The Ph.D. program in Mathematics or Mathematical Statistics requires that an exam be taken to test competence in reading one of the following foreign languages: French, German, or Russian. This exam must be passed before the final oral Ph.D. examination ("dissertation defense") can be scheduled. The language requirement can be waived by the Graduate Director for students whose native language is one of the three languages above.
The format for the language exam is simple; students are given a short mathematical passage (1-3 pages) to read and translate. Use of a dictionary is allowed. The purpose of the language exam is to prove that the student is capable of reading some of the important mathematical literature not published in English. Below are sample passages in each of the three languages.