MS in Mathematics

The Master of Science in Mathematics provides students with basic graduate training in mathematics. As an MS student, you'll choose from a widely ranging program of study that may focus on pure or applied mathematics. The program's flexible coursework is designed to prepare you for employment in areas such as academia, government, business or industry or for further graduate study. You'll work with your graduate advisor to design a program of study geared towards your interests and goals.

Please also see the MS Handbook for further details and procedures of the program.

Program Requirements

  • A minimum of 9 courses, a total of at least 30 semester hour units (SHUs), are required to complete the MS in Mathematics. At least four of the courses must be numbered above 200
  • All courses must be completed with grades of grades of B- or better to count towards the degree.
  • A passing grade on a PhD qualifying exam would satisfy one of the 200-level course requirements, but 9 courses are still needed for the degree. Students are encouraged to review qualifying exams and the registration process. For additional information, review the PhD Handbook.
  • If the 9 courses do not add up to 30 SHUs, a student may take any Math or mathematically-significant related fields course above 120 toward the degree to reach the credit limit. Unless otherwise stated, the following courses are excluded from counting towards the course requirements: Math 192, 193, 195-196, 291-292, 294-298. However, these courses may be counted toward the total 30 SHU requirement.

Course Requirements

The course requirements are broken down into three categories plus a thesis option.

  1. Mathematical Breadth:
    • 3 regularly offered Math courses above 120.
    • 1 course must be at the 200 level.
    • Each course must be in a separate discipline, indicated by the 2nd digit of the course numbering.
    • Special topics courses or reading courses in a given area must be approved by the Graduate Committee.
  2. Concentration:
    • 4 regularly offered Math courses above 120.
    • In consultation with the student's adviser and with approval from the graduate committee, students may choose the four courses such that they form a concentration in a sub-discipline of mathematics. This will then be indicated informally on the student's transcript. Concentrations may be as broad as "Computational Mathematics" or "Topology," but also very specific if there are courses to match. Please see the MS Handbook for more examples. A student can choose predetermined concentrations, choose their own, or not choose one at all. Students choosing a concentration must email the Graduate Director one month prior to graduation to indicate which concentration they choose, otherwise none will be given.
    • Special topics courses or reading courses in a given area must be approved by the Graduate Committee.
  3. Electives:
    • 2 courses, which can be any Math course numbered above 100 OR "related fields" courses.
    • This may include upper level, mathematically significant courses in Computer Science, Physics, Economics, or other departments. Please see the list of courses that have already been approved and disapproved in this category. If a course is not listed there, then a student can ask the Graduate Committee to approve it as an elective course.
  4. Master's Thesis Option:
    • Equivalent to 1 concentration course and 1 elective course.
    • Satisfies 1 of the 4 200-level overall course requirements.
    • A student fulfills this requirement by writing an expository paper on a specific topic in mathematics under the direction of a member of the department, and upon completion, presenting it before a committee of three or more faculty members. Please see MS Handbook for more details.
    • Students must enroll in courses Math 295 and 296 in their final year of study, which account for 5 SHUs each toward the 30 SHUs, but not toward the 7 other total courses needed.