Mathematics

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  • CSUN PULSE SURVEY F21

Graduate Programs

The Mathematics department offers a Master of Science degree with three options: Pure Mathematics (Option I), Applied Mathematics (Option II) and Statistics (Option III). Each of the options prepares a student for further graduate work, higher mathematical work in industry, business and government, and for teaching at community colleges.

Option I is primarily designed to prepare students for community college teaching, entry-level positions in industry or future graduate work in mathematics. The core of this program consists of an in-depth study of the mainstream of modern mathematics—algebra, analysis and topology.

 Option II emphasizes Applied Mathematics and is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in industry, business, government, or for future graduate work in applied mathematics.

 Option III is primarily designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in industry/government or future graduate work in statistics. The core of this program consists of an in-depth study of the mainstream of modern mathematical and computational statistics as well as probability, while exposing students to a broad array of real-world problems.

 

Highlights

  • Our faculty are engaged in cutting edge research in a wide range of fields within mathematics and statistics, with funding from NSF, Simons Foundation, NASA, DoD, and industries.
  • Over 40% of our graduates continue their studies at leading Ph.D. programs. Other students obtain employment in business and industry; or teaching positions at community colleges.

Why CSUN?

A Quality Education:

  • Our established options in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics have a proven track record of student success.
  • Our newly introduced Statistics option provides students with training to meet the growing demand for statisticians in industry and academia.
  • Graduate students may take elective courses from CSUN’s undergraduate Data Science minor. 
  • The master’s thesis requirement provides research opportunities with established mathematicians, often leading to published results.

 A Stimulating and Nurturing Environment

  • Our department has an active research program, including a Colloquium series and three active Research seminars (in Algebra and Number Theory, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics).
  • Our Industrial Math Group provides career assistance, including access to a network of academic and industrial partners who hire mathematicians and statisticians for summer intern and entry level positions.
  • All graduate courses are offered in the evening to accommodate working students.

 Financial Support

  • We offer Teaching Associate and Graduate Assistant positions to qualified graduate students.
  • Several tuition fee waivers are awarded annually to high achieving current and incoming students.
  • A limited number of paid Research Assistantships are available to students who are working with Professors on research projects.

Courses for Study (All options, beginning Fall 2020)

1. Required Core (15 units)

 MATH 501 Topology (3 units, offered every Fall)

 MATH 552 Real Analysis (3 units, offered every Spring)

 Analytic Foundations (3 units) Select one of the following courses:

  • MATH 541 Theoretical Statistical Inference (3 units, Spring) ***
  • MATH 550 Calculus on Manifolds (3 units, Fall) *
  • MATH 592A Topics in Applied Mathematics (3 units, Fall) **

 

Linear/Algebraic Methods (3 units) Select one of the following courses:

  • MATH 540 Regression Analysis (3 units, Spring) ***
  • MATH 560 Abstract Algebra III (3 units, Spring) *
  • MATH 581 Numerical Methods for Linear Systems (3 units, Spring) **

 

Advanced Analytic Methods (3 units) Select one of the following courses:

  • MATH 543 Multivariate Statistics (3 units, Fall) ***
  • MATH 582A Topics in Numerical Analysis (3 units, Fall) ** 
  • MATH 655 Complex Analysis (3 units, Spring) *

 

* Students in Option I will normally take MATH 550, MATH 560 and MATH 655.

** Students in Option II will normally take MATH 581, MATH 582A and MATH 592A.

*** Students in Option III will normally take MATH 540, MATH 541 and MATH 543.

 

2. Electives (15 units)

 Elective units should support the program of study and be selected in consultation with the graduate coordinator. Up to 9 units may be taken in departments outside of Mathematics with prior approval of the Graduate Committee. A maximum of 9 units of 400-level courses may be applied toward the 31 unit degree.

 

3. Culminating Experience (1 unit)

 Choose one of:

  • MATH 697A Directed Comprehensive Studies (1)
  • MATH 698A Thesis or Graduate Project (1) 

 

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 31


 

Comprehensive Exam or Master’s Thesis: 

For their Culminating Experience, a student must successfully complete one of the following:

Comprehensive Examination: This two-part examination will be based on the students’ required courses. Students in Option I must take Algebra and either Analysis I or Analysis II. Students in Option II must take Analysis I and one other exam excluding algebra. Students in Option III must take Probability/Statistics and Analysis I.

