MA 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.

Our Master's program in mathematics aims toward generating career options for our students in industry, government, or teaching at the community college level. 

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 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.

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.

Requirements for the MA 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. See sample course syllabi, here. 

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. Pure Track.
    1. MTH 534, Basic Measure Theory.
    2. MTH 519, Introduction to Abstract Algebra.
    3. MTH 527, Introduction to Topology I.
  2.  Applied Track.
    1. MTH 538, Methods of Applied Mathematics.
    2. MTH 537, Introduction to Numerical Analysis I.
    3. One of: MTH 534, Basic Measure Theory; or
      MTH 519, Introduction to Abstract Algebra; or
      MTH 527, Introduction to Topology I.

Spring semester offering:

  1. Pure Track.
    1. MTH 625, Complex Variables.
    2. MTH 520, Advanced Linear Algebra.
    3. MTH 528, Introduction to Topology II.
  2. Applied Track.
    1. MTH 540, Methods of Applied Mathematics II.
    2. MTH 539, Introduction to Numerical Analysis II.
    3. One of: MTH 639 Fourier Analysis; or,
      MTH 625, Complex Variables.
      MTH 520, Advanced Linear Algebra.
      MTH 528, Introduction to Topology II.

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:  See the Deficiency section in the PhD program description.

Student Resources and Related Links


Jenny Russell

Assistant to the Graduate Director

Department of Mathematics

227 Mathematics Building, Buffalo, NY 14260-2900

Phone: 716-645-8782; Fax: 716-645-5039