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Current Students

This page contains information for current graduate students in the mathematics department.

Graduate Degree Requirements

The following pages set out the requirements for Master’s and Ph.D.’s in Mathematics. In addition, one can consult the Graduate Handbook for valuable information.

Master’s Degree Requirements
Ph.D. Requirements

Doctoral Comps

Copies of previous of doctoral comps, can be accessed by current graduate students on the Math Graduate Resources page on Sakai.

Summer Opportunities

The majority of our graduate students are supported during the academic year on teaching or research assistantships. During the summers, the following funding opportunities are available:

Summer School TA

An appointment in Summer School typically involves some combination of the following duties:

  • Teaching a course,18 hrs/week
  • Leading a lab section, 9 hrs/week
  • Leading a recitation, 5 hrs/wk
  • Tutoring in the Math Help Center, 8-10 hrs/week
  • Grading, 9hrs/week

Summer School TA’s are paid per duty and typically earn between ~ $1,500-$5,000 for their summer assignments. If you would like to obtain a list of current stipend amounts for the various summer TA duties, please contact the Graduate Student Services Manager.

Due to high demand and the limited number of summer courses offered, not all interested students are able to teach their own course during Summer School. The following distribution of duties based on program year is given to provide current students with a realistic glimpse of actual assignments made in a recent summer:

      • Teaching a course: 2 fifth-years, 6 fourth-years, 5 third-years, 4 second-years, typically: higher year student mean higher class
      • Recitations: 4 second-years, 1 first-year
      • Lab: 2 second-years, 1 first-year
      • MHC: 1 fourth-year, 1 second-year, 4 first-years
      • Grading: 1 second-year, 4 first-years

The Summer School Director typically distributes a Summer School TA application to the graduate listserv in December.

Summer RA

Summer RA positions are excellent opportunities for first- and second-year graduate students to dive into research, and so help them decide on the line of investigation that they want to pursue. RA for newer students are typically 1-month appointments, during which the student is expected to work full-time, 40 hours a week, on the research projects that the PI assigns. A typical one month appointment in summer would provide an amount comparable to the RA/TA monthly salary during the academic year.

If the student is participating in study sessions for the comprehensive exams, the student and PI may agree on distributing the month of RA effort as ~25 hours a week for 6-7 weeks.

Once an advisor/advisee relationship has been established, Summer RA appointments are often extended over the whole summer, mid May-mid August, and can provide approximately 3 months additional salary for the student.

Our Student Services Manager will send out a Summer RA appointment form in an e-mail to graduate students and faculty in December.

Please note: students are allowed to hold a combination of TA and RA appointments during the summer months.

Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship

To be eligible for a Summer Research Fellowship, students must have no other summer TA or RA funding. The fellowship allows students to focus exclusively on their dissertation research and includes a $5,000 stipend. Our department may nominate up to THREE students per year for the Summer Research Fellowship. The Graduate Director will send out a call for nominations late in the fall semester and nominees will be notified of award decisions by mid-April.

External internships

Some of our student pursue a career in industry. Former students have participated in summer internships with well-known companies, such as Microsoft and Wells Fargo. Students should discuss these opportunities with their advisor and/or research opportunities on their own.


The application for Summer School TA positions will be sent out in December.   Department Administrators are required to submit our TA nominations to the Summer School Office by February 1st

Before applying for Summer School TA positions, we ask that students discuss any potential Summer RA support with their advisor. 

Summer RA appointment forms will be due in mid-January, with the understanding that some decisions about RA hiring will need to be made later due to various funding considerations. 

Graduate Student Life

UNC Graduate Mathematics Association (GMA)

Elects representatives each academic year who organize departmental activities.

GMA Representatives 2023-24

President: Maddie Brown
Vice President: Emma Crawford
Treasurer: Isaac Weiss
Tea Time Coordinators: Tiger Cheng
GPSF Senators: Matthew Crawford, Isaac Weiss
GMA Seminar Coordinators: Logan Gray, Kexuan Yang
Athletic Coordinators: Corbin Balitactac, Nerion Zekaj
Social Chairs: Will Davis, Nolan Michniewicz
T-Shirt Design: Anna Coletti

Department Activities

Tea Time:

A tradition in the UNC Math department, “Tea Time” is held each weekday during the academic year from 03:30 pm to 04:00 pm. Tea, coffee and snacks are set out in the graduate student lounge. This is welcome respite from your hard studies and gives you a chance to socialize with other students.

