Mathematical Sciences—MS

Students can pursue a Master's Degree in Mathematical Sciences with an emphasis in discrete mathematics, pure mathematics, statistics, or applied mathematics. Applicants are not required to have an undergraduate degree in mathematics. Each concentration area has a set of required courses. Students completing a thesis qualify for a Plan A degree; a Plan B degree requires completion of a project, and a Plan C degree requires completion of course work plus passing the qualifying exams at the MS level.

Concentrations—Core Courses and Electives

All students pursuing an MS in mathematical sciences must choose one of four concentrations.

Applied Mathematics

Statistics

While providing a broad statistics background, the Statistics program also specializes in statistical genetics, computational methods, and functional data analysis.

Core courses:

Note: It is important to recognize that many of these courses are offered only in alternate years. Students must plan carefully to complete the MS degree in the expected two academic years.

MS Plans

There are three different plans under which the MS in mathematical sciences can be earned. Regardless of the plan, students must complete the core courses in their chosen concentration (see above).

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 thesis must be prepared following the current procedures.  

At least two weeks prior to the oral examination, students must

The Degree schedule form (M4) must be approved before a defense is scheduled.

Students must also report the results of the oral examination and submit a final thesis to the Graduate School prior to completing their degrees.

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

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. The report must be prepared following the current procedures.

At least two weeks prior to the oral examination, students must

  • Schedule their examination using the Pre-defense form
  • Distribute the report to the examining committee

The Degree schedule form (M4) must be approved before a defense is scheduled.

Students must also report the results of the oral examination and submit a single paper copy of the corrected and approved report in a sturdy binder including an original signature page to the Graduate School.

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

Coursework Option

This option requires a minimum of 30 credits be earned through coursework. 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.

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

If you choose a research-based plan (Plan A or B), you should find an advisor by the end of your first semester, if possible, and no later than the end of your second semester.

If you choose Plan C, you should take Qualifying Exam no later than your second semester. Some students require more than one try to pass the exam.