MS in Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics offers a Masters of Science degree in Mathematics with two tracks:

  1. Theory track: This track is oriented towards students who are interested in mathematics as an abstract discipline. These students may be considering a Ph.D. in mathematics or in a related discipline. Core coursework for this track includes fundamental topics in advanced abstract mathematics.
  2. Industry track: This track is designed for students who intend to use mathematics in engineering, computer science, medicine, business, industry, social science, or other fields. Core coursework for this track requires at least two courses from a field related to mathematics, such as computer science or engineering, which will help students see how advanced mathematics is used in practical contexts.

Each of these tracks includes a thesis option. See Program Requirements below for more details.



The MS program is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and also to applicants who have developed a substantial mathematical background with a degree in a related field such as engineering, computer science, physics, statistics, or finance. The requisite mathematical proficiency is ordinarily demonstrated through the completion of the following courses: Calculus I, II, and III, a course on proof techniques, linear algebra, abstract algebra, and analysis.

Students who are eligible for the Masters program should note that standard university guidelines for eligibility will apply, in addition to the following:
  1. GPA of at least 3.00 in math courses in their undergraduate degree or permission of the Graduate Committee.
  2. At least one letter of recommendation from a math faculty at their undergraduate institution.
  3. A statement of purpose.
Applications to the program should be submitted via the following link:
Student taking notes on a tablet

Graduate Admissions

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Program Requirements

Coursework: The MS degree requires the completion of 30 credits of course work. For students electing the thesis option, which accounts for 6 credits, the requirements of course work will reduce to 24 credits. Each track includes specific course requirements (see table below). Incoming students can transfer at most two courses (approved by the Graduate Committee) towards their master’s degree. These two courses must have been taken at the graduate level when they were pursuing their bachelor degree. 

Of the ten courses required for the MS degree, most courses must be in mathematics. Students in the Theory Track may choose up to two courses from other related areas, such as computer science, engineering, business and finance, physics, and the social sciences. Students in the Industry Track must choose two courses from related areas. Industry Track students may opt for up to two additional courses from related areas. All courses from related areas must be approved by the Graduate Committee.

Comprehensive Exam: The comprehensive exam for the MS degree consists of a presentation on selected topics followed by questions from faculty. For students who complete a thesis, the thesis defense serves as the comprehensive exam.

Thesis Option: Students in either the Theory track or the Industry track will have a thesis option. That is, they can complete the requirements of the MS program by taking 10 courses, or 8 courses plus two semesters of thesis work (under guidance of a math faculty member). The thesis work will typically start with their second semester in the graduate program. Exceptions can be made for strong students to begin their thesis work in the first semester of graduate study.

Requirements for Theory Track Requirements for Industry Track
Graduate abstract algebra course Graduate statistics course
Graduate topology course Two approved graduate courses in a related field
Six mathematics electives. Of these, up to two can be approved courses in a related field. Five mathematics electives. Of these, up to two can be approved courses in a related field.
Thesis or two additional mathematics electives Thesis or two additional mathematics electives

See the Course Catalog for a list of graduate mathematics courses. All courses numbered 500 or above are graduate courses.