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Master’s Exam

To earn the MS in Mathematics, students are required to pass the Master's Exam in their chosen area of concentration. The examination must be passed within one year after completing 32 hours toward the degree. Students should consult the Graduate Handbook  for additional details.

Master's Exam FAQ

When is the Master's exam offered?

The exam is offered twice each year. The Spring exam is given the first week after Spring break. The Fall exam is given the week before the Fall semester begins. Exact dates are listed on the online registration form.

Do I need to register in advance for this exam?

Students must pre-register for this exam by submitting the online registration form at least two weeks prior to the exam date. This exam is restricted to students admitted to one of the MSCS graduate programs.

What is included on this exam?

A comprehensive list of the courses covered on the exam as well as the number of questions on each topic is outlined below and in the Distribution of MS Exam Questions section on page 18 of the Graduate Handbook.

How is the exam scored?

The exam is graded on a scale of 0 to 160. Each question is worth 20 points and the 8 questions with the highest numerical scores are used to determine the final score. A minimum score of 90 is required to "pass" the exam and meet the minimum requirements for the degree. A score of 110 or above is considered a "high pass" and meets the minimum requirement for admission to the PhD program.

How can I prepare for the exam?

Sample exams are available on the website for review.

Can I take the exam more than once?

Students can retake the exam the next time it is offered. Students who plan to retake the exam are encouraged to review their first exam. This review will clarify where errors were made and will help identify which areas need more attention. Contact the Graduate Studies office for a copy of your exam.

How do I request a regrade on an exam question?

Students may request a regrade on any portion of the Master's examination. However, students should first review the Regrade Policy  carefully and be aware that a regrade may result in raising or lowering the student's score on the exam.

MS Exam Content

Students will take the master's exam in their chosen area of concentration. Each exam question is worth 20 points and the 8 questions with the highest numerical scores will be used to determine the student's grade for the exam. Students should consult the Graduate Handbook  for additional details and refer to the MS Exam FAQ for the answer to the most often asked questions.

Pure Mathematics (3 questions each) :

Algebra (Math 330, 431)

Analysis (Math 313, 414)

Complex Analysis (Math 417)

Logic (Math 430)

Number Theory (Math 435)

Point-Set Topology (Math 445)

Applied Mathematics (3 questions each):

Analysis (Math 313, 414)

Complex Analysis with Application (Math 417)

Applied Differential Equations (Math 480)

Applied Partial Differential Equations (Math 481)

Numerical Analysis (MCS 471)

Mathematical Computer Science (2 questions each):

Computer Algorithms I (MCS 401)

Combinatorics (MCS 421)

Graph Theory (MCS 423)

Codes and Cryptography (MCS 425)

Theory of Computation I (MCS 441)

Numerical Analysis (MCS 471)

Probability and Statistics:

Intro to Probability (Stat 401) - 4 questions

Statistical Theory (Stat 411) - 4 questions

Applied Statistical Methods II (Stat 481) - 4 questions