Master's Program

As reported by the American Mathematical Society, Mathematician was the #1 rated career in CareerCast’s Job Rated 2014 report. Individuals who have demonstrated a high level of mathematical acumen by obtaining a Master's in mathematics are highly prized in both the academic and private sector job markets. UB's Master's program in mathematics aims toward generating career options for our students in industry, government, or teaching at the community college level. 

The industries in which a mathematician can find employment are growing thanks to new advancements in statistical analysis. Hiring outlook for the profession is 21%. And while the yearly growth of wages has been modest compared to some of the other careers in this report, a 51.5% wage growth from the median annual salary to the 90th percentile is among the very highest of all careers tracked in the Jobs Rated report.

In 2017, 'Mathematician' was reported to be among the top jobs for high salary growth potential, with a median salary of $111, 298., and projected growth of 22.31%, according to CareerCast.

Upon being accepted into the program, each new graduate student will be advised by the UB Math Director of Graduate Studies. The Director's approval is required for the student's choice of courses each semester. On average, it takes one and one-half to two years to complete a MA degree. While an applicant must have a bachelor's degree with a strong mathematics background, it is not necessary that the Bachelor's degree be in Mathematics.

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Students benefit from close contact with their professors. We offer an active program of seminars and colloquia where students can become acquainted with a broad range of research areas.

The research interests of the faculty cover a wide range of areas in pure and applied mathematics. There are especially strong groups in algebra, analysis, geometry/topology, and applied mathematics.

Requirements for the M.A. Degree in Mathematics

Students entering the program from Fall 2016 onward must complete the following requirements:

A. Maintain continuous registration.

B. Successfully completing the first year's 6 core courses and passing at least 3 out of 6 evaluation exams attached to these courses. For students interested in pursuing research in pure mathematics the 6 core courses are in algebra, analysis and geometry/topology. For students interested in pursuing research in applied mathematics the 6 core courses are in analysis, numerical analysis and methods in applied mathematics.

C. Complete 30 hours of coursework in Mathematics and related disciplines, at least 24 hours of which must be from the Mathematics Department, with a minimum of a B average. All Mathematics courses numbered 500 and above may be taken for Master's credit, subject to the approval of the Graduate Director. All courses outside the Math Department must have approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

D. Fulfill a minimum residency requirement of 24 credit hours. Residency requirements for master's degrees can be satisfied through full-time or part-time registration.

E. File an Application to Candidacy with the Graduate School. The Application to Candidacy must be approved by the divisional or area committee and academic dean by the appropriate dates.

First Year's Coursework and Evaluation exams

The course schedule below is for students in the Masters program is 9-credits per semester. An additional 3-credit course is required so as to be a full time student. Students should consult with the Graduate Director on which additional course are appropriate. Course syllabi can be found at http://www.buffalo.edu/cas/math/courses.html.

Learning mathematics is a shared enterprise. Thus, all members of an entering doctoral class advance through the first year coursework as a cohort.

Fall semester:

  1. Applied track.
    1. Analysis--measure theory (MTH 534).
    2. Methods of applied mathematics I (MTH 539).
    3. Numerical analysis I (MTH 537).
  2.  Pure  track
    1. Analysis--measure theory (MTH 534).
    2. Algebra--groups and rings (MTH 519).
    3. Geometry/Topology--point set topology (MTH 527).

Spring semester offering:

  1. Applied tract.
    1. Analysis--complex analysis (MTH 625).
    2. Methods of applied mathematics II (MTH 540).
    3. Numerical analysis II (MTH 538).
  2. Pure track.
    1. Analysis--complex analysis (MTH 625).
    2. Algebra--module and galois theory (MTH 520).
    3. Geometry/Topology--homotopy theory (MTH 528).

