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Comprehensive Examination

Written examination

This written examination comprises two parts :

  • A first general examination, common to all candidates, on aspects of the undergraduate mathematics programme
  • A second specialized examination on more advanced topics, in one of the following domains: actuarial mathematics, algebra, analysis, geometry/topology, applied mathematics, probability.

There are two rounds of examinations per year, in January and May. Following their registration, mathematics doctoral candidates should attempt the general examination of the first round available and the specialized examination of the second round available. If a candidate does not pass an examination or fails to attempt an examination, he/she will have the right to a resit examination at the following round. In the event of failing a resit examination or if the examination is not attempted, the members of the jury assigned to the student will meet in order to decide whether or not it will pronounce unanimously that the student has failed the written examination according to article 87E of the teaching regulations of the Faculty of postgraduate and postdoctoral studies (FESP). The preparation, marking and evaluation of the written examinations will be entrusted to committees consisting of two members for the specialized examination and of three members for the general examination. The members of these committees are nominated annually by the Head of Department.

Syllabus of the comprehensive written examination (French Only)


A written examination consisting of two common examinations based on topics in two out of the three following areas:

  • mathematical statistics
  • probability
  • applied statistics

Oral Examination

The oral examination deals with the candidate’s research topic and related subjects. The oral examination takes place before the end of the sixth trimester, at the latest. An essential preliminary to the oral examination is the preparation of a written document describing the research problem and containing a comprehensive bibliography. After approval of the document by the jury, its president fixes the date for the oral examination.

Following the oral examination, the members of the jury assigned to the student will decide by a majority on the student’s success or otherwise of the oral and written examinations, in keeping with article 87E of the teaching regulations of the Faculty of postgraduate and postdoctoral studies (FESP). According to these regulations, the jury has the right to postpone the oral examination on one occasion only before making its decision. In this case, the extension granted by the jury may not exceed six months.

The members of the jury assigned to the student are nominated by the Head of Department during the student’s second trimester, at the latest. The jury is made up of three members: the research supervisor, a president and one other member.