FAQ about the program

How many students are in the program?

The number of students beginning the program varies, but is typically between 8 and 10. Since a few students finish early, there are usually 15-20 students in the program at any given time.

How long does the program take?

Most students, beginning in the fall, will take four semesters and a summer to complete their studies. In the past well-qualified students have completed Masters degrees in as little as one calendar year.

What courses are offered?

A wide range of courses is available for graduate students, in algebra, analysis, topology, geometry, number theory, combinatorics, computational mathematics, and probability. See the course descriptions for details and a tentative schedule for when courses will be offered.

What are the requirements to complete the degree?

The requirements for the MS degree are met by selecting either the thesis option or the non-thesis option. If a thesis is written, 30 semester hours of coursework, including MTH 791, 792, and at least four additional courses numbered above 700, are required for the MS degree. If a thesis is not written, 36 semester hours of coursework, including at least five courses numbered above 700, are required for the MS degree. MTH 791 and 792 cannot be counted as part of this coursework. An advanced course in analysis is required for all students; normally this requirement is met with MTH 711. An advanced course is required in each of algebra and topology; normally this requirement is met with the courses MTH 721 and MTH 731.

Will I be able to do research?

Students are encouraged to approach faculty at any time regarding potential projects.  Several students in recent years have published the research from their Masters theses in peer reviewed mathematics journals.

What kinds of research could I do?

Faculty research interests include algebra, number theory, combinatorics, representation theory, topology, differential geometry, differential equations, analysis, applied mathematics, optimization, and dynamical systems.

Will I get paid?

There are funds available to support graduate studies. The department awards assistantships, and partial scholarships through the graduate school. During the 2022-2023 academic year the full Teaching Assistant stipend is $16,174.50. Students who receive a partial scholarship are responsible for the balance of their tuition, which is $9662.50 for the 2022-2023 academic year. Additionally, students who are not on an assistantship are eligible to work for the Math & Stats Center on an hourly basis.

How much work is required to earn my stipend?

No work is required for the partial scholarship. Teaching assistants work an average of 15 hours each week.

What activities does the AWM student chapter run?

The student chapter of The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) at Wake Forest University is a community dedicated to supporting women in mathematics through social activities, mentorship, and professional development. Our chapter meets weekly and meetings are open to all regardless of gender identity. Social activities include trivia, crafting, movie nights, ice cream socials, and pieing professors as well as eating pie. Professional development is sometimes done in collaboration with the Wake Forest Women’s Center and includes informal research talks, seminars on interviews, workshops on contract negotiations, and career panels. Mentoring is done vertically through mentoring chains consisting of faculty, postdocs, and students as well as horizontally through peer discussions on equity and sharing of personal experiences. For our professional development and mentoring efforts in the 2021–2022 academic year, our student chapter received the AWM Student Chapter Award for Professional Development.

What other resources does the department have?

The 1976 Mathematics Faculty Legacy Fund supports student travel to conferences to present research. Some funding is available from to support graduate students working on thesis research between their first and second years in the program. Graduate students are provided excellent guidance at Wake Forest. The graduate student advisor carefully assists students in selecting courses. Many professors provide individual mentoring of students. Assistance in locating future employment or PhD program entry is provided by faculty members and the university Office of Personal and Career Development.

Where do graduates go after Wake Forest?

Graduates from our undergraduate and graduate programs in mathematics have been very successful. Graduates of our Masters program have gone on to Ph.D. programs in Mathematics, Statistics, Biostatistics, Education, Operations Research, and Computer Science at institutions including:

Baylor, Bryn Mawr, Clemson University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Drexel University, Duke University, Emory University, Georgia Tech, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, North Carolina State University, Notre Dame University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Syracuse University, Temple University, Texas A&M University, Tufts University, Tulane University, University of Alabama Birmingham, University of Alberta, University of Arizona, University of California at: Berkeley, Davis, Santa Barbara, and San Diego, University of Chicago, University of Connecticut, University of Calgary, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Iowa, University of Kansas, University of Minnesota, University of Mississippi, University of Nebraska, University of North Carolina at: Chapel Hill, Charlotte, and Greensboro, University of Pennsylvania, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, University of Utah, University of Vermont, University of Virginia, University of Washington, Virginia Tech.

Graduate students have also taken jobs in actuarial science, statistics, biostatistics, analytics, computing, government security, government contracting, and teaching at the college and high school level.

Will I get help preparing for the next step?

Our program is designed to teach ideas that are fundamental to any future study in mathematics. As such, whatever your next step in mathematics is, our courses are useful. The university Office of Personal and Career Development provides assistance with finding and applying for jobs; additionally the graduate school employs a career coach, Linda Whited. She can be reached at whitedlm@nullwfu.edu. The graduate school also offers a 1-credit course, GRD 717, Career Planning for Graduate Students.