Mathematical Sciences

A subtle thought that is in error may yet give rise to fruitful inquiry that can establish truths of great value. —Isaac Asimov

Mathematical Sciences—MS, PhD

Fast Facts

  • The statistical genetics group is well-funded by the National Institutes of Health and is doing important research to determine the genetic basis of various diseases.
  • Internationally known experts in discrete mathematics are on the faculty.
  • Graduate courses are small, affording students plenty of individual attention.

Learn more about the Mathematical Sciences program.

Graduate Programs in Mathematical Sciences

Michigan Tech's Mathematical Sciences program is uniquely known for its emphasis in compoutational mathematics, statistical genetics, and combinatories.

Mathematics and statistics are used in research to address a variety of problems. Some examples include using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to design cleaner diesel engines; using CFD to study flows in visco-elastic fluids and emulsions, including those important to the food industry; developing statistical methods and efficient computer algorithms to identify genes correlated with disease, including diabetes, hypertension, and Lou Gehrig’s disease; designing and analyzing error-correcting codes to improve the transport of information over noisy channels; studying combinatorial designs for applications such as product testing and scheduling; and developing monitoring plans for wildlife populations.

The department is affiliated with the Computational Science and Engineering program, in which students combine mathematics and high performance computing to solve real engineering or science problems.

The department has a thorough training program for graduate teaching assistants. GTAs are carefully prepared for their instructional duties and for future teaching careers at the university level.

Learn more about the Mathematical Sciences program.

Master's Degree: Thesis Option

This option requires a research thesis prepared under the supervision of the advisor.  The thesis describes a research investigation and its results. The scope of the research topic for the thesis should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. 

The minimum requirements are as follows:

Course work (minimum)20 credits
Thesis research6–10 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

 

Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.

Master's Degree: Report Option

This option requires a report describing the results of an independent study project. The scope of the research topic should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. 

Of the minimum total of 30 credits, at least 24 must be earned in course work other than the project:

Course work24 credits
Report2–6 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

 

Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.

Master's Degree: Course Work Option

This option requires a minimum of 30 credits be earned through course work. Research credits may be used on a case-by-case basis following the approval of the graduate program director. 

A graduate program may require an oral or written examination before conferring the degree and may require more than the minimum credits listed here:

Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)18 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

PhD Requirements

To complete a doctoral degree, students must complete the following milestones:

  • Complete all course work and research credits (see credit requirements below)
  • Pass Qualifying Examination
  • Pass Research Proposal Examination
  • Prepare and Submit Approved Dissertation
  • Pass Final Oral Defense

The minimum credit requirements are as follows:

Total Credit Requirements 
MS–PhD (minimum)30 credits
BS–PhD (minimum)60 credits

 

Individual programs may have higher standards and students are expected to know their program's requirements. See the Doctor of Philosophy Requirements website for more information about PhD milestones and related timelines.