The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers a graduate degree of Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences. Students can take either a Mathematics or a Statistics track.
This program is designed to prepare graduates for a wide variety of financially and intellectually rewarding employment opportunities. It can also serve as a pre-Ph.D. program.
Admissions for all graduate programs are handle by The Graduate School. If you have specific questions concerning the Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences please see view our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpages
Domestic (US) students FAQs
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Financial support is available in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Scholarships as from the Office of Financial Aid. All Graduate Teaching Assistants will pay the in-state tuition rate.
We have limited teaching assistantships for prospective graduate students. If interested, please fill out and mail the application form and the reference letters for consideration that can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpages.
Program of Study - Mathematics track
Program of Study - Statistics track
In order to qualify for the Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences with a Mathematics or Statistics track, a student must complete at least 32 hours of study in the mathematical sciences. A student may choose a thesis option for a portion of the program. The thesis may account for no more than 6 credits of the 32.
The first step for a thesis-option student is to identify a faculty member who agrees to be the student's thesis adviser. The thesis adviser must be a member of the Department graduate faculty. A faculty member may decline to serve as the thesis adviser and the student may look elsewhere for an adviser if a satisfactory thesis topic cannot be agreed upon.
The thesis adviser is responsible for supervising the student's research, chairing the student's thesis committee, supervising and screening the writing of the thesis, and organizing and supervising the thesis presentation.
The Thesis Topic
Once the thesis adviser and student have agreed upon an appropriate topic, the student, in consultation with the adviser, prepares a proposal which provides descriptive information regarding the topic. The proposal is not to exceed five pages (including references). Upon its approval by the student's thesis committee, the proposal is filed with the Graduate Coordinator.
The Thesis Committee
The thesis adviser, upon accepting a thesis student, registers that information with the Graduate Coordinator. A thesis committee then is selected by the thesis adviser, in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator and the student.
The thesis committee must consist of 3 graduate faculty members and be chaired by the thesis adviser. Its members normally are selected from the Department graduate faculty; however, if appropriate for a particular thesis topic, one member of the committee may be a graduate faculty from outside the department.
The committee is responsible for reviewing and approving the thesis proposal, for reviewing and approving the thesis in final form as prepared by the student, and for reviewing and approving the presentation of the thesis.
The Thesis Presentation
The student must present and defend the thesis orally in a public session during which the student answers appropriate questions from the committee. In a format similar to that used in presenting research at a technical conference, the presentation should summarize the significant results of the thesis. For the presentation to be successful, the committee must agree unanimously that the thesis has been presented adequately and the student has acquired the knowledge presented in the thesis.
A student who does not elect the thesis option will take the Department Comprehensive Examination. The Examination will consist of an oral portion and a written portion.
The Oral Portion
The goal of this presentation is to have the student prepare and explain a topic which is a natural extension of a course or courses in the student's program. For example, a mathematics student might learn about and present a talk on polynomial rings, if that topic was not covered in his/her Algebra course; or, a suitable topic might be the characterization of all univalent mappings of the unit disk, if that topic was not covered in his/her Complex Analysis course. A statistics student might present a design that was not covered in his/her Design of Experiments course; or, a suitable topic might be the application of a nonparametric method that was not covered in a previous course. The topic will be chosen in conjunction with a Department faculty member who will supervise the work; however, it is expected that the work be done by the student. This activity is intended to be a demonstration of the student's ability to learn independently and the ability to compose and deliver an oral presentation. This is not intended to be a “mini-thesis”. The presentation will take place at a Department seminar to be scheduled during the second year of the student's program.
The Written Portion
There will be one four-hour comprehensive examination for each of the two program tracks. The student will answer a total of five questions from examinations structured as follows:
The Graduate Coordinator will set up a Committee of Examiners. This committee will construct and grade the examination and will forward its recommendation of pass or fail to the Graduate Coordinator. In case of disagreement, the Graduate Coordinator shall refer the matter to the Graduate Committee for resolution. In case of student failure, the Committee of Examiners will recommend a remedy of repeating all or portion of the examination (with possibly different questions). The proposed remedy must be approved by the Graduate Committee. In case the whole examination must be repeated, the student must wait for at least one semester before attempting the examination again. In case of failure on the second attempt, the student must appeal to the Graduate Committee for another change to take the examination.
For questions concerning:
Mathematics & Statistics
Richard Patterson, Graduate Program Director
Admission & Application Process please contact
The Graduate School
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