Evaluation Exams: Attached to each first year course is an evaluation exam.  This exam will be given during the regular schedule for final exam time.  All first year evaluation exams are pass/fail.  To continue in the MA program a student needs to achieve at least a 3-out-of-6 exam passes. To be in good standing in any graduate program a student needs a GPA of B or above

Deficiency: Students who are marginally below the mark (e.g., pass 2 out of 4) and/or marginally below the require B-GPA level, so that they can still advance with their cohort, an opportunity to retake the relevant exams will be offered in August before the Fall Semester.  If a student passes these “make up’’, then the student will be allowed to advance through program along with their entering cohort.  If a student performance on this exam is still below the mark, then the student will retake the appropriate exam during the subsequent semester’s finals week.  If the student’s performance is still insufficient, then the student will be dismissed from the program.  Students whose performance at the end of their first year is judged to be significantly insufficient by the Graduate Director will be dismissed from the program before the beginning of their second year.

Master's Requirements For Students Admitted Fall 2015 and earlier

For those students admitted to the program in 2015, the prior requirements remain in effect.

M.A. Program Requirements
The M.A. program is designed to allow a student, in consultation with an academic advisor, to design a personalized program of study which will prepare the student either to proceed to the Ph.D. program, or to prepare for a career in industry, government, or teaching at the community college level.

Each new student will be assigned an academic advisor (usually the Graduate Director), who will work with the student to formulate a course of study. The advisor must approve, in writing, the student's choice of courses each semester.


First Qualifying Exam

The purpose of the First Qualifying Examination is to assist the Director of Graduate Studies and the student in deciding soon after the student's entry into Graduate School, whether or not he should be in the Ph.D. program. The exam is a three-and-a-half-hour written examination based on a syllabus covering introductory real variables, introductory abstract algebra, and linear algebra.

Second Qualifying Exams
The Second Qualifying Exams consist of two three-hour area examinations, selected by each student from the following four choices: ALGEBRA, ANALYSIS, GEOMETRY/TOPOLOGY, and DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS. It is the purpose of the second qualifying examination to insure that each student has a rudimentary command of at least two "core" areas of mathematics.

Requirements for the M.A. Degree in Mathematics
There are three options for the M.A.degree:
I. The Examination Option
II. The Thesis Option
III. The Project Option

 

I. The Examination Option A student must complete the following requirements:
a. Maintain continuous registration.
b. Complete 30 hours of coursework in Mathematics and related disciplines, at least 24 hours of which must be from the Mathematics Department, with a minimum of a B average. All Mathematics courses numbered 500 and above may be taken for Master's credit, subject to the approval of the academic advisor. All courses outside the Math Department must have approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
c. Fulfill a minimum residency requirement of 24 credit hours. Residency requirements for master's degrees can be satisfied through full-time or part-time registration.
d. File an Application to Candidacy with the Graduate School. The Application to Candidacy must be approved by the divisional or area committee and academic dean by the appropriate dates.
e. Pass the First Qualifying Exam at the Master's level.

II. The Thesis Option  A student must complete the following requirements:
Requirements a., b., c., d., as in Option I., plus,
e. Complete a written Master's Thesis under the supervision of a faculty member who will also serve as chair of the student's Master's Committee. A second member of this Committee will be selected by its chair and the Director of Graduate Studies. The Committee will orally examine the student both on the thesis and on his general mathematical background, which should be comparable to that of students electing to take the Examination Option (I). Copies of the thesis are to be given to members of the Committee and to the Director of Graduate Studies in ample time so that they are able to study the thesis prior to the oral examination. This examination is open to all faculty members.
f. Up to 6 hours of MTH 800 (Thesis Guidance) may be awarded for thesis work and writing.

III. The Project Option  A student must complete the following requirements:
Requirements a., b., c., d. as in Option I.; plus,
e. Complete a written Master’s Project under the supervision of a faculty member who will also serve as chair of the student's Master's Committee. A second member of this Committee will be selected by its chair and the Director of Graduate Studies. The Committee will be responsible for the suitability of the chosen topic and the final approval of the project.
f. Up to 3 hours of MTH 589 (Project Guidance) may be awarded for project work and writing.