backgrounds in these areas. The graduate committee will evaluate each transcript to determine if the applicant's undergraduate work in mathematics and statistics is sufficient.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on the GRE (score of 700 out of 800 on the quantitative section)
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Admissions Deadlines

The department has the following application deadline:

  • Fall semester – February 1

Financial Assistance

A majority of students receive major financial assistance with their studies via teaching or research assistantships. All students that meet the qualifications may receive tuition awards and subsidized health insurance as well.

A variety of additional funding opportunities are available, including fellowships, scholarships, and travel support.

Program Requirements

Click here to see course requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy.

Doctoral comprehensive examinations in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics are set by a student's supervisory committee and are intended to test the student's depth of knowledge in areas related to their research specialization and career goals. The exams themselves may be comprised of individual exams set and graded by subsets of the supervisory committee, a single exam written and graded by the committee, oral examinations by the committee or a subset, or mixtures of these as the committee sees fit. Comprehensive exams must be taken in or before the third year of matriculation in the doctoral program.


Piotr Kokoszka
Office: LUND 321
Phone: (435) 797-0746
Email: piotr.kokoszka@usu.edu


Ian Anderson, PhD, University of Arizona
Area: Differential geometry, global analysis
Office: LUND 318
Phone: (435) 797-2822
Email: ian.anderson@usu.edu

LeRoy Beasley, PhD, University of British Colombia
Area: Matrix theory, linear algebra, combinatorics
Office: LUND 203
Phone: (435) 797-3248
Email: leroy.b.beasley@usu.edu

David Brown, PhD, University of Colorado - Denver
Associate Professor
Area: Discrete mathematics, graph theory
Office: LUND 202
Phone: (435) 797-3224
Email: david.e.brown@usu.edu

James Cangelosi, PhD, Louisiana State University
Area: Constructivism in mathematics education, psychometrics, behavior management
Office: LUND 325 C
Phone: (435) 797-1415
Email: jim.cangelosi@usu.edu

Lawrence Cannon, PhD, University of Utah
Area: Topology, algebra
Office: LUND 316
Phone: (435) 797-2829
Email: larry.cannon@usu.edu

Chris Corcoran, ScD, Harvard University
Associate Professor
Area: Epidemiology, biostatics, statistical genetics, categorical data, permutation methods
Office: LUND 204
Phone: (435) 797-4012
Email: chris.corcoran@usu.edu

Daniel Coster, PhD, University of California - Berkeley
Area: Optimal design, computational statistics
Office: LUND 310
Phone: (435) 797-2815
Email: dan.coster@usu.edu

Adele Cutler, PhD, University of California - Berkeley
Area: Statistical computing, statistics
Office: LUND 302
Phone: (435) 797-2761
Email: adele.cutler@usu.edu

Richard Cutler, PhD, University of California - Berkeley
Department Head, Professor
Area: Environmental and ecological statistics, experimental design
Office: LUND 215
Phone: (435) 797-2810
Email: richard.cutler@usu.edu

Mark Fels, PhD, McGill University
Area: Differential geometry, differential equations
Office: LUND 320
Phone: (435) 797-0774
Email: mark.fels@usu.edu

Nathan Geer, PhD, University of Oregon
Assistant Professor
Area: Low-dimensional topology, lie theory
Office: LUND 206
Phone: (435) 797-0755
Email: nathan.geer@usu.edu

E. Robert Heal, PhD, University of Utah
Area: Analysis, statistics
Office: LUND 320 C
Phone: (435) 797-2853
Email: robert.heal@usu.edu

Peg Howland, PhD, University of Minnesota
Assistant Professor
Area: Numerical linear algebra
Office: LUND 303
Phone: (435) 797-3302
Email: peg.howland@usu.edu

Joseph Koebbe, PhD, University of Wyoming
Associate Professor
Area: Applied mathematics, computational fluid dynamics
Office: LUND 301 C
Phone: (435) 797-2825
Email: joe.koebbe@usu.edu

Brynja Kohler, PhD, University of Utah
Assistant Professor
Area: Mathematics education, mathematical biology
Office: LUND 220
Phone: (435) 797-2826
Email: brynja.kohler@usu.edu