Comprehensive exams are given in the following areas:

  • Algebra (material from MATH 462, MATH 460 and MATH 560)
  • Analysis I (material from MATH 501 and MATH 552)
  • Analysis II (material from MATH 550 and MATH 655)
  • Numerical Analysis (material from MATH 581 and MATH 582)
  • Applied Functional Analysis (material from MATH 680A/B)
  • Probability/Statistics (material from MATH 540 and MATH 541)

 

Master’s Thesis: In order to write a master’s thesis, students must maintain a GPA of 3.4 in their required courses. Each student also must defend his or her thesis in an oral examination by his or her thesis committee.

 The University requires that students take at least 1 unit of MATH 697A (if they take a comprehensive exam) or 1 unit of MATH 698A (if they write a thesis). Units for MATH 697 or 698 count toward the 31 units required for the degree.

Courses for Option I: Mathematics (prior to Fall 2020)

OPTION I: MATHEMATICS

Core Required Courses (15 units):

  • MATH 501 Topology (3 units, Fall)
  • MATH 552 Real Analysis (3 units, Spring)
  • MATH 550 Calculus on Manifolds (3 units, Fall)
  • MATH 560 Abstract Algebra III (3 units, Spring)
  • MATH 655 Complex Analysis (3 units, Spring)

Additional Required Courses (2 units):

  • MATH 589 Seminar (1)
  • either Math 697A Directed Comprehensive Studies (1) or Math 698A Thesis/Graduate Project (1)*

*To be eligible for 698A Thesis, a student must obtain a GPA of 3.40 in the five required courses above.

Electives (15 units):

Select approved courses. At least 6 of these 15 units must be at 500- or 600-level. Up to 6 units may be taken in departments outside of mathematics with prior approval of the graduate committee.

 

Courses for Option II: Applied Mathematics (prior to Fall 2020)

OPTION II: APPLIED MATHEMATICS

Core Required Courses (15 units):

  • MATH 501 Topology (3 units, Fall)
  • MATH 552 Real Analysis (3 units, Spring)
  • either one of MATH 542A-D Topics in Probability/Statistics (3) or MATH 581 Numerical Methods for Linear Systems (3)
  • two courses from the following list:
    • MATH 540 Regression Analysis (3)
    • MATH 541 Theoretical Statistical Inference (3)
    • MATH 542 Nonparametric Analysis (formerly taught within MATH 542D) (3)
    • MATH 543 Multivariate Statistics (formerly MATH 542A) (3)
    • MATH 544 Stochastic Processes (formerly MATH 542B) (3)
    • MATH 545 Probability Theory (formerly MATH 542C) (3)
    • MATH 546 Time Series Analysis (formerly taught within MATH 542D) (3)
    • MATH 547 Categorical Data Analysis (formerly taught within MATH 542D) (3)
    • MATH 548 Statistical Computing (formerly taught within MATH 542D) (3)
    • MATH 549 Topics in Probability and Statistics (formerly MATH 542D) (3)
    • MATH 581 Numerical Methods for Linear Systems (3)
    • MATH 582A-D Topics in Numerical Analysis (3)
    • MATH 592A-D Topics in Applied Mathematics (3)
    • MATH 625 Advanced Mathematical Modeling (3)
    • MATH 655 Complex Analysis (3)
    • MATH 680AB Applied Functional Analysis I/II (3)

 

Additional Required Courses (2 units):

  • MATH 589 Seminar (1)
  • either Math 697A Directed Comprehensive Studies (1) or Math 698A Thesis/Graduate Project (1)**

**To be eligible for 698A Thesis, a student must obtain a GPA of 3.40 in the five required courses above.

Electives (15 units):

Select approved courses. At least 6 of these 15 units must be at 500- or 600-level. Up to 9 units may be taken in departments outside of mathematics with prior approval of the graduate committee.

 

Admission to the Graduate Program

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

The University requires that applicants for the graduate program have an undergraduate degree with a GPA of 2.5 or higher. In addition, the Mathematics Department requires a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all undergraduate work. The Mathematics Department also requires applicants to have grades of B or better in the following upper-division mathematics classes:

  • Advanced Calculus (equivalent to CSUN Math 450A)
  • Advanced Linear Algebra (equivalent to CSUN Math 462)

Students who do not meet these requirements may still be considered for admission. If admitted, students who do not have a B or better in Advanced Calculus (MATH 450A) and Advanced Linear Algebra (MATH 462), will be required to pass MATH 450A, or MATH 462, or both, with a grade of B or better during the first year of enrollment in the program.

