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Highlights of the Masters Program
The following highlights of a Master's program are described in more detail in the sections on Departmental Requirements for the Master's Degree, with specializations in Computational and Applied Mathematics, Mathematics Education, and Pure Mathematics. A Master's degree in mathematics has three main requirements.
- 30 to 32 semester hours of courses (depending on whether or not a thesis is written).
- Passing 18 hours of core course work with a grade of either A or B
- Completion of a creative component, report, or thesis
The program is designed so these requirements most often can be completed in two years. A student beginning graduate study in mathematics is expected to have had, as an undergraduate, at least 18 semester hours in mathematics beyond elementary integral calculus including courses in differential equations, linear algebra, introductory analysis and modern algebra. The latter two courses should include elements of logic and practice in writing rigorous arguments. An applicant whose preparation is deficient may be admitted to the program, if otherwise qualified, but will be required to correct the deficiency, increasing somewhat the time required to complete work for the degree. Prospective graduate students are advised to take at least introductory courses in related fields such as physics, statistics, and computer science. The graduate director works closely with new students to help them select their courses and to get them off to a good start. The 18 hours of core course work varies dependent upon the student's choice of a Master's Degree in Computational and Applied Mathematics, Mathematics Education or Pure Mathematics. Beyond the required courses considerable variety is possible in elective courses. These may be taken in computer science and statistics as well as mathematics. For the applied specialization, courses may be taken in a discipline outside of the mathematical sciences. Electives are chosen to meet each individual student's interests and career objectives. Although the actual course sequences taken by students are dependent on their own individual situations, there are fairly "standard" plans for course work. Sample plans of study for each specialization are given below along with the Departmental Requirements for the various specializations (Computational and Applied Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Pure Mathematics). During the second semester of study each student, with the aid of the Graduate Director, sets up a Master's Committee of three faculty members and develops a Plan of Study, which is filed with the Graduate College. The chairman and the other two members of this committee advise and oversee the student's progress toward a degree.