Weekly Seminars:

See EVENTS tab


Directed Reading Program

Chapel Hill Math Circle

UNC Science Expo


Association of Women in Mathematics Chapter (AWM)

Anti-Racism Community Group (ARC): please contact K. Medlin for more information.


Intramural Sports: Teams are formed throughout the year based on student interest. Contact Sarah Carpenter if you are interested in creating/joining a team.

Finishing Students

There are many deadlines, requirements and events to keep in mind when approaching graduation. The following information may be useful to students nearing the completion of their degrees.

Degree Requirement Checklist

Have you met all of your degree rquirements? Check this table to make sure you have not forgotten anything.

Ph.D Master’s
Minimum 48 semester hours of course work Minimum 30 semester hours of course work
Complete degree within eight years of initial registration Complete degree within five years of initial registration
Pass written comprehensive exams in Pure or Applied Math option Pass one of the written Ph.D comprehensive exams at the Master’s level
Pass oral examination Write a Master’s Thesis or complete a Master’s Project
Perform public dissertation defense Pass oral examination after completion of thesis or project
Complete computer language requirement to demonstrate programming ability Complete computer language requirement to demonstrate programming ability
Perform minimum of two semesters instructional service

Dissertation Submission Checklist
Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony
Departmental Commencement Ceremony

The Linker Award

The J. Burton Linker Fund, established by J. Burton Linker, Jr. ’44 of Chapel Hill and Edward M. Linker of Martinsville, Va., in honor of UNC-CH Mathematics Professor J. Burton Linker, provides for the annual Linker Award. The Linker Award is given by the Department to the graduate student who has shown the greatest effectiveness as a teacher of undergraduate mathematics courses.  The Linker Award Committee typically send out out a call for nominations midway through the Fall semester (October).  The award recipient is notified in the Spring semester (March) and is recognized at the departmental commencement ceremony in May.

Resources for Women in STEM

Research shows that women are underrepresented across most technical and scientific fields, including data science. Diversity is important across all academic and professional fields, and it is particularly important in areas that drive innovation and are developing solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. Research also shows that in order to increase the diversity Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, STEM, fields, the pipeline of guidance and inclusion needs to extend from early education all the way through professional development and career support.

  • AWM Student Chapter
    The Association for Women in Mathematics Chapter at UNC-Chapel Hill, AWMCH, is a registered student organization made up of undergraduate and graduate students. The goal of the chapter is to foster a sense community amongst women in mathematics and promote diversity in the mathematical sciences. Students of any gender are welcome. Information on AWMCH events and activities is distributed through its listserv. Chapter activities include:

    • Mentor Network pairing undergraduate mentees with graduate student mentors
    • Girls Talk Math – a two-week summer day camp for high schoolers of an underrepresented gender in the Triangle area.
    • Public Lectures by female mathematicians
    • Social events

    Visit the AWMCH website for more information and to join the listserv. Contact with any questions.

  • Graduate Resources for Women in STEM
    Learn more about STEM graduate degree programs, scholarships and career options.
  • A Guide for Women in STEM
    This guide is intended to provide a general background and specific resources for women considering STEM fields. It provides information regarding:

    • Issues and challenges women face in STEM Fields
    • How companies are recruiting more women to fill positions in these fields
    • Resources for those women interested in pursuing a career in STEM
    • Data Science specific resources for women considering a career as a data scientist
  • How campuses and programs are making an effort to foster a welcoming environment for females to succeed in the STEM fields
  • Tips for getting Girls Involved in Stem
    Learn more about getting young women involved in STEM.
  • Women in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
    It’s important that women’s participation in cryptocurrency business and blockchain tech happens quickly. Early adopters who develop blockchains and invest in cryptocurrencies before they go mainstream get the lion’s share of its wealth and influence.
    Unless women get involved soon, two important opportunities might get missed: the chance to make their mark on modern finance, and the moment to share the wealth that new, successful technologies bring.

For Additional Information Contact

Ann Van Elsue
Graduate Student Services Manager
Phillips Hall 331A