Applicants with undergraduate degrees in fields outside the Mathematical Sciences may also be considered, provided they have successfully taken a significant number of lower and upper division Mathematics courses. 

SCREENING EXAMINATIONS:

As an alternative to course work, an entering graduate student who does not have B or better in Advanced Calculus or Advanced Linear Algebra may demonstrate knowledge of these subjects by passing a Screening Exam. These exams are given separately in Advanced Calculus and Advanced Linear Algebra twice a year, upon request, in January and August.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES:

To apply for the Graduate Program, separate applications are required to the University and to the Department of Mathematics. 

1. Applications to the University are submitted at Cal State Apply. This portion of the application requires official transcripts.

2. Applications to the Department require the following materials. 

These items can be emailed directly to the Graduate Coordinator.

Alternately, they can be mailed to:

Department of Mathematics

ATTN: GRADUATE PROGRAM 

18111 Nordhoff St.

Northridge, CA 91330-8313.

For candidates who wish to be considered for Teaching Associateship, first priority is given to applications received by April 15. The deadline for applications to begin in the Fall semester is July 15. The deadline for applications to begin in the Spring semester is December 1.

Departmental Application Form

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Our Programs:

    1. Q: What kinds of degrees are offered?

      A: We offer three options for Master of Science degrees: Option I ( Pure Mathematics), Option II (Applied Mathematics), and Option III (Statistics).
    2. Q: At what point must I choose between Options I, II, or III? Can I change my option later?

      A: You need to choose an Option on application. You may later request in writing to switch between Option I and II by submitting a Change of Objective Form to the Office of Admissions and Records.
  • What will I need to do to complete a degree?

    1. Q: How many courses and which ones do I need to take to complete the program?

      A: See above for full details. In summary, you need 32 units, consisting of 10 courses of 3 units each, plus a 1-unit seminar course (Math 589), and a 1-unit course that represents the successful completion either of the comprehensive exams (Math 697A) or a master's thesis (Math 698A).
    2. Q: Can I take undergraduate courses while working on my master's degree?

      A: Yes, you may count up to three approved 400-level courses as electives in your master's degree program. These courses are: MATH 440A, 440B, 450B, 455, 460, 463, 480, 481A, 481B, 482.
    3. Q: Do I need to pass comprehesive exams to graduate? Do I need to write a thesis?

      A: You need to either pass two comprehensive exams or write and defend a master's thesis. Students who wish to write a thesis must have a GPA of 3.4 or higher in the five core required classes for their option.
    4. Q: What do the comprehensive exams cover?

      A: There are six available comprehensive exams:

      1. Algebra (material from Math 462, 460, and 560)
      2. Analysis I (material from Math 501 and 552)
      3. Analysis II (material from Math 550 and 655)
      4. Numerical Analysis (material from Math 581 and 582)
      5. Applied Functional Analysis (material from Math 680 A/B)
      6. Probability and Statistics (material from Math 540 and 542)

      Option I students taking comprehensive exams must take Algebra and either Analysis I or Analysis II. Option II students taking comprehensive exams must take Analysis I and one other exam excluding Algebra.
    5. Q: How often are the comprehesive exams offered each year?

      A: They are given twice per year: in mid-August and in mid-January.
    6. Q: How often are required and elective courses offered?

      A: Please see the Timetable of Courses above.
    7. Q: Am I required to take the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE)?

      A: Yes. Anyone seeking a degree from CSU system must pass UDWPE. See this FAQ for further details.
    8. Q: I am an international student. Is there a language proficiency requirement needed to complete the degree?

      A: In order to apply, you must meet the University's English Language requirements, which are described here. The Mathematics Department has no additional requirements.
    9. Q: How long does it take to complete the program?

      A: Normally, it takes about two years to complete a master's degree.
    10. Q: Is there a time limit for completing the degree?

      A: You have seven years to complete the degree.
  • Cost:

    1. Q: How much are the tuition and fees?

      A: See information about tuition here.
    2. Q: What financial support is available?

      A: You may apply for financial aid directly from the University, as described here. Also, the Math Department offers employment as a Teaching Associate to eligible students. You may indicate your interest in a TA position on your departmental application form. 
  • Qualifications Needed to Apply:

    1. Q: Do I need to have a bachelor's degree in mathematics to apply?

      A: You need a bachelor's degree, but not necessarily in mathematics. Regardless of your undergraduate major, you need to have completed sufficient coursework in mathematics, as described in the next FAQ.
    2. Q: Which courses do I need to have completed before applying?

      A: To be fully ready for the MS program, you need to have completed coursework equivalent to the following CSUN courses: Calculus and Advanced Calculus (MATH 150A, 150B, 250, 450A), Differential Equations (MATH 351), Probability (MATH 340), Linear and Abstract Algebra (MATH 262, 360, and 462), and a course on Logic and Proofs (MATH 320). It is possible to be admitted if you lack the equivalent of MATH 450A and/or MATH 462. In this case, you will be admitted to CSUN and required to pass the necessary course(s) with a minimum grade of B. Because we regard them as an entrance requirement, taking MATH 450A or MATH 462 as a graduate student will not count as among the 10 3-unit courses required for your degree.
    3. Is there a minimum GPA requirement to apply?

      The University has minimum admission requirements for all students, regardless of major. 

      In addition to the University requirements, the Mathematics Department requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all undergraduate work. Furthermore, the Mathematics Department requires that you have obtained a grade of B or better in Advanced Calculus and Advanced Linear Algebra (equivalent to CSUN's MATH 450A and 462, respectively). If you fail to meet this requirement, you may still be admitted, and asked to take the necessary course during your first year in the program. (See the previous FAQ).
    4. Q: I am an international student. Is there a language proficiency requirement needed before applying? Do I need to take the TOEFL? or the IELTS or PTE?

      A: In order to apply, you must meet the University's English Language requirements, which are described here. The Mathematics Department has no additional requirements.
  • Application Procedures:

    1. Q: What items are needed in a complete application?

      A: All applicants need to submit two applications: one for the University, and one for Math Department.

      The University application is done with the online Cal State Apply system. See also this list of procedures for more detail. For further requirements for international students, see the next FAQ.

      To complete the Mathematics Department application, send the following items to the Graduate Coordinator: a departmental application form; unofficial copies of transcripts for all university level work; and two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation can either sent by their author directly to the graduate coordinator, or enclosed with your Mathematics Department application.
    2. Q: I am an international student. Is there anything else I need to do to apply?

      A: The University has additional requirements and procedures for international applicants, which are described at the International Admissions website. The Mathematics Department has no additional requirements for international applicants.
    3. Q: Can I use a letter of recommendation from a non-professor? For example, from my supervisor at work?

      A: Yes, but it is to your advantage to have at least one of your letters address your intellectual abilities relevant to the study of mathematics.
    4. Q: Do you require a personal statement? Where should I submit that?

      A: A personal statement is optional. However, if there are special circumstances in your background that you feel we should be aware of, please feel free to include a statement with your departmental application.
    5. Q: Am I required to take GRE?

      A: No.
    6. Q: What is the latest date that I can apply if I want to begin the program in a particular semester?

      A: The application deadline for the Fall semester is July 15. The application deadline for the Spring semester is December 1. 
  • Finding out whether you have been accepted:

    1. Q: I submitted my application some time ago, and I have not heard anything. What should I do?

      A: Contact the Graduate Coordinator.
  • I have been accepted. What do I do next?

    1. Q: Once I accept your offer of admission, what do I do next?

      A: Contact the Graduate Coordinator.
    2. Q: I am admitted to begin in a particular semester. Can I postpone my admission to a later semester?

      A: Possibly, but this is an issue that you will have to take up with CSUN's Office of Admissions and Records.
    3. Q: Can I take a semester off in the middle of my program?

      A: Yes. Graduate students in good standing may take a two semester leave of absence. If you take leave for a longer period, you must reapply to the University.

Thesis Resources

Producing documents with mathematical content can be a challenging task due to the large number of special characters required. The package LaTex provides an excellent way of doing this, and is the standard method of typesetting used by mathematicians worldwide. This program is freely available and can be downloaded for any platform. LaTex is also the preferred way to produce CSUN Master's Theses. To do so, you should obtain a copy of the class file CSUN.cls, which automatically produces a document which adheres to campus guidelines. This file can be obtained by contacting the Graduate Coordinator