American Mathematical Society
Statement on Graduate Programs in Mathematics
(as adopted by the January 1995 Council)
The current employment situation in mathematics has led to difficult questions concerning the size and structure of graduate programs in this country. The Council of the AMS feels that the Society must take a leading role in addressing these questions. However, as past experience has shown, the Society cannot reliably predict future trends in education and employment prospects for mathematicians. Further, the Society is not in a position to dictate policies to universities. The Council thus concludes:
It is not the Society’s role to attempt to regulate the size of graduate programs in mathematics. However, we urge individual departments to reexamine the content, focus, and size of their programs and consider possible restructuring or reallocation of resources to better serve their needs and the needs of their students and graduates. In some cases this may involve shifting resources from graduate programs to postdoctoral programs or from PhD programs to Masters programs. It may also involve broadening the training of graduate students to prepare them for non-academic as well as academic careers.
In its leadership role, the Society is in a unique position to collect and disseminate information, organize efforts, and provide assistance on the employment situation. In this regard, the Society is actively pursuing many of the recommendations made by its Task Force on Employment. Much more remains to be done. Thus:
Addressing the interlinked questions of graduate education and employment of mathematicians is and will remain a high priority for the American Mathematical Society. The Council pledges to continue to commit Society resources and efforts to help enhance career opportunities for its members.