2011 - 2012 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Mathematics, M.A.



Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: February 15

Applications are processed on a semi-rolling basis.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from individuals who are well acquainted with the applicant's abilities and achievements in mathematics and related areas, particularly former instructors in mathematics courses and projects. Letters from instructors in related areas such as computation or the physical and life sciences are also appropriate. In certain cases, letters from employment supervisors or project leaders may be appropriate as well.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Applicants must have completed fundamental undergraduate mathematics courses.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

All applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.

Statement of Goals:

A Statement of Goals should describe the strengths and motivation of the applicant, the purpose for applying to a graduate program in mathematics, and why the applicant is interested in the intended degree. This forum should be used to make the applicant's strongest case for admission and, thus, should be well written.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. The department considers an applicant's overall record and does not use rigid minimum score criteria. Students who wish to discuss their scores are encouraged to contact the department directly.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based (PBT), 213 computer-based (CBT), or 79 Internet-based (IBT).


A resume is required.

Transfer Credit:

Students who have taken graduate courses at other institutions, or at Temple University prior to matriculation, may apply for transfer credit. Applications for transfer credit are not considered until the student has completed at least one semester of full-time graduate study or the equivalent, if the student is part-time. All applications for transfer credit are reviewed by the Mathematics Graduate Committee and may be denied if the Committee decides that the courses involved are substantially inferior to similar courses offered by the department. No course completed more than five years before the date of application will be awarded credit. Credit for courses substantially similar to courses taken since matriculation will not be awarded. If a course was taken before the bachelor's degree was earned, it cannot be awarded transfer credit. Transfer credit is only available for graduate-level courses in mathematical content. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 9.

Test Waivers:

An applicant who wishes to have certain admission requirements waived must contact the department directly. Requests are considered by the department on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, an additional appeal to the Graduate School may be required. In such a case, the department makes a preliminary determination for the applicant and, if positive, issues a supporting letter to the Graduate School on the applicant's behalf.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Credit Hours Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

Students must complete 10 graduate courses in mathematics, chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor. Courses are recommended for students based on their chosen track:


MATH 8013:  Numerical Linear Algebra

MATH 8031:  Probability Theory

MATH 8141:  Partial Differential Equations


MATH 5041:  Concepts of Analysis I

MATH 8011:  Abstract Algebra

MATH 8031:  Probability Theory

MATH 8041:  Real Analysis

MATH 8051:  Functions of a Complex Variable

MATH 8161:  Topology

When their coursework is complete, students must choose either to write an M.A. thesis or to take the M.A. written comprehensive examination (or the Ph.D. comprehensive examination) in their chosen track. The examination is based on material from the courses listed above.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Comprehensive Examination:

The department offers two examinations for the M.A. degree. The master's comprehensive examination is taken by students in the M.A. degree program at the conclusion of their graduate study, typically at the end of the final semester prior to graduation. The M.A. comprehensive examination is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the last Friday in May. Master's students may, if they wish, take the Ph.D. comprehensive examination. Otherwise, they take an examination designed specifically for the master's degree.

The M.A. examination consists of ten questions, assembled from five areas, with two questions from each area. The student is required to answer five questions, with no restriction as to the choice. Subject areas are as follows for the two tracks:


    • Differential Equations
    • Numerical Analysis
    • Operations Research
    • Probability
    • Statistics


    • Algebra
    • Complex Analysis
    • Probability
    • Real Analysis
    • Topology

The comprehensive examination is typically designed by faculty, usually two per exam, who have recently taught courses relevant to the subjects covered. Each question is graded independently by two faculty members, using a scale of 0-5. The grades are reconciled if there is a discrepancy. A total score of at least 15 out of 25 is passing. The case of any student whose total score is slightly less than 15 is discussed by the graduate faculty, who review the student's academic record and decide whether or not the student has passed. If one of the examinations is failed, it may be repeated once, or the other examination may be attempted.


Students plan their thesis under the supervision of a faculty advisor with the approval of the Mathematics Graduate Committee. The date, time, and location of a thesis defense are set by the Graduate Chair in consultation with the student's advisory committee.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Department of Mathematics
638 Wachman Hall (038-16)

1805 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Kathleen Paul

Graduate Chairperson:
Gerardo Mendoza

Edward Letzter

About the Program

The Department of Mathematics offers graduate work leading to the Master of Arts degree. The aim of the M.A. program is to provide students with a foundation sufficient to pursue careers in mathematics in industry, government, or education. The program offers opportunities to conduct original research under the supervision of a faculty member.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered before 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Department of Mathematics
638 Wachman Hall (038-16)

1805 North Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122

Interdisciplinary Study:

The program encourages interdisciplinary coursework, research, and interactions among faculty and students with interest in computer and information sciences, physical and life sciences, statistics, and engineering.


The Mathematics program at Temple University is affiliated with the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.

Study Abroad:

Department faculty are active internationally and sometimes travel overseas for conferences and extended research visits. In some cases, students may participate in these activities.


Not applicable.


This program adheres to accepted professional standards of mathematics education and research.

Areas of Specialization:

The M.A. is offered in two tracks: Applied Mathematics and Pure Mathematics. Both can be continued to the Ph.D. The Applied Mathematics track emphasizes computational mathematics and probability/statistics. The Pure Mathematics track emphasizes the classical areas of mathematics, such as analysis, algebra, probability, and topology.

The department has approximately 40 faculty members actively involved in research and graduate education. With a graduate student body of about the same number, we are a program of moderate size with a high faculty/student ratio. Therefore, we provide students with unique opportunities for flexible program design and ample interaction with faculty. Classes are small and are held in an informal atmosphere enabling students and faculty to work closely together.

The department offers a great variety of choices for areas of specialization. A strong research presence exists in the following areas:  algebra, algebraic and analytic number theory, combinatorics, computational mathematics, differential and computational geometry and topology, global geometry, harmonic analysis, mathematical physics, mathematics of materials, numerical analysis, partial differential equations, related probability and mathematical statistics, and several complex variables. Both prospective and matriculated students are encouraged to browse faculty web pages and contact faculty directly for more detailed information regarding areas of specialization and opportunities for further research.

Job Placement:

Graduates either continue advanced educational programs or pursue employment in industry, education, or government laboratories and agencies.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students must coordinate coursework with the Graduate Chair.

Financing Opportunities

Teaching Assistants teach basic undergraduate mathematics courses, ranging from remedial courses through calculus. The standard teaching load is 20 hours per term. In determining the load, credit is given for more difficult and challenging teaching assignments. Research Assistantships are sometimes available, typically through special projects and grants. Support generally includes a stipend and tuition of up to 9 credits per term.

Updated 9.29.11