Sep 25, 2020  
Semester Catalog 2020-2021 (Final Version) 
Semester Catalog 2020-2021 (Final Version)

Mathematics, M.S.

The Master of Science degree in Mathematics prepares the students for teaching in a community college, for enrolling in a Ph.D. program, and for higher mathematical work in industry, business, and government.

Admission to the Program

In addition to submitting a University Admissions Application through Cal State Apply, applicants must also apply separately to the Department. Application forms are available in the Department of Mathematics or on the Department’s website ( Completed applications and unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (except Cal State L.A.) must be received by the Department before action on admission can be taken.   Official transcripts need to be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office, before the deadline.  Please visit the Graduate Studies Office website ( for Department deadlines.

Admission Requirements:

1.  Completion of the equivalent of an undergraduate major in mathematics (see Department website for a list of required courses).

2.  A minimum GPA requirement of 2.75.  Students with GPA between 2.5 and 2.74 might be admitted conditionally and be required to take qualifying courses (to be specified by the graduate advisor).

Classified Status

Before taking courses counted towards the master’s degree students must be in classified graduate status. In order to attain classified graduate status, a minimum B grade in each MATH 4550 MATH 4650  and MATH 4570  (or equivalent courses at other institutions) is required.  Conditionally admitted (unclassified) graduate students must complete these requirements within two semesters of being admitted.

Requirements for the Degree (30 units)

A minimum of 30 units is required, with at least 15 units in 5000-level courses. Students must successfully complete either comprehensive examinations or a thesis in addition to course requirements.

Electives (12-15 units)

Students selecting the Comprehensive Examination for the culminating experience must select 15 units of electives from the following courses, not already taken to satisfy the required core.

Students selecting the Thesis for the culminating experience must select 12 units of electives from the following courses, not already taken to satisfy the required core.

Requirements for Culminating Experience (0-3 units)

Select one option:

A. Comprehensive Examination Option (MATH 5960 )
Students should expect to take the comprehensive examinations the semester they complete all course work on their program and comply with University, College and Departmental policy (see department website). Students must pass comprehensive examinations covering the following core areas:

1. Algebra (Group Theory and Linear Algebra, i.e. the equivalent of MATH 4570  and MATH 5401 )
2. Analysis (Linear Analysis and Analysis I, i.e. the equivalent of MATH 4650  and MATH 5021 )

B. Thesis Option (MATH 5990 )
Students may be permitted, in compliance with departmental policy (see department website), to do directed research with a faculty member and write a thesis in lieu of taking comprehensive examinations. MATH 5990   must be taken for a total of 3 units. Students who elect the Thesis option, may reduce their elective units by the number of thesis units completed.