Western Kentucky University

Master of Science Graduate Program

Master of Science (M.S.) Degree

The M.S. (general option) requires traditional courses in analysis, algebra, topology, and applied mathematics, and is recommended for students who wish to obtain a Ph. D. degree, to teach in a community college, or to seek employment in industry with an emphasis on conceptual foundations.   The M.S. (computational option) is designed for students seeking employment in industry with an emphasis on computational mathematics and/or computer science.

Each option for the M.S. in Mathematics requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate-level coursework.  For admission to the Graduate College at WKU, click the following link for the Office of Graduate Studies.  For more information about the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), click the following link for the Educational Testing Service.  The GRE scoring system has changed since August 2011.  If you have a old GRE score, then you need to convert it to the new score by using a table that can be found under the following link.  The Department of Mathematics offers graduate assistantships for $9,000 per semester, part of which can be applied directly to tuition.  The application form can be found at the link below.  Note that Adobe Acrobat software must be used to fill out the form electronically.

Graduate Assistantship Application

General Option

To be admitted to the M.S. program in the general option, students must meet the following criteria:

(1)  satisfy one of the following conditions:

  • have a GAP score of at least 600,
  • have a GRE general score of at least 300, or
  • if students have graduated from WKU with a degree in mathematics, a GPA of at least 3.3 in their undergraduate major.

(2)  completion of the following undergraduate courses, with at most one deficiency:

(a)  a calculus sequence through multivariable calculus,
(b)  linear algebra,
(c)  discrete mathematics,
(d)  an applied mathematics course (e.g. differential equations, probability, calculus-based statistics, numerical analysis),
(e)  abstract algebra.

(3)  A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in at least one of the following:

(i)  all mathematics courses that are applicable to the undergraduate mathematics major; or
(ii) courses specified in (b) through (e) of Item 2 above.

Students who choose to write a thesis are required to complete 6 hours of MATH 599 - Thesis Research and Writing and to give an oral defense of the thesis. 

The following courses are required:

  1. Algebra:  MATH 417G
    Analysis:  MATH 431G
    Topology:  MATH 439G
    If equivalent courses were taken at the undergraduate level, then the student must substitute appropriate graduate mathematics courses selected in consultation with a Mathematics Department graduate advisor.
  2. An applied Mathematics course selected from MATH 529, 531, 535, 536, 540, 541, 542, 550, 570, STAT 549, or as approved by the Departmental Graduate Committee.
  3. MATH 532
  4. One of the following two-course sequences:  MATH 417G-517, 439G-539, 450G-550, 435G-535, 470G-570, 529-540, 435G-531, 535-536; 405G-406G can be taken by students who have substituted a 500-level course for at least one of the three courses listed in #1.

The remaining mathematics courses in the student's program must be chosen from MATH 405G, 406G, 415G, 423G, 435G, 450G, 470G, 504, 517, 523, 529, 531, 535, 536, 539, 540, 541, 542, 550, 560, 570, 590 or STAT 549.  A maximum of 12 hours at the 400G-level may be included in the entire program.

The research tool can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, some of which are listed below:

a)  Taking the Math 598 Graduate Seminar (1.5 credit hr each) for two semesters.

b)  Courses in other disciplines. The research tool course should be in disciplines that have a strong relation to mathematics. For example, any graduate or 400 level computer science course will be accepted. However, a student with no prior programming experience cannot take such a course and instead could choose a first year undergraduate programming course.

c)  Learning how to use a standard statistical or mathematical package (such as SAS, SPSS, R or Mathematica) by taking a course.

The research tool cannot be taking during the last semester.

In addition, all students in the M.S. program (general option) must have a working knowledge of a high-level programming language or computer algebra system.  A student may, upon prior approval of the Mathematics Department Graduate Committee, include in his/her program a maximum of 6 hours of coursework from a related field.  Comprehensive exams are required.

Computational Option

To be admitted to the M.S. program in the computational option, students must meet the following criteria:

(1)  satisfy one of the following conditions:

  • have a GAP score of at least 600,
  • have a GRE general score of at least 300, or
  • if students have graduated from WKU with a degree in mathematics, a GPA of at least 3.3 in their undergraduate major.

(2)  completion of the following undergraduate courses, with at most one deficiency:

(a)  a one year calculus sequence,
(b)  linear algebra,
(c)  discrete mathematics,
(d)  a one year sequence of programming courses,
(e)  a B.A. degree with a major in either Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics or Physics.

(3)  A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in at least one of the following:

(i)  all mathematics and computer science courses that are listed in (a) through (d) of Item 2 above; or
(ii) all courses in the major listed in (e) of Item 2 above.

Students who choose to write a thesis are required to complete 6 hours of MATH 599 - Thesis Research and Writing and to give an oral defense of the thesis.

The following courses are required:

  1. MATH/CS 405G Numerical Analysis I
    MATH 406G Numerical Analysis II
    STAT 549 Statistical Methods I
    MATH 470G Introduction to Operations Research
    CS 549 Algorithms Analysis
  2. At least two courses from the list below are required:
    CS 562 Parallel and Distributed Computing
    CS 565 Data Mining Techniques and Tools
    CS 595 Advanced Topics in computer science (with permission of advisor, i.e. depending what the topic of the course will be)

  3. The remaining courses will be chosen from the list below:
    MATH 431G Intermediate Analysis I
    MATH 541 Graph Theory
    MATH 570 Topics in Operations Research
    MATH 504 Computer Applications to Problems in Mathematics
    MATH 540 Stochastic Processes
    MATH 542 Advanced Topics in Discrete Mathematics
    MATH 590 Advanced Topics in Mathematics (with permission of advisor, i.e. depending what the topic of the course will be.)

A maximum of 12 hours at the 400G-level may be included in the entire program.  The research tool requirement is satisfied by the computer science classes.  Comprehensive exams are required.

For further information, please contact Dr. Ferhan Atici, (270) 745-6229,
or check out the graduate brochure link below.

Graduate Brochure Cover

 

 Last Modified 2/19/14