Feb 25, 2024  
University Catalog 2023-2024 
University Catalog 2023-2024

Mathematics, M.S.

Location(s): Main Campus

Program Overivew

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.

A minimum of 30 units is required, with at least 18 units in 5000-level courses. Students must successfully complete either comprehensive examinations or a thesis in addition to course requirements. 

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). A passing score on an exam is an A, B, or C grade.   Students must pass, with a B average, two comprehensive examinations covering the following core areas:

  1. Algebra (Group Theory and Linear Algebra)
  2. Analysis (Linear Analysis and Analysis I)

The exams are offered once per semester. Students may enroll in MATH 5960  up to three times.   Each time a student enrolls in MATH 5960 , they may take either one or both of the Algebra or Analysis exams.   If a student repeats one of the exams, the better of the grades is used.

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 reduce their elective units from 15 to 12.

Admission to the Program

Applications to the program are done through Cal State Apply.  

Admission Requirements

1.  Completion of the equivalent of an undergraduate major in mathematics.   At a minimum, we require at least the completion of the following (or equivalent) 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 Admission 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.

Learning Outcomes Roadmap (2022)   

Requirements for the Degree (30 units)

Core Electives (12 or 15 units)

  1. Complete at least 3 units of 5000 level work course from the list below.
  2. MATH 5960 students must select 15 units
  3. MATH 5990 students must select 12 units
  4. Courses taken to fulfill the core requirement cannot be double-counted to satisfy the elective unit requirement.


Culminating Experience (0 or 3 units)

Select one course.