Transfer from Master’s to Doctoral Studies

A terminal master’s student may submit a written request to transfer into the Ph.D. program once:

  1. The qualifying exam requirements for the Ph.D. program have been met and
  2. A faculty member has agreed in writing to be the student’s dissertation advisor.

If both of the above conditions have been met, then the dissertation advisor must submit a written statement convincing the Qualifying Examination and Appeals Committee (QEAC) that the student is comparable to excellent students admitted directly into the Ph.D. program.

The following are important aspects of the Department of Mathematics policy on master’s students transferring into the Ph.D. program:

  1. The number of transfers that can be approved by QEAC in any given year is extremely limited.
  2. The Department does not offer support to transferred students before they have advanced to candidacy. Even after advancement, support is not guaranteed, as it depends on availability of funding.
  3. Transferring from the master’s program may require renewal of an I-20 for international students, and such students should make their financial plans accordingly.
  4. To be eligible for support as a teaching assistant, non-native English speakers must pass the English examination administered by the Department in conjunction with the Teaching and Learning Commons.

Note: The expectation in the UC San Diego Department of Mathematics is that an applicant for graduate studies should be upfront about the intended degree when applying. Submitting an application for a terminal M.A. or M.S. degree when the real intention is to try to earn a Ph.D. in the Department is discouraged.