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MS Exam Policy

  1. Examinations are given in following subject areas:
    • Algebra
    • Analysis
    • Discrete Math
    • Geometry
    • Numerical Methods
    • Ordinary Differential Equations
    • Set Theory/Topology
    • Mathematical Statistics
    • Applied Statistics
  2. Each area examination is based upon a syllabus prepared by the faculty – these syllabi are available in PDF format upon request. Each exam is supported by 300 and/or 500-level courses in the topic area. Previous examinations may be emailed to students upon request.  Only the last three years of exams may be provided.
  3. Examinations are given twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. The fall examinations are offered during the week prior to the start of fall term and the spring examinations are offered during the first week of spring term. It is possible for students to sign up for examinations up to two weeks before the exam is scheduled (please contact the department for the exact sign up deadline). Students may cancel sign-ups for master’s exams up to 48 hours before an exam is given by emailing the graduate program administrator - currently Kathie Leck,
  4.  Students must pass two area examinations.
    • For the MA/MS in Mathematics, one of the two examinations must be either in Algebra or in Analysis. The student chooses the other subject area for their second exam and may select any subject from the above list except for Applied Statistics.
    • For the MS in Statistics, both the Mathematical Statistics and Applied Statistics exams are required (see Additional Information for the MS Statistics Exams at the end of this policy).
  5. At each examination period, in the Fall or in the Spring Terms, a student can take either one or two examinations.
  6. A given subject area examination can be taken by a student at most two times. An examination cancelled with less than 48 hours notice or not cancelled at all still counts as one of the two allowed attempts.
  7.  For each examination, a student will receive a Pass, a Conditional Pass, or a No Pass (Fail).  Students who receive a Conditional Pass in an examination will have four weeks from the notification date to work with the examination committee to remove the conditions needed to receive a Pass.
  8.  Students are encouraged to take examinations early in their graduate program. Most students should be able to plan their programs so that they are able to take these examinations during their first or second year.
  9. Students must be registered for and complete at least one graduate credit hour for the term in which they intend to take an examination. Students taking the fall examination must be registered for fall term, and those taking the spring examination must be registered for spring term.
  10. Students requiring special testing accommodations must arrange them through the Disability Resource Center, 503-725-4150, SMSU room 116,

Additional Information for the MS Statistics Exams

Students must pass two examinations, one in Mathematical Statistics which covers material from STAT 561, 562, 563, and one in Applied Statistics which includes the core topics covered in STAT 564, 565, 566.  For clarity, the grading policy for the master’s exam in Applied Statistics is listed below.

Grading Policy for the Master’s Exam in Applied Statistics 

The Applied Statistics Exam is comprised of two components:

 Applied regression analysis
 Design of experiments and ANOVA

Each of the two components consists of a written exam portion and a separate, in-laboratory, statistical computing applications portion.  The Applied Statistics Exam may be repeated once; that is, a maximum of two tries is permitted. 

Grading Policy: Pass (P) or Fail (F) is given on both components. 


Two P’s equal a PASS on the exam.

One P equals a CONDITIONAL PASS on the exam.  The student should contact the Examination Committee to discuss the requirements for removal of the Conditional.

No P's equal a FAIL on the exam. In this case the entire exam must be retaken.

updated August 2015