This program is designed for the student who wants to combine a solid background in mathematics with an area of specialization outside the Mathematics Department (e.g. atmospheric sciences, biology, computer science, engineering, physics, statistics, or education) The recommended mathematical preparatory coursework for this program includes junior/senior level coursework in advanced calculus and linear algebra.

Degree Requirements

Permanent Advisor

Acceptance into the Master’s program with outside specialization is subject to having obtained a permanent advisor from among the Mathematics faculty. Incoming students or students who do not yet have a permanent advisor remain in the “general” Mathematics masters program.

The outside area of specialization and the student’s MS committee should be chosen as early as possible, preferably by the end of the first year of study. Areas of outside specialization must be approved in advance by the student’s committee. The committee must include at least one member from the area of specialization plus at least two members from the Mathematics Department.. Under the direction of the advisor, the committee will plan and supervise the course of study and the writing of the thesis or master’s paper.

General Course 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.
  • A minimum of 9 of the 35 credit hours taken outside mathematics.
  • 6 hours of course work taken outside the the department must be at the 600 level or above.
  • A minimum of 18 credit hours of coursework in mathematics of 3+ credits each, at the 500+ level (excluding MATH 530, 695, 699, 798, 799 and  MATH 592.001, 592.002, 592.003 and MATH 584.001, 584.002).
  • 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.


Other Course Requirements

The program must include three of the six courses:

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

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.

  • Thesis (plan A): The student completes a thesis that is not purely expository but reflects an element of originality on the part of the student.  The student’s program of study must contain a least 6 but not more than 9 credit hours of thesis research (MATH 699).
    • All thesis will be submitted electronically through ProQuest.  Instruction for submitting a thesis are detailed on the Graduate School’s website and can be found here.
    • The format of the thesis must strictly adhere to the requirements of the Graduate School. A requirements checklist, formatting guide and sample pagesare available on the Graduate School website and can be found here.
    • The thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School by published deadlines.
  • 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.