Master of Science (MS) Degree

The Department of Mathematics does not admit students whose intended degree is a general Master's outside of the MMS specializations program or the MAQRM. However, students admitted for the PhD can obtain a general MS degree in Mathematics during their academic progression towards the PhD degree. Additionally, OSU PhD students in other departments who are in good academic standing may request to be admitted to our MS via the Dual Degree option of the OSU Graduate School.

There are three ways for a PhD student to earn an MS degree (listed below):

  1. Candidacy: Apply to graduate with the MS degree by submitting the Application to Graduate form on GradForms using the MS Degree via candidacy option (this can either be done the term of the exam or any term afterward).
  2. Thesis Option: Having completed 30 credit hours of approved coursework, a student may select the option of writing a thesis which has to be defended and approved by a two-faculty member exam committee, one of whom has to be the student's Master's Faculty (Thesis) Advisor*. Students utilizing this option should be signed up for MATH 6999 with the supervising Master's Faculty (Thesis) Advisor during the semester they write and defend their thesis. Required curriculum includes:
    1. Algebra Requirement: Math 5111 + 5112 sequence (10hrs, with a grade of B or higher in each course and average of B+ or higher in the sequence), or Math 6111 + 6112 sequence (10hrs, with a grade of B or higher in each course and average of B+ or higher in the sequence), and
    2. Analysis Requirement: Math 5201 + 5202 sequence (10hrs, with a grade of B or higher in each course and average of B+ or higher in the sequence), or Math 6211 + 6212 sequence (10hrs, with a grade of B or higher in each course and average of B+ or higher in the sequence)
  3. Non-Thesis Option: This option requires 32 credit hours of approved coursework as well as a Master Pass on the Analysis and Algebra Qualifying Exams or the equivalent courses (see below). The master’s examination for a student pursuing the non-thesis option must include a written portion and may include an oral portion. The written portion may be a substantial paper, project or examination appropriate to the discipline, demonstrative of scholarly work and consistent with best practices in the field. 
    Required curriculum includes:
    1. Algebra Requirement: Math 6111 + 6112 sequence (10hrs, with a grade of B+ or higher in each course) or a Master Pass or better on the corresponding Algebra 1 or 2 Qualifying Exam, and
    2. Analysis Requirement: Math 6211 + 6212 sequence (10hrs, with a grade of B+ or higher in each course) or a Master Pass or better on the corresponding Analysis 1 or 2 Qualifying Exam.

The Master Thesis needs to follow university formatting guidelines, be approved by the exam committee, and be submitted to the OSU Graduate School and OhioLink. For further details see Section VI of the Graduate School Handbook.

* The Master's Faculty (Thesis or Non-Thesis) Advisor needs to be a Math Department faculty member of category M level or higher. They are selected separately from your Dissertation Advisor, but can be the same person.  When the student has established with a faculty member that they will advise the student's Master Thesis, the student reports the chosen Master's Faculty (Thesis and/ or Non-Thesis) Advisor to the Math Graduate Office using the departmental Change of Advisor form.

These requirements were last updated in January 2019. If you officially declared the MS degree prior to January 2019, you may alternately earn the degree via the legacy requirements. Please contact the Math Grad Office at grad-office@math.osu.edu for a copy of the legacy MS requirements.

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