Mathematical Sciences

Mathematical Sciences—MS, PhD

Master's Degree

Students can pursue a Master's Degree in Mathematical Sciences with an emphasis in discrete mathematics, pure mathematics, statistics, or computational and 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.

Note: It is important to recognize that some 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).

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.

PhD Program

The doctoral program has three areas of concentration: computational and applied mathematics, discrete mathematics, and statistics. The doctoral program requires advanced coursework (beyond the master's degree) and successful completion of the Qualifying and Comprehensive Examinations. Students must demonstrate the ability to independently conduct research. Doctoral students work closely with a major advisor and must have their research proposal and dissertation approved by their graduate committee.

Overview of Program Requirements

The PhD degree is offered in the following concentrations: computational and applied mathematics, discrete mathematics, and statistics.

The requirements are listed below (also see Graduate School requirements). It is important to note that this list is not chronological; indeed, not all students will complete the requirements in the same order.

  1. Choose a concentration and complete the core MS course work in that concentration.
  1. Find an advisor and form a PhD dissertation committee. (Note that the committee must include one faculty member from another department.)
  2. Complete at least two 6000-level courses in your concentration.
  3. Complete the "breadth" requirement by taking a sequence of two courses in another concentration.
  1. Pass the qualifying examination. This is a written exam covering advanced undergraduate material; it must be passed by the end of the fourth semester (summer semesters do not count) in the PhD program.
  2. Pass the comprehensive examination. This multi-part exam covers graduate course work; it must be passed by the end of the eighth semester in the PhD program (summer semesters do not count).
  3. Present a dissertation proposal to the satisfaction of your dissertation committee. (Note: Depending on your committee, this proposal may be written or oral. Check with your advisor.)
  4. Write a dissertation detailing the results of a substantial and original research project.
  5. Defend the dissertation with a public presentation and examination by your committee.