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. A total of forty-eight (48) units of credit are required. No units of MATH 299 (Reading and Research) may count towards this total. No more than four (4) units of any combination of MATH 295 (Special Topics) and/or MATH 500 (Apprentice Teaching) may be used.

Twenty-four (24) of the forty-eight (48) units must be graduate-level mathematics courses approved in consultation with a faculty advisor. The remaining twenty-four (24) units may contain no more than eight (8) units of upper-division mathematics courses and no more than twelve (12) units of graduate courses in a related field outside the department (approved by the Department of Mathematics).


Comprehensive Examinations

Seven (7) written departmental examinations are offered, grouped in three areas. A student must pass two examinations, one from Area 1 and one from Area 2, both with a Master's Pass or better.


Qualifying Examination Subject Areas
AREA 1 Complex Analysis
(MATH 220A-B-C)
Real Analysis
(MATH 240A-B-C)
AREA 2 Algebra
(MATH 200A-B-C)
Applied Algebra
(MATH 202A-B-C)
(MATH 290A-B-C)
AREA 3 Numerical Analysis
(MATH 270A-B-C)
(MATH 281A-B-C)

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

  1. Attempt at least one qualifying examination (as suitable for the major) no later than by the end of the student’s first year
  2. Pass at least one 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 Pure Mathematics.


Time Limits

Full-time M.A. students are permitted seven (7) quarters in which to complete all degree 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.