2006 - 2007 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Mathematics, M.A.

Concentration: Pure Mathematics


Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: February 15

Spring: November 15

Applications are processed on a semi-rolling basis.

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 complete fundamental undergraduate mathematics courses.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:


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. It should be well written. This forum should be used to make the applicant's strongest case for admission.

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 or range of scores needed to be accepted: 575 paper-based or 230 computer-based. Any student admitted with a TOEFL score below 600 on the paper-based or 250 on the computer-based examination must pass an English skills course or successfully pass the SPEAK test during the first semester of enrollment at Temple University.


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 will not be 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 applicants 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 that 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 to discuss the situation. Requests will be 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 will make a preliminary determination for the applicant and, if positive, will issue a supporting letter to the Graduate School for the applicant.

Program Requirements

Campus Location:

Main Campus

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered before 4:30 p.m.

General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

Students must complete 10 graduate courses in mathematics, chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor. The following courses are recommended for students in the pure mathematics track: Mathematics 417, 540, 557, 559, 565, and 575. Students in the pure mathematics track 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 pure mathematics when their coursework is complete. 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 examinations are taken by students in the M.A. degree programs at the conclusion of their graduate study, typically at the end of the final semester prior to graduation. The M.A. comprehensive examinations are 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.

Each 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 in applied mathematics include differential equations, numerical analysis, operations research, probability statistics, and grading. In algebra, the areas are groups, definitions of the subgroups, cosets, normal subgroups, quotient groups, homomorphisms, kernels, and automorphisms; automorphism groups, permutation groups, and more general actions of groups on sets; Abelian groups; and Lagrange's theorem, the fundamental theorem of group.

The comprehensive examinations are 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 will be discussed by the graduate faculty, who will review the student's academic record and then decide whether or not the student has passed. If one of these 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 Departmental 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
1805 North Broad Street
638 Wachman Hall (038-16)
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Kathleen Paul


Program Coordinator:

Eric Grinberg


Graduate Chairperson:

Eric Grinberg



Jack Schiller


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:

Main Campus

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

Department Information:

Department of Mathematics
1805 North Broad Street
638 Wachman Hall (038-16)
Philadelphia, PA 19122



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 PhD. The applied track emphasizes computational mathematics and probability/statistics. The pure 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. Areas in which there is a strong research presence include computational mathematics, numerical analysis, mathematics of materials, mathematical physics, related probability and mathematical statistics, algebra, algebraic and analytic number theory, combinatorics, several complex variables, harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, differential and computational geometry and topology, and global geometry. 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.


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

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.

Study Abroad:

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


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 covers stipend and tuition, up to 9 credits per term.

Other Financial Opportunities