The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers specializations in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, computational mathematics, and mathematics education within the M.S. degree. Applicants are expected to have completed the equivalent of the requirements for the appropriate emphasis for the B.S. in mathematical sciences at NIU. This requirement may be modified for applicants with promising undergraduate records.
Check departmental information for any additional requirements.
The student must complete at least 30 semester hours of graduate work. At least 24 of these hours must be in mathematical sciences with at least 15 semester hours in mathematical sciences courses numbered 600 or above. All courses outside the Department of Mathematical Sciences must have departmental approval in advance.
The student must follow a program of study approved by the department. The program will be designed by the student and their advisor and will be built on the requirements listed under one of the specializations. Students with inadequate backgrounds may be required to remove specific deficiencies.
The student must pass a comprehensive examination in mathematics. Normally, students pursuing full-time graduate study will be required to take the comprehensive examination within two academic years of admission to the graduate school. A student who fails the examination may, with the permission of the department, repeat it once.
With the consent of the department, a student specializing in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, or mathematics education may include MATH 699, Master’s Thesis, for 3 semester hours of credit in the 30 semester hours required for a master’s degree. Students specializing in computational mathematics are usually required to complete a thesis.
At the time of admission, each student must have completed courses equivalent to CSCI 230 and MATH 444. Students are strongly advised to take MATH 423, MATH 430, and MATH 431 during their first year, if they have not previously taken these or equivalent courses.
The thesis option is usually recommended by the department. Each student pursuing this option must enroll in MATH 699, Master’s Thesis, and submit a written thesis. Three semester hours credit in MATH 699 may be applied toward the degree. The student’s thesis advisor serves as chair of the graduate committee that administers a defense of the thesis.
The non-thesis option is primarily for students who intend to pursue doctoral work in the mathematical sciences at NIU, or who wish to acquire breadth in the mathematical sciences by taking additional courses. With departmental consent, the student must complete a 30-semester hour program of courses approved by the department and pass a written comprehensive examination.