MA in Mathematics

The Master of Arts in Mathematics degree program provides advanced training in the theory of mathematics and probability and in their applications to a broad range of disciplines. This program prepares students for positions in education, government agencies, industry, or nonprofit institutions, or for further graduate study leading to a PhD degree. To enter, students need a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or in a closely related discipline.

Learning Outcomes

A unique feature of this program is that the learning outcomes are to some extent determined by the student. The point is that the MA in Mathematics does not have any well-defined significance or status in the United States, and the reason for a student to enroll in an MA program can vary widely from student to student. For example, some students may wish to strengthen their background in anticipation of applying for admission to doctoral programs in mathematics, others may be seeking enhanced credentials for a career in secondary school math instruction, and yet another cohort may simply be indulging a love of mathematics, treating themselves to one more year of math before going off to medical school, say, or heading in some other direction. The MA program can accommodate all of these students and many others.

Course Requirements

Eight semester courses (32 credits) approved for graduate study are required. These courses should constitute a coherent program relevant to the objectives of the student. Ordinarily, all courses are in mathematics, or probability and statistics. However, students may petition the departmental graduate committee to use courses from other departments to partially satisfy this requirement.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.

Comprehensive Examination

This examination serves as a master’s degree examination. Students judged to be inadequately prepared for the first examination are allowed to take the examination again. More detailed information is provided upon admission.