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Appendix C Formal Policies

Subsection C.1 Formal (ORC) Department Degree Requirements

Dartmouth College offers programs of graduate study leading to the PhD and A.M. degrees in mathematics. With rare exceptions, the A.M. is the first step in the PhD. program. The PhD. program is designed to meet the need for mathematicians who are highly qualified in both teaching and scholarship. The College provides an environment in which a doctoral candidate can pursue professional study in mathematics and prepare to be an effective teacher.

Subsubsection C.1.1 Degree Requirements for Masters Degree (A.M.)

In addition to the general College requirements for the master's degree, the department requirements for the A.M. in mathematics are as follows:

  • Satisfactory completion of three out of five pairs of core courses: (101, 111), (103, 113) (104, 114), (106, 116), (126, 136). (See Note (1))
  • Successful completion of the Advancement Examination at a Master's level.
  • Non-course requirements which parallel those for students continuing in the PhD. program. In particular, students must receive credit for Mathematics 107 once during each year while enrolled.
  • Completion of at least five terms in good standing. (See Note (2))
  • Note (1): Normally this requirement for the A.M. is completed in the first year. Study may be extended into the second year, only if approved. Syllabi for these ten courses are available from the Department of Mathematics.
  • Note (2): In addition to five terms in residence, students must obtain credit in fifteen courses of graduate quality with a limit of at most five replaced by approved research or special study.

Subsubsection C.1.2 Degree Requirements for the Doctor's degree (PhD.)

The requirements for the PhD. degree in mathematics are as follows:

  • Successful completion of the A.M. degree (described above).
  • Successful completion of the Advancement Examination at the PhD level.
  • Admission to PhD. candidacy by the departmental Graduate Program Committee as a result of its review, which takes place at the end of the spring term of the second year of graduate study. This review will take account of all the relevant information that the Graduate Program Committee can gather, such as the student’s record in courses and seminars, the student’s performance during the advancement process, and an estimate of the student’s ability to write an acceptable thesis.
  • Completion of a doctoral thesis of acceptable quality, and its defense in an oral examination.
  • Successful completion of the teaching seminar and teaching two courses in the three years after passing to candidacy. Preparation for the teaching seminar includes such activities as TAing in the years before admission to candidacy. This requirement is met by receiving credit for Mathematics 107 once during each year preceding admission to candidacy, credit for Mathematics 147, and credit for Mathematics 149 twice during the three years following admission to candidacy.

Subsection C.2 Departmental Amplification of Degree Requirements

The following statements represent current department policy. While policy does change from time to time based upon votes of the faculty, any exceptions to this policy must be explicitly approved by the GPC.

  1. Every graduate student is required to register and complete three courses per term. Before the end of the first year, students are expected to take at least three out of five pairs of core courses: (101, 111), (103, 113) (104, 114), (106, 116), (126, 136) as well as three more courses of their choice. In addition, each student should register for 107 during the second term of each year in which they serve as a teaching assistant.

    Students should take at least four classroom courses during their second year [noting that the content of 106, 116, 111, 113, and 114 alternate topics in even and odd years].

    A student taking five years to complete the degree is required to take a minimum of 8 classroom courses during years 3-5, with a running average of approximately 3 classroom courses per year. Deficits in one year are to be made up in the next.

    Students are expected to register for Math 147 when taking DCAL's Future Faculty Teaching Seminar during their second year, and must also complete math-specific pedagogical training (Math 148) that year in order to be eligible to teach in subsequent years. Finally, students must register for Math 149 in each teaching term (see also item 6).

    Students who supplement standard coursework with reading courses (127, 137) must have a supervisor for each such course. While these are expectations for typical graduate students, the Advisor to Graduate Students may grant alternate course plans at his/her discretion.

  2. Students must take a preliminary exam at just before the start of their first summer in the program. The pure math exam covers topics in algebra, analysis, and topology, while the applied math exam covers three of four topics covered by 106, 116, 126, and 136. For students who do not pass the exam at the start of summer, it is expected that they will retake the exam at the start of fall term.

    The path for second year students differs in fine detail for pure and applied students, but roughly speaking all students will form an Advancement/Thesis committee and must successfully complete an individually tailored Advancement Exam at a level appropriate for a PhD. as a prerequisite to advancement to candidacy.

  3. Advancement to Candidacy: On the basis of all available information, the Graduate Program Committee decides whether it is in the student's best interest and Dartmouth's best interest for a student to continue studying towards a PhD. degree at Dartmouth. The largest part of this process is the successful completion of the Advancement Exam at a level appropriate for a PhD. Another essential part is the selection of a thesis advisor, a secondary advisor, and the approval of the Graduate Program Committee. The primary and secondary thesis advisors must indicate their acceptance of the student by signing the advisor form obtained from and returned to Graduate Secretary prior to GPC consideration.
  4. Students whose native language is not English may be required to take an ESL (English as a Second Language) course offered through the Graduate Studies Office prior to teaching for the department.
  5. The Graduate Office establishes requirements for the composition of a dissertation committee and for the presentation and submission of the thesis.

    No student may schedule their thesis defense until all other requirements for the degree have been satisfied.

  6. Students prepare for the teaching seminar through activities such as TAing in the years before admission to candidacy. Students receive credit for Math 107 for acceptable performance in two quarters of TAing each year before admission to candidacy. They receive credit for Math 147 by completing DCAL's Future Faculty Teaching Seminar and for Math 148 for completing the math-specific pedagogical training. They receive credit for Math 149 for acceptable performance in one quarter of teaching each year after admission to candidacy. The Graduate Program Committee may occasionally approve substitution of other professional activities to meet TAing or teaching requirements, subject to the proviso that each student must earn credit for Math 107 at least once, credit for Math 147, and credit for Math 149 at least twice.

Subsection C.3 Grievances

Here are departmental guidelines about what you should do if you have a grievance.

First of all, what is a grievance? You may have a grievance if you feel that you are being treated unfairly or inappropriately, whether by a faculty member, a fellow student, or anyone else with whom you interact as a graduate student. These grievances can be anything from alleged violations of the terms of agreements and guidelines, to more subtle disputes about the fairness of an advisor's oversight, perceived issues of departmental favoritism, remuneration, joint publication, bias concerning gender, race, sexual orientation, et cetera, or concerns about personal conduct.

The first thing to do with a possible grievance is to try to solve it informally within, or with the help of, the department. Two important points about this are:

  • We will maintain your confidentiality to the utmost of our abilities.
  • If you try for an informal resolution and are not satisfied, you can then go on to formal procedures.

Here are the steps we suggest you follow:

  • Try to resolve the issue with the other person or people directly involved. If you can't do this, or it seems too risky to attempt it, then go on to the next step.
  • Consult your advisor, the Advisor to Graduate Students or the Graduate Program Representative. You should feel free to talk to any of these people with whom you feel comfortable and who you feel has enough distance from the problem to be an effective advisor. If this person can't help you reach an effective resolution, go on to the next step.
  • Talk to the Department Chair or to the Graduate Program Committee. The department chair or the GPC may be able to suggest some appropriate action by the department that will resolve the situation. This is still an informal resolution, and if you are still dissatisfied, it is time to take matters out of the department.
  • Talk to the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies (Gary Hutchins.) He will try once again to help you reach an informal resolution, and if that fails, will be able to tell you what formal action to take. This may be to request a hearing from the Dean of Graduate Studies, to approach the Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity, or to follow some other formal procedure.

Addendum from the Office of Graduate Studies

If the Dean, working together with the aggrieved student and appropriate faculty member(s) or representatives of the mathematics graduate program, is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution, the student can request in writing a formal hearing and ruling by the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Committee on Student Grievances. Formal hearings are conducted as described in the Graduate Handbook (see sections titled “Committee on Student Grievances” and “Formal Hearing” under Academic and Conduct Regulations).

Please note that reports of scientific misconduct, violations of the academic honor principle, and certain issues of professional and personal conduct (sexual harassment, discrimination, and others described in the graduate handbook under code of conduct — non-academic regulations) are handled in the Graduate Office as described in the graduate handbook. Graduate students are encouraged to use the informal channels described in their program's grievance policy to discuss these issues, to clear up possible misunderstandings, to clarify potential grievances, and to decide whether further steps are necessary. A student who after such discussion feels there may be a violation or a grievance requiring some action should report this to the Graduate Office.