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Ph. D. Systems Science/Mathematics





The Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics is a participating department in the  Systems Science Ph.D. Program. The Departmental Option is a course of study toward a Ph.D. in Systems Science, but administered by the individual participating departments. Most of the coursework taken will be from courses offered in or specified by the department. The primary advisor will be from the department.


Dr. Serge Preston, Ph.D. Systems Science/Mathematics Coordinator and Adviser,

Kathie Leck, Graduate Programs Administrative Assistant, 503-725-8244,

I. Admission.

Applications received by the Systems Science Department, which indicate the choice of the Departmental option, will be forwarded to the appropriate department when the application is complete.  The department will, after reviewing these files, make recommendations for action to the Systems Science Admissions Committee.

Applicants for admission to the Systems Science/Mathematics program will be expected to have completed an undergraduate degree with the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in mathematics. An applicant's record is given a preliminary evaluation by the Graduate School and is then evaluated by the departmental Graduate Committee. Since standard undergraduate transcripts are often not very informative, applicants are encouraged to submit a list of courses taken, text books used, and topics covered. The Graduate Record Examination is required but may be waived in special circumstances. Admission to the program requires that the department find the applicant prepared to undertake study leading to the doctoral degree in mathematics. Upon admission to the program the student will be assigned an Advisory Committee to supervise the student's exam schedule and program of courses. After satisfactory completion of the comprehensive examinations, a doctoral committee headed by a thesis advisor will be appointed to supervise the remainder of the student's program. 

Note: Students whose undergraduate preparation is deemed inadequate by the Graduate Committee may be required to take specified undergraduate courses to remedy deficiencies. These courses would not count toward a graduate degree.

Admission and Application Information

II.Course Requirements.

A. Students whose highest degree in mathematics or related fields is a bachelor's degree

A minimum of 94 credit hours beyond a bachelor's degree distributed as follows:

Approved graduate level courses. 63 credits
Out of these:
a) Mathematics courses of which at least 36 credits are 600 level
45 crs
b) Sy Sc core sequence 8 crs
c) Additional Systems Science courses
(may include cross-listed courses given by participating departments)
8 crs
Doctoral seminar 6 crs
Thesis (603)

27 crs


B. Students entering with a master's degree in mathematics or related fields

A minimum of 69 credit hours beyond a master's degree distributed as follows:

Approved graduate level courses. 36 credits
Out of these
a) Mathematics courses at the 600 level 18 cr
b) Sy Sc core sequence 8 cr
c) Additional Systems Science courses
(may include cross-listed courses given by participating departments)
8 cr
Doctoral seminar 6 credits
Thesis (603) 27 credits

The student will be expected to participate in colloquia offered by the department. When the committee determines that the student has developed an adequate background in mathematics, it will recommend that the student take written and oral comprehensive examinations.

III. Examinations.

Preliminary examination: Before the end of the third term after enrolling in this program a student must take a preliminary examination. This is intended as a diagnostic exam. The admissions committee will use the results in the development of a program for students who perform satisfactorily on this exam.

Comprehensive examinations: All students must take a written examination in Systems Science and three written examinations in mathematics. Choices for the mathematics examinations are as follows:

Option 1:  2 from among Algebra, Analysis, and Topology, and 1 other

Option 2: Analysis, Statistics, Probability

In addition, the student must take an oral examination following the written examinations.

Final Oral Examination: A presentation and public defense of the student's dissertation will be held following completion of work.

IV. Language Requirement.

Competency must be demonstrated in one of the following languages: French, German, Russian. The choice must be approved by the student's advisory committee. The examination is administered by the Department of Foreign Languages or by the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics (student's option).

V. Dissertation.

As soon as the student successfully completes course, language and examinations requirements, the student must submit a prospectus for a doctor dissertation. A major advisor and a doctoral committee are then assigned to the student to guide research. The dissertation must constitute a substantial contribution to knowledge.

VI. Advancement to Candidacy.

Following approval of dissertation prospectus, the student is recommended for advancement to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

VII. Residency.

A minimum of three consecutive terms in this program must be spent in full-time residence at Portland State University.

The above requirements are descriptive, and they are subject to amplification and/or change. Further information regarding requirements may be requested the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics.