Master of Arts in Mathematics and Computer Science

The requirements for the master of arts degree are designed to ensure a basic knowledge and the capacity for sustained, independent scholarly study.


Six one-semester courses are required for the MA degree in addition to research units (units MATH549 and MATH550 or COMP549 and COMP550 ). These courses must be at the 500-level and/or chosen with permission of the MA advisor and the department's Graduate Education Committee (GRECO).

Progress and Qualifying Exams

Three semesters of full-time study beyond an undergraduate degree are usually needed to complete all requirements for the MA degree. For students completing the BA/MA program, relevant coursework usually begins in the final year of undergraduate student.  Any program leading to the MA degree must be planned in consultation with the departmental Graduate Education Committee.


MA students receiving a stipend are obliged to serve as teaching assistants for 10 hours per week during the fall and spring academic semesters.  Those who do not receive a stipend are also eligible to work as teaching assistants.


The thesis is a written report of a topic requiring an independent search and study of the literature under the supervision of the advisor. Performance is judged largely on scholarly organization of existing knowledge and on expository skill, but some indications of original insight are expected.

In the final examination, an oral presentation of the MA thesis, the candidate is expected to exhibit an expert command of the chosen specialty and a high degree of expository skill.  The defense may include an oral examination on coursework, including material associated with the general preliminary exam.  A faculty committee evaluates the candidate's performance.   

Additional Information

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