Piotr Kokoszka, PhD, Boston University
Area: Statistics, time series analysis
Office: LUND 321
Phone: (435) 797-0746
Email: piotr.kokoszka@usu.edu

Nghiem Nguyen, PhD, University of Illinois - Chicago
Assistant Professor
Area: Partial differential equations, nonlinear analysis
Office: LUND 306
Phone: (435) 797-2819
Email: nghiem.nguyen@usu.edu

James Powell, PhD, University of Arizona
Area: Applied mathematics, mathematical biology, nonlinear evolution equations
Office: LUND 304
Phone: (435) 797-1953
Email: jim.powell@usu.edu

Kady Schneiter, PhD, Utah State University
Assistant Professor
Area: Statistics, mathematics education
Office: LUND 221
Phone: (435) 797-2820
Email: kady.schneiter@usu.edu

John Stevens, PhD, Purdue University
Assistant Professor
Area: Bioinformatics, applied statistics, meta-analysis
Office: LUND 202 C
Phone: (435) 797-2818
Email: john.r.stevens@usu.edu

Jurgen Symanzik, PhD, Iowa State University
Associate Professor
Area: Dynamic statistical graphics, geographic information systems, virtual reality and statistics, web-based applications in statistics
Office: LUND 325
Phone: (435) 797-0696
Email: juergen.symanzik@usu.edu

Kathryn Turner, PhD, Rice University
Associate Professor
Area: Numerical analysis
Office: LUND 217
Phone: (435) 797-2817
Email: kathryn.turner@usu.edu

Zhi-Qiang Wang, PhD, Institute of Mathematics - Beijing
Area: Differential equations, variational and topological methods
Office: LUND 312
Phone: (435) 797-3529
Email: zhi-qiang.wang@usu.edu

Dariusz Wilczynski, PhD, Indiana University
Associate Professor
Area: Geometric and algebraic topology
Office: LUND 218
Phone: (435) 797-0747
Email: dariusz.wilczynski@usu.edu

Stanley Williams, PhD, North Texas State University
Area: Measure theory, analysis
Office: LUND 323
Phone: (435) 797-2833
Email: stanley.williams@usu.edu

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

American Mathematical Society: AMS is the largest organization of research mathematicians. The society's programs and services for its members and the global mathematical community include professional programs, publications, meetings and conferences, support for young scholars programs, tools for researchers and authors, and a public awareness office that provides resources to members, students, teachers, the media, and the general public.

American Statistical Association: ASA is the largest organization of mathematicians in industry and academe. The ASA supports excellence in the development, application, and dissemination of statistical science through meetings, publications, membership services, education, accreditation, and advocacy. Its members serve in industry, government, and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare.

Biometric Society: ENAR and WNAR (the eastern and western North American regions) is an association of statisticians working on problems in statistics with biological, agricultural, and medical applications. The society’s goal is to advance biological and life science through the development of quantitative theories and the application, development, and dissemination of effective mathematical and statistical techniques.

Institute of Mathematical Statistics: IMS is an organization mainly for research statisticians working in academe. The IMS is an international professional and scholarly society devoted to the development, dissemination, and application of statistics and probability. The institute currently has about 4,500 members in all parts of the world.

Interface Foundation: This is a society working on problems at the interface between statistics and computing sciences. Its members are computational scientists, statisticians, mathematicians, and individuals from related discipline areas interested in the interface between computing science and statistics. Interests include topics such as computational statistics, statistical software, exploratory data analysis, data mining, pattern recognition, scientific visualization, and related fields.

Mathematical Association of America: MAA is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level. Its members include university, college, and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists; statisticians; and many others in academia, government, business, and industry. MAA is focused on teaching particularly at the high school and college levels.

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics: SIAM is the largest organization of applied and computational mathematicians working in industry, academe, and government. SIAM fosters the development of applied mathematical and computational methodologies needed in these various application areas. Through publications, research, and community, the mission of SIAM is to build cooperation between mathematics and the worlds of science and technology.

Journal Club: The purpose of the Journal Club is to introduce participants to mathematics and statistics education research by providing an opportunity to read, present, and discuss noteworthy papers in the field. The primary intended audiences are graduate students and faculty members interested in starting research on education topics, and needing familiarity with the education literature.

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