Master's Degree
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
Applied Mathematics students develop expertise in the theory and application of ordinary and partial differential equations, optimization, and computational methods.
Core courses:
- MA5501 Theoretical Numerical Analysis
- MA5510 ODEs
- MA5565 PDEs
- MA5627 Numerical Linear Algebra
- MA5629 Numerical PDEs
Elective courses (choose two):
Discrete Mathematics
Students of Discrete Mathematics study design and coding theory, graph theory number theory, and algebra.
Core courses:
Elective courses (choose two):
- MA5201 Combinatorial Algorithms
- MA5280 Topics in Applied Combinatorics
- MA5302 Algebra II
- MA5320 Commutative Algebra
- MA5360 Number Theory
- MA6222 Advanced Topics in Design Theory
- MA6231 Advanced Topics in Coding Theory
- MA6280 Advanced Topics in Combinatorics, Algebra, or Number Theory
- MA6300 Advanced Topics in Algebra
Pure Mathematics
The curriculum in Pure Mathematics consists of a blend of both theoretical and applied courses.
Core courses:
Elective courses (choose four):
- MA5222 Design Theory
- MA5231 Error-Correcting Codes
- MA5302 Algebra II
- MA5320 Commutative Algebra
- MA5360 Number Theory
- MA5501 Theoretical Numerical Analysis
- MA6222 Advanced Topics in Design Theory
- MA6231 Advanced Topics in Coding Theory
- MA6280 Advanced Topics in Combinatorics, Algebra, or Number Theory
- MA6300 Advanced Topics in Algebra
- MA6701 Probability
Statistics
While providing a broad statistics background, the Statistics program also specializes in statistical genetics, computational methods, and functional data analysis.
Core courses:
- MA5711 Mathematical Statistics I
- MA5712 Mathematical Statistics II
- MA5731 Linear Models
- MA5741 Multivariate Statistical
Elective courses (choose three):
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
- Schedule their examination using the Pre-defense form
- Submit a draft thesis to the Graduate School
- Distribute the thesis to the examining committee
The Degree schedule form 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 research | 6–10 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
- Submit the report to the Graduate School
The Degree schedule form must be approved before a defense is scheduled.
Students must also report the results of the oral examination and submit the final report to the Graduate School using the current procedures.
Of the minimum total of 30 credits, at least 24 must be earned in course work other than the project.
Course work | 24 credits |
Report | 2–6 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. Use of limited number research credits in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a coursework degree may be allowed in exceptional cases. Students wishing to apply research credits toward a coursework degree must obtain approval from their advisor and department. The department must then obtain approval from the Graduate School. Approval will only be granted when there is evidence that an appropriate body of work has been completed, sufficient deliverables have been produced, and circumstances beyond the students' control have made it necessary for them to change from a research-based to a coursework-based degree program.
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.