Graduate Program in the Department of Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics offers the degree of Master of Science. The program is designed to accommodate students seeking either a terminal degree or preparation for Ph.D. work at another institution. The degree requirements are flexible and permit both thesis and non-thesis programs of study. Faculty research interests include algebra, number theory, combinatorics, representation theory, topology, differential geometry, differential equations, analysis, modelling of physical and biological phenomena, fluid mechanics, optimization, and dynamical systems.

Requirements & Prerequisites

Candidates for admissions to the Master of Science Program in the Department of Mathematics should have completed at least thirty-three semester hours of mathematics and statistics at an accredited college or university. At least fifteen of these hours should require as a prerequisite two semesters of calculus or a semester of linear algebra. Most successful applicants have taken three semesters of calculus (through multivariable calculus), linear algebra, abstract algebra (or modern algebra) and advanced calculus (or other advanced courses in analysis). Applicants who do not have this preparation may be required to take additional preparatory courses. Prior experience with computing is helpful but not required.

Do you have any questions?

Questions? Contact Graduate Program Coordinator:

Dr. Jeremy Rouse
Manchester 128
email: rouseja ‘at’ wfu dot edu


Normally, students devote two years to complete a master’s degree although, occasionally, a student will finish in three semesters or in one year and a summer. We believe that most students gain from the experience of investing two full years. The Master of Science degree can be obtained in two ways: the thesis track, and the non-thesis track. The non-thesis track requires completion of additional coursework while the thesis track requires writing of a thesis showing the results of an extended mathematical investigation under the guidance of a faculty advisor. As students typically take three courses per semester, only the thesis option allows the possibility of finishing in an academic year plus a summer.

If a thesis is written, 30 semester hours of coursework, including MTH 791, 792, and at least four additional 3-hour 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 3-hour 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 is required in each of analysis, algebra and topology; normally this requirement is met with the courses MTH 711, 721, and MTH 731. With the approval of the Graduate Committee, elective graduate courses may be taken in related areas to fulfill requirements; however, no more than 9 such hours may count toward the requirements for either the thesis or non-thesis option.

Non-thesis Thesis
Required 700-level classes analysis, algebra, and topology analysis, algebra, and topology
Required 600-level classes none none
Number of Additional 700-level classes Two 3-hour courses One 3-hour course
Number of Additional classes Seven 3-hour courses Four 3-hour courses
Additional Requirements none MTH 791, 792
Total Hours Required 36 30

Students desiring to use work taken in the department for graduate teacher certification should consult the Department of Education before applying for candidacy. 

Financial Aid

Almost all of the participants in our program receive substantial aid: a teaching assistantship, or a partial scholarship. Students who receive assistantships receive a full scholarship plus a living allowance. During the 2023-2024 academic year the full Teaching Assistant stipend is $18,000. Students who receive a partial scholarship are responsible for the balance of their tuition, which is $9662.50 for the 2023-2024 academic year. Students who do not have an assistantship are eligible to work in the Math & Stats Center on an hourly basis.

Academic Environment

There is a great deal of personal interaction between the faculty and students. The faculty of the department have diverse interests and are willing to share them with students. The department sponsors an AWM chapter, a Math with Melanin group, a chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon as well as a Mathematics Club. Numerous computing facilities are available to graduate students, including a department server and the University’s DEAC cluster. The University’s library subscribes to numerous journals and has an extensive collection of back holdings. The library also has a very good monograph collection and offers Interlibrary loan.

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, Physics, 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.

Graduate Student Handbook