University General Course Catalog 2016-2017 
    Jun 03, 2023  

Mathematics, M.S.

I. Contact Information

Ilya Zaliapin, Professor,
Graduate Program Director for Mathematics and Statistics
(775) 784-6077

Mailing address:
Department of Mathematics and Statistics,
1664 N. Virginia Street, Mail Stop 084
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557-0084

II. Brief Introduction

Welcome to the Master of Science program in Mathematics at the University of Nevada Reno. We offer a well-rounded program in both theory and applications of mathematics and statistics. Students may choose from three options: pure mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics. All options prepare our graduates for positions in industry, teaching, and PhD programs. Our graduates are successful in pursuing careers in private industry, government, education and in PhD programs.

III. Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate professional and attitudinal skills, including:

  1. Mastery of course material at the graduate level.
  2. Mastery of the methodology and techniques specific to mathematics and statistics.
  3. Functioning as a professional in the discipline.
  4. Oral, written, and mathematical/statistical communication skills.
  5. Ability to apply their learned skills to professional practice.
  6. Ability to conduct independent research.
  7. Ability to work with others, especially in teams.
  8. Demonstration of professional attitudes and values such as workplace ethics and lifelong learning.

IV. Admission Requirements

Students must meet all degree admission requirements of the Graduate School. A candidate must submit official transcripts, at least one letter of recommendation, and a satisfactory Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General score. It is strongly recommended that applicants take the Mathematics portion of the GRE in addition to the General portion.

Admissions to our program are on a rolling basis. To guarantee full consideration, apply by March 1 (for Fall admission), by November 1 (for Spring admission).

The following are required for anyone wishing to apply to our Master’s program. Applicants must have completