The Master of Science Degree in Mathematics

This program is designed for the student who wants to obtain a general education in mathematics at the Master's level. This program is also an appropriate preparation for our Ph.D. program in mathematics. The recommended mathematical preparatory coursework for this program includes junior/senior level coursework in advanced calculus, abstract algebra and linear algebra.


Degree Requirements

General Requirements

  • A minimum of 35 credit hours of course work

  • Math courses at the 300 level and below will not be counted towards the 35 hour requirement

  • A minimum of 24 credit hours taken on campus

  • At most 6 of the 35 credit hours may be taken outside mathematics

  • Course work outside the department must be at the 300 level or above. Outside courses must be approved in advance by the graduate student's advisor and have some relevance to the student's mathematical program

  • A minimum of 18 hours of coursework in mathematics at the 500 level or above (excluding MATH x99 and MATH 530)

  • The Seminar requirement must be satisfied. A maximum of 2 credits may be counted toward the 35 credit hour degree requirement

  • At most 1 hour of MATH 584 (Supervised College Teaching) may be counted towards the 35 credit hour requirement


Course Requirements

1. The program must include three out of the six courses:

    • MATH 501
    • MATH 517
    • MATH 545
    • MATH 550
    • MATH 560
    • MATH 566

2. The program requires two sequences selected from the following options:

    • MATH 501-502
    • MATH 510-520
    • MATH 517-617 or MATH 517-519
    • MATH 545-546
    • MATH 550-652
    • MATH 560-640 or MATH 560-561
    • MATH 566-567

    Note: if a sequence is not offered due to enrollment restrictions then students must select amongst the available sequences in any given year.)

    The program must include at least one additional course selected from an area of mathematics, as approved by the student's advisor, not represented in the student’s choices used to fulfill the requirements above.


Final Project and Examination


A final oral examination is required for all MS degrees. The Examination is conducted by the Advisory Committee and is open to faculty and graduate students in the Department as well as other interested parties. The student must complete one of the following options for the MS.


  • Paper (plan B): The student writes an expository paper under the direction of the advisor. This paper must be approved by the advisor and the committee. The student’s program of study must contain 3 credit hours of thesis research (MATH 699)

    • The Expository Paper will not be submitted to the graduate school.

The Graduate Coordinator will assist with room scheduling once the date and time for the defense have been established with your committee.  

The student’s committee must have adequate time to review the thesis or paper before the final examination.  Therefore, the committee must have the thesis or paper at least two weeks (including two weekends) before the final examination which meets the following standards: 

  • The Paper or Thesis must be in final form

  • The Print is letter quality, and a uniform style has been used throughout.

  • Figures, printouts, etc. are clear and easy to read.

  • Text is double-spaced and printed on only one side of the paper.

Results of the final oral examination will be reported on the GS24.  Voting is limited to the members of the student’s committee, and a majority vote is necessary to pass the examination. A tie vote is interpreted as failure to pass the examination. All committee members must vote to either Pass or Fail the student; there is no option to withhold a signature.  Committee members who are not academic faculty do not have a vote on the final examination. 

If significant revisions to the thesis or expository paper are required by the committee after the final oral examination is complete, a reasonable amount of time must be given for committee members to re-review the thesis once the revisions have been made.

A candidate who fails the final examination may be reexamined once and, for the reexamination, may be required to complete further work. The reexamination must be held not later than 12 months after the first examination. The examination must not be held earlier than two months after the first examination unless the student agrees to a shorter time period. Failure to pass the second exam results in dismissal from the Graduate School.