Mathematics Master of Arts Degree Program

The Master's Degree in Mathematic's progam is appropriate for students who want a flexible general education in mathematics, including students pursuing the Ph.D. degree. The program requires a minimum of 30 credits with an average of B or better. There is no foreign language requirement. However, a student planning to continue with doctoral study should acquire a reading knowledge of French, German, or Russian at the earliest opportunity.

Requirements for Admission

In addition to the general University requirements for admission to graduate studies, an applicant's undergraduate major preferably should have been in mathematics. Students who are deficient in their mathematical preparation must make up such deficiencies before being formally admitted into the program.

Description of Master of Arts in Mathematics Programs

Most students work in one of the following two programs.

General Sequence

  1. Mathematics (18 credits, minimum): Courses as advised, including Mat 680, or Mat 699. With departmental approval, a thesis may be presented in place of Mat 680. (Individual programs range from a concentration in one area of mathematics to a broad spectrum of courses).
  2. Supporting courses (0-12 credits): Courses in other fields as approved by the advisor.
  3. Recommended courses: At least three of the following courses: Mat 510A, 513A, 520A, 540A.

Statistics Sequence

  1. Mathematics (18 credits, minimum): Courses in statistics as advised, including Mat 682 or Mat 699. With departmental approval, a thesis may be presented in place of Mat 682.
  2. Supporting courses (0-12 credits, minimum): Courses as approved by the advisor.
  3. Recommended courses: Mat 554-555, Mat 558-559, Mat 556.

Capstone Experience:

Graduate students who expect to complete the requirements for the Master's degree by the end of a given semester, must notify the Director of Graduate Studies at the beginning of the semester. Students satisfy the capstone experience requirement by successful completion of a Master's seminar as detailed in option 1 below. With permission of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics’ Chair or the Chair’s designee, students may satisfy this requirement by successful completion of option 2.

Option 1: Satisfactory completion of one of the scheduled Master's Seminars (AMAT 680, 681, 682) which amounts to receiving a satisfactory (S) grade in one of these courses.

Option 2: Students who wrote a master’s thesis must obtain formal permission from the advisor and department Chair to submit a thesis and give an oral presentation on its results in fulfillment of the capstone experience requirement. With approval of the master’s thesis advisor, a committee consisting of three faculty members shall be formed. The chair of the committee is the master’s thesis advisor. The other two faculty members are selected in areas close to the master’s thesis topic. The thesis should follow the University’s Master Thesis guidelines. A copy of the thesis should be presented to the members of the special field examination committee at least one week prior to the examination. The special field examination consists of an oral presentation of the thesis and an examination of the thesis. The exam is not open to the general public.

Master’s Seminar

This capstone option is designed to provide a supervised independent learning experience to approximate a research experience. The student researches 2-3 topics in the mathematical literature and reports his/her findings in the form of an integrative presentation in front of peers and faculty, mimicking the work of a mathematician in an academic or industrial setting. The master’s seminar should ordinarily be taken during the last semester or year of the student’s program.

Master’s Thesis

A student wishing to write a Master’s thesis must sign up for MAT 699, which is repeatable for credit. Students are encouraged to write a thesis as it represents a complete and permanent work of recognized quality. Option 2 of the special field examination gives the student a chance to show off his or her accomplishments.

Completing a thesis involves some extra effort. It must be prepared in a manner conforming to university standards, accepted, and submitted on or before the first day of the month in which the degree is to be conferred to the Graduate Office, together with prepayment for binding charges. Students allowed to use option 2 in fulfillment of the capstone experience requirement must give a copy of their thesis to the exam committee members one week prior to its presentation.

Ancillary Duties

In addition to the completion of course requirements, satisfactory performance in some ancillary teaching, research, or practicum duties contributing to academic development is required, whether or not the student receives financial support from this institution. These duties will be assigned with educational objectives in mind.