Feb 06, 2023  
2022-2023 University of Wyoming Catalog 
2022-2023 University of Wyoming Catalog

Mathematics, M.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degree Programs

A comprehensive mathematics degree, with training in the fundamentals of analysis, abstract algebra, computation, and mathematical modeling. Provides a strong foundation for teaching, work in industry, and continued study in graduate-level programs.

Common Requirements

The following requirements are common to all four tracks:

  • The student must maintain a 3.000 cumulative GPA.
  • The student must complete 30 hours of formal mathematics coursework at the 5000 level.
  • The student must pass the department’s Foundation Exam. This exam covers material from advanced vector calculus and linear algebra at the upper-division undergraduate level and is offered before the beginning of each semester.
  • Take one hour of the seminar MATH 4970 : Professional Development in Mathematics and one hour of the seminar MATH 4970 : Professional Development in Teaching.

5000-level Mathematics Courses

As part of the 30 hours of formal 5000-level mathematics courses, the student must complete the following courses with a grade of B or better:


In addition to the common elements above, students must select and complete one of the capstone experiences described in the tracks below.

Track #1: Master’s Thesis (Plan A)

Within the 30 hours of 5000-level courses, the Plan A student must complete 4 hours of MATH5960 - Thesis Research . At least 26 hours of 5000-level coursework must be mathcontent courses (not thesis research).

The student must prepare a master’s thesis (Plan A) and give an oral defense of the thesis. In the mathematics program, a Plan A thesis reports on the result(s) of independent and original research completed by the student under the direction of a faculty member. The thesis should describe the research and its results and be written to the standards of the appropriate area of mathematics.

Track #2: Master’s Paper (Plan B)

The student must prepare a master’s paper (Plan B) and give an oral defense.

To write a Plan B paper, the student must present an expository paper on a designated mathematical subject. Students are guided by their advisor in the subject matter and in the preparation of the paper. A successful paper and defense demonstrates that the student has mastered a substantial mathematical topic that is beyond those covered in formal foundational coursework.

Track #3: Coursework/Project (Plan B)

A second M.A. or M.S. option exists for the Plan B student. In lieu of writing a paper, the student takes a sequence of three 5000-level courses that all address a common mathematical theme. The sequence must be approved by the student’s advisor and the mathematics graduate committee. Two of the courses must be mathematics-department offerings, and the third may be either a mathematics course (including reading/topics courses) or a course from another department in a related field.

  • The student must complete an additional 6 hours of courses at the 5000 level. Thus, Track #3 requires the completion of 36 hours of graduate-level coursework.
  • Within the 36 hours, the student must propose and complete with a grade of B or better an appropriate 3-course sequence
  • The student will write a short paper illustrating how the common mathematical theme of the sequence manifests itself in the content of each course and give a presentation/defense of the paper.

In approving the student’s proposal for this option, the graduate committee and the advisor will consider how the writing and independent study spirit of the Plan B option are fulfilled within the recommended plan.

Track #4: Qualifying Exam (Plan B)

A third M.A. or M.S. option exists for the Plan B student. In lieu of writing a paper or taking additional coursework, the student must take and pass the department’s PhD Qualifying Examination in one of the three areas: Analysis, Algebra, or Applied Mathematics. These examinations focus on the material in the required courses.

These examinations are given twice a year at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. This option is intended for students who will continue for a PhD at UW.

  • The oral component of this Track will consist of a defense of the student’s written answers to qualifying exam.
  • Pass one of the department’s qualifying exams in:

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degree Programs