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Master of Arts/Master of Science in Mathematics

The Master of Arts/Master of Science in Mathematics program is designed for the student who wishes to prepare for community college teaching, industrial work in mathematics, or further advanced work toward a Ph.D. in mathematics.


Program Prerequisites:  Transcript(s) must show satisfactory completion of at least the following undergraduate courses: linear algebra, abstract algebra/group theory, introductory analysis/advanced calculus, and differential equations. (These are equivalent to the following PSU courses: MTH 261, MTH 344, MTH 311 and MTH 256.)

In addition to program prerequisites, applicants must meet the university's minimum admission requirements including English language proficiency.

This program currently offers rolling admissions. See instructions on how to apply:

Cost and Funding:

Please see the Office of Graduate Studies web page Financing Your Education for information regarding the cost of attending Portland State University and sources of funding. Several forms of departmental graduate support are available, including, but not limited to, Teaching Assistantships and Scholarships. The Department may be contacted for further details. Applicants desiring a teaching assistantship should apply to the graduate program by February 1st for entry the following fall quarter.

Degree Requirements:

Candidates must complete an approved 45-credit program which includes at least 30 credits in mathematics or statistics. These 30 credits must include courses distributed as follows: two 6-credit sequences at the 600 level, 6 additional credits at the 600 level, and the 3-credit Mth 501 Mathematical Literature and Problems. In addition, the student must pass two written Master's examinations. Students interested in pursuing the MA degree must also show proficiency in a second language.

A student must have a minimum 3.00 GPA on the courses applied to the program of study, as well as a minimum 3.00 GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at PSU. Although grades of C+, C, and C- are below the graduate standard, they may be counted as credit toward a master’s degree with the specific written approval of the department if taken at PSU after the term of formal admission to the graduate program.

Students are responsible for knowing University-level graduate policies and procedures for obtaining the degree. These policies and procedures are in Graduate Studies section of the PSU Bulletin. Several of the most frequently asked about University-level graduate policies and procedures can also be found on the Office of Graduate Studies web site.

Approved Courses for the Degree:

Mth 511,512,513    Introduction to Real Analysis
Mth 520 Introduction to Complexity Theory
Mth 521,522,523 Theory of Ordinary Differential Equations
Mth 524,525 Elementary Differential Geometry & Tensor Analysis
Mth 527,528 Partial Differential Equations
Mth 530 Topics in Mathematical Modelling
Mth 531,532,533 Topics in Geometry
Mth 534,535,536 Set Theory and Topology
Mth 540 Boolean Algebra
Mth 541,542,543 Introduction to Abstract Algebra
Mth 544,545 Advanced Linear/Multilinear Algebra
Mth 549 Topics in Advanced Number Theory
Mth 551,552,553 Numerical Calculus
Mth 557,558 The Mathematical Theory of Games
Mth 561,562 Graph Theory
Mth 570,571,572 Complex Analysis & Boundary Value Problems
Mth 577, 578 Mathematical Control Theory
Mth 580 Systems Analysis: Calculus of Variations
Mth 611,612,613 Theory of Functions of a Real Variable
Mth 614,615,616 Modern Analysis
Mth 617,618,619 Functional Analysis
Mth 621,622,623 Advanced Differential Equations
Mth 624,625,626 Advanced Differential Geometry
Mth 634, 635, 636 Algebraic Topology
Mth 637,638,639 Geometric Topology
Mth 641,642,643 Modern Algebra
Mth 651,652,653 Advanced Numerical Analysis
Mth 661,662,663 Algebraic Graph Theory
Mth 667,668,669 Stochastic Processes and Probability Theory
Stat 561,562,563 Mathematical Statistics
Stat 564 Applied Regression Analysis
Stat 565,566 Experimental Design:  Theory and Methods
Stat 567, 568 Applied Probability
Stat 661,662,663 Advanced Mathematical Statistics
Stat 664,665,666 Theory of Linear Models

Check with the program adviser for additional courses, including omnibus-numbered courses, which also may be approved for MA/MS programs. "Approved" means that it is approved toward fulfilling the 30 mathematics/statistics credit hours for the MA/MS Math program.

Courses Approved as Electives for the Degree:

Mth 581 Probability for Mathematics Teachers
Mth 582 Statistics for Mathematics Teachers
Mth 583 Topics in Geometry for Mathematics Teachers
Mth 584 Topics in Algebra for Mathematics Teachers
Mth 585 Topics in Analysis for Mathematics Teachers
Mth 586 Topics in the History of Mathematics
Mth 587 Discrete Mathematics for Teachers (formerly Introduction to Combinatorial Mathematics)
Mth 588 Computing Technology for Mathematics Teachers

"Approved as elective" means that it is approved inside the 45 total credit hours but not inside the 30 mathematics/statistics credit hours. Check with the program adviser for additional approved electives.

MA/MS Examinations:

Students must pass two written examinations, one of which must be in either Algebra or Analysis. Other subject areas include: Discrete Math, Geometry, Mathematical Statistics, Numerical Methods, Ordinary Differential Equations, Partial Differential Equations and Set Theory/Topology. Exams are offered twice a year, during the week prior to the start of fall term and during the first week of spring term. Students may take a given area examination at most two times. Syllabi and the last six previously given exams for each topic are available. You must be registered for and complete at least one graduate credit during the term(s) in which you take your exams. See the full MS Exam Policy.

MTH 501 Mathematical Literature and Problems:

In this required course, a student works under the supervision of a faculty member in an area of mathematics in which the student has acquired the background needed to read current mathematical literature, prepare a research paper, and present this research in a colloquium. Requirements for the course are contained in Guidelines and Deadlines for Literature and Problems Seminar which is also available in the department office. Please note that you must be registered for at least one graduate credit during the term in which you plan to present your 501 research.

Planning an MA/MS Mathematics Degree Program:

The department offers courses in pure and applied mathematics and in statistics. Students may choose an emphasis in one or more of these areas. The department tries to project its future 600-level offerings. These projections enable students to plan programs that include any necessary 500-level prerequisites. Students also need to plan programs that will prepare them to pass two MA/MS examinations, at least one of which is in Algebra or Analysis. New students are urged to meet with the MA/MS Coordinator regarding degree requirements and for help with program planning.


For advising questions: Dr. Joyce O'Halloran, MS/MA Mathematics Program Coordinator,, 503-725-3652.

For application questions: Kathie Leck, Graduate Program Administrator,, 503-725-8244.