Ph.D. in Mathematics


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

Welcome to the Department of Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics at Boston College seeks to advance mathematics through a commitment to excellence in research, teaching, and service to the community. The faculty has a strong research reputation, with highly regarded research groups in the areas of Algebraic Geometry, Geometry, Number Theory, Representation Theory, and Topology.

The department’s Ph.D. program was launched in 2010 and now supports 25 to 30 graduate students, attracting doctoral students from top programs both nationally and internationally. Service contributions include extensive work with pre-collegiate math teachers, involvement with mathematics policy questions at the state and national levels and support for scholarship in mathematics through the organization of international scholarly meetings and the editing of high-quality journals.

As you explore Boston College, you will no doubt be impressed by the strength of our graduate programs and the depth of the resources we offer to support outstanding graduate study. On-campus, one-third of all students are graduate welcome to the department of mathematics students; they are a vital part of the intellectual life of the university. Graduate students across all Boston College programs contribute to and benefit from the charism of a Jesuit university, combining a zest for academic achievement with a climate that fosters personal growth and a caring concern for the individual.

Our location in Boston—a world-renowned center for mathematics—also provides a vibrant intellectual climate in which our graduate students thrive.

Graduate Program

Ph.D. Program in Mathematics

The Mathematics department at Boston College offers a selective and focused doctoral program for talented students specializing in three broad research areas: Geometry/Topology, Number Theory/Representation Theory, and Algebraic Geometry. Students in this program are supported with Teaching Fellowships, which include a generous stipend plus complete tuition remission. The limited size of our program contributes to a tight-knit group of friendly graduate students who interact closely with our mathematics faculty.

The research areas of our faculty in Geometry/Topology include:

  • Dynamics;
  • Heegaard-Floer and Khovanov homology;
  • Hyperbolic geometry;
  • Kleinian groups;
  • Knot theory
  • Spectral geometry; and
  • Three-dimensional manifolds and their geometry.

Faculty interested in these research areas are Professors Baldwin, Biringer, Bridgeman, Chen, Greene, Grigsby, Kelmer, Li, Meyerhoff, and Treumann.

The research areas of our faculty in Number Theory/Representation Theory include:

  • Analytic number theory;
  • Automorphic forms and representations;
  • The cohomology of arithmetic groups;
  • Galois representations;
  • Geometric representation theory;
  • The Langlands Conjectures;
  • Multiple Dirichlet series;
  • Representations of p-adic groups; and
  • Shimura varieties.

Faculty interested in these research areas are Professors Ash, Friedberg, Gross, Howard, Kelmer, Reeder and Treumann.

The research areas of our faculty in Algebraic Geometry include:

  • Algebraic geometry and dynamics;
  • Birational geometry;
  • Derived categories;
  • Geometric representation theory;
  • The geometry of moduli spaces; and
  • Logarithmic geometry.

Faculty interested in these research areas are Professors D. Chen, Q. Chen, Fedorchuk, Lehmann, and Treumann.

Our internationally recognized faculty publish in these areas in top journals. The BC math department is also a sponsor for the BC-MIT Number Theory Seminar, the Algebraic Geometry Northeastern Series, and the Hamilton Geometry and Topology Workshop at Trinity College. Students have opportunities to attend seminars throughout the Boston area and also to travel to conferences and workshops around the globe.

Learning Outcomes

The Department of Mathematics is engaged in an ongoing effort to assess our programs. We have organized this effort around several learning goals. We measure student outcomes in these areas annually, and we use that information to improve the structure and content of our major, and our doctoral program.

The learning outcomes to be attained for graduate students are:

  • Students will have a broad knowledge of the major areas of modern mathematics (algebra, analysis, and geometry) and detailed command of advanced topics in at least one of these areas.
  • Students will be able to do original research in their area of study.
  • Students will teach effective courses in mathematics at the college level.

Financial Assistance

Department Funding

Doctoral students are generally admitted with financial aid in the form of research assistantships. These awards include a competitive stipend and a full-tuition scholarship toward all courses related to the program. Doctoral students generally serve as teaching fellows after the first year. Funding is renewable for up to five years contingent on satisfactory progress toward degree completion.

Ph.D. candidates are expected to pursue the degree on a full-time basis and to maintain satisfactory progress toward the completion of degree requirements.

Last updated Aug 2019

About the School

The Robert J. Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences fosters the rigorous intellectual development and the religious, ethical, and personal growth of its students. Morrissey College faculty and studen ... Read More

The Robert J. Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences fosters the rigorous intellectual development and the religious, ethical, and personal growth of its students. Morrissey College faculty and students directly engage the world’s most pressing problems, using their gifts to enhance the common good. Read less