2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 21, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Mathematics PhD, Financial Mathematics Track

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College: Sciences Degree: PHD
Department: Mathematics Option: Dissertation
Program Websites: https://math.cos.ucf.edu/graduate/

Track Description

The Financial Mathematics track in the Mathematics PhD program is designed to prepare students for research and leadership positions in industry, government, non-governmental organizations, and academia requiring employment of financial mathematics.


The Mathematics PhD program consists of at least 75 credit hours of course work beyond the bachelor’s degree, of which a minimum of 48 hours of formal course work, exclusive of independent study, are required. The program requires 36 credit hours of core courses and 15 credit hours of dissertation research (7980).  

Total Credit Hours Required: 75 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Required Courses—36 Credit Hours

The remaining credit hours consist of additional dissertation research (7980 or 7919), at least 12 credit hours of regular classroom elective courses, and at most 12 credit hours of independent study or independent directed research. Students who pass the qualifying examination may substitute some of the core courses with the approval of the adviser and the graduate program director. 

All students are required to complete the following courses with grade of “B” or better.

Elective Courses: 24 Credit Hours

Elective courses require the approval of the adviser and the graduate program director; up to 12 credit hours of elective courses may be taken outside the department. At least one-half of the program courses must be taken at the 6000 level. At least 12 hours of elective course work must be formal course work, exclusive of independent study. 

Electives are chosen in consultation with the student’s advisory committee and may be chosen from the suggested options: Discrete Mathematics, General Applied Mathematics, Mathematical Computer Tomography, Image Processing and Computer Graphics, Mathematical Finance, Mathematical Optics, Mathematical Physics, Pure Mathematics, Rational Mechanics, Signal Analysis, and Mathematical Statistics. A list of elective course options can be obtained from the graduate program director.

Courses that are taken outside the Mathematics department must be approved by both the adviser and graduate program director. These courses are selected in consultation with the student’s advisory committee.

Dissertation: 15 Credit Hours Minimum

After passing the candidacy examination and meeting the other requirements that are required for admission to candidacy, the student can register for Doctoral Dissertation (MAP 7980). A minimum of 15 Doctoral Dissertation credit hours are required for the degree.

  • MAP 7980 - Dissertation Research 15 Credit Hours (minimum)

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying/comprehensive examination is based on the core course work. To continue in the PhD program, students must pass the examination at the PhD level. Two attempts are permitted. The examination will be administered twice a year: one in the Fall semester and the other in the Spring semester. To take the examination, students must have earned a “B” or better in each core course, must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (out of 4.0) in the program, or must obtain permission from the graduate program director. Students will normally take the examination after the first year and are expected to have passed it by the end of the second year of study, unless a written request for a postponement has been approved by the Graduate Committee at least two months before the examination date. The student must pass the Qualifying Examination in at most two attempts. 

It is strongly recommended that the student select a dissertation adviser by the completion of 18 credit hours of course work, and it is strongly recommended that the student works with the dissertation adviser to form a dissertation committee within two semesters of passing the Qualifying Examination.

Candidacy Examination

The Candidacy Examination consists of a written examination based on the materials from two selected two-semester sequence courses taken by the students. A committee formed or selected by the Graduate Committee or the graduate program director is responsible for preparing and grading the written examinations. 

Each sequence that is selected for the candidacy examination must be approved by the dissertation adviser, the dissertation committee, and the graduate program director. Students in the Financial Mathematics Track will ordinarily select one of the sequences for their candidacy examination to be MAP 5XXX/MAP 6XXX Financial Mathematics I and II.

The Candidacy Examination can be attempted after passing the qualifying examination. The Candidacy Examination must be completed within three years after passing the qualifying examination. A student must successfully pass the Candidacy Examination within at most two attempts.

Admission to Candidacy

The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours:

  • Completion of all course work, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of the candidacy examination.
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submittal of an approved program of study.

Dissertation Proposal Examination

After passing the candidacy examination, the student will prepare a dissertation proposal and orally present it to the dissertation advisory committee for approval. The proposal will include a description of the research performed to date and an agenda for the research planned to be completed for the dissertation. In addition to standards of correctness, indicating a suitable level of mastery of the material of the area of the dissertation, and suitability of the proposed dissertation topic, the presentation must meet current standards for professional presentations within the discipline of mathematics. For the successful completion of the Dissertation Proposal Examination, the presentation must be judged as passing the requirements for the examination by the majority of the dissertation committee. This exam must be passed within 18 months of passing the candidacy examination and not later than the end of the sixth year of graduate study. A candidate must pass this examination within at most two attempts.

Dissertation Defense

Upon completion of a student’s research, the student’s committee schedules an oral defense of the dissertation. Most students complete the program within five years after obtaining their bachelor’s degree. Students are expected to complete the dissertation in no more than seven years from the date of admission to the program.

Independent Learning

The required 15 credit hours of dissertation will provide ample opportunities for students to gain the independent learning experience through studying published research papers and deriving, on their own, new and meaningful research results.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Bachelor’s degree in related field.
  • Official, competitive GRE score, taken in the last five years.
    • NOTE: The GRE has been removed as an admission requirement for this graduate program for applicants applying Spring 2021 through the Fall 2021 term. This is a temporary measure in response to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Goal statement.
  • Résumé.
  • Applicants to this program, except those that have earned or will earn a Masters or Doctoral degree from an accredited U.S. institution recognized by UCF, who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.

Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of the program and faculty expertise to the applicant’s career/academic goals, and the applicant’s potential for completing the degree.

Transfer of credits from other programs will be considered on a course-by-course basis. Additionally, students entering the graduate program with regular status are assumed to have a working knowledge of undergraduate calculus, differential equations, linear algebra (or matrix theory), boundary value problems, statistics, computer programming, and maturity in the language of advanced calculus (at the level of MAA 4226). Students who are not adequately prepared in one or more of these areas can select appropriate courses from the undergraduate curriculum to make up such deficiencies. Such courses, unless specially approved, do not count toward the graduate degree.

Application Deadlines

Financial Mathematics *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 July 1 Dec 1  
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15 Jul 1  
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship. 

The department offers over 20 Graduate Teaching Assistantships every year on a competitive basis. A few Graduate Research Assistantships are also available for qualified students.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Qiyu Sun
Telephone: 407-823-4839
PO Box 161364

Graduate Admissions

Anthony Tufano
Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230  
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL  32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241

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