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Questions not answered by the document should be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies (see Administrative Contact Information).

Basic Requirements

  • All Ph.D. students must demonstrate a basic reading knowledge of one approved language. International students whose native language is not English may not satisfy the language requirement with their native language (Graduate Handbook,section 2.26), but they may use a proficiency in English to satisfy the language requirement.
  • The current list of approved foreign languages includes French, German, Russian and Chinese. Other languages must be approved by the Director of graduate Studies.

Ways To Fulfill The Foreign Language Requirement

  • The language requirement for an approved language may be fulfilled by passing the second semester of the special two sequence course 101X-102X in that language, whenever it is offered at UNC. This sequence is currently offered for French, German and Russian.
  • The language requirement for an approved language may be fulfilled by attaining a grade of C or better in a fourth semester undergraduate course in that language.
  • The language requirement for an approved language may be fulfilled by passing a translation examination administered by a faculty member of the Mathematics Department who is approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Guidelines for such exams are given below.

Guidelines For A Ph.D Translation Language Exam

  • Two pages of mathematical text in an approved foreign language should be translated into written English in a two hour period.
  • The exam should be given in a campus building, typically Phillips Hall, under normal test conditions.
  • Dictionaries may be used.
  • A passing grade requires a reasonably clear and accurate translation of all or almost all of the text.
  • The exam papers should be saved for one year.
  • An exam in any given language should be offered at least once each semester, provided there is a demand for it. An exam in a given language might be offered more than once in a semester, subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • Each student should be informed of the test result within a week of taking the exam. Students passing the exam should be informed in writing, and a copy of this letter should be given to the Graduate Secretary for the official records.