All student course programs must be approved by a faculty advisor prior to registering for classes each quarter, as well as any changes throughout the quarter. (This program is offered only under the Comprehensive Examination Plan.)

Full-time students are required to register for a minimum of twelve (12) units every quarter, eight (8) of which must be graduate-level mathematics courses taken for a letter grade only. The remaining four (4) units can be approved upper-division or graduate-level courses in mathematics-related subjects (MATH 500 may not be used to satisfy any part of this requirement).

The degree may be terminal or obtained on the way to the Ph.D. Out of the total forty-eight (48) units of required credit, two applied mathematics sequences comprising twenty-four (24) units must be chosen from the following list (not every course is offered each year):

  • MATH 202A-B-C (Applied Algebra)
  • MATH 210A-B-C (Mathematical Methods in Physics & Engineering)
  • MATH 261A-B-C (Combinatorial Algorithms)
  • MATH 264A-B-C (Combinatorics)
  • MATH 270A-B-C (Numerical Mathematics)
  • MATH 271A-B-C (Numerical Optimization)
  • MATH 272A-B-C (Numerical Partial Differential Equations)
  • MATH 273A-B-C (Scientific Computation)

In certain cases, a petition may be approved to substitute one of these requirements from the following list of sequences:

  • MATH 220A-B-C (Complex Analysis)
  • MATH 230A-B-C (Ordinary Differential Equations)
  • MATH 240A-B-C (Real Analysis)
  • MATH 280A-B-C (Probability Theory)
  • MATH 281A-B-C (Mathematical Statistics)
  • MATH 282A-B (Applied Statistics)

In choosing course work to fulfill the remaining twenty-four (24) units, the following restrictions must be followed:

  • At least eight (8) units must be approved graduate courses in mathematics or other departments (a one-year sequence in a related area outside the department such as computer science, engineering, physics or economics is strongly recommended).
  • A maximum of eight (8) units can be approved upper-division courses in mathematics.
  • A maximum of eight (8) units can be approved upper-division courses in other departments.
  • A maximum of four (4) units of MATH 500 (Apprentice Teaching).
  • NO UNITS of MATH 295 (Special Topics) or MATH 299 (Reading and Research) may be used.


Comprehensive Examinations

Two written comprehensive examinations must be passed at the master's level in any of the required applied math sequences listed above. The instructors of each course should be contacted for exam details.

Every Applied Math master’s student must do the following:

  1. Attempt at least one comprehensive or qualifying examination (as suitable for the major) no later than by the end of the student’s first year
  2. Pass at least one comprehensive or qualifying examination by the start of the student’s second year at the master’s pass level or higher

Anyone unable to comply with this schedule will be terminated from the master’s program.

Foreign Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for the M.A. in Applied Mathematics.


Time Limits

Full-time M.A. students are permitted seven (7) quarters in which to complete all requirements. While there are no written time limits for part-time students, the Department has the right to intervene and set individual deadlines if it becomes necessary.


Master's Transferring to Ph.D.

Any student who wishes to transfer from masters to the Ph.D. program will submit their full admissions file as Ph.D. applicants by the regular closing date for all Ph.D. applicants (end of the fall quarter/beginning of winter quarter). It is the student's responsibility to submit their files in a timely fashion, no later than the closing date for Ph.D. applications at the end of the fall quarter of their second year of masters study, or earlier. The candidate is required to add any relevant materials to their original masters admissions file, such as most recent transcript showing performance in our graduate program. Letters of support from potential faculty advisors are encouraged. The admissions committee will either recommend the candidate for admission to the Ph.D. program, or decline admission. In the event of a positive recommendation, the Qualifying Exam Committee checks the qualifying exam results of candidates to determine whether they meet the appropriate Ph.D. program requirements, at the latest by the fall of the year in which the application is received. For students in the second year of the master's program, it is required that the student has secured a Ph.D. advisor before admission is finalized. An admitted student is supported in the same way as continuing Ph.D. students at the same level of advancement are supported. Transferring from the Master's program may require renewal of an I-20 for international students, and such students should make their financial plans accordingly. To be eligible for TA support, non-native English speakers must pass the English exam administered by the department in conjunction with the Teaching + Learning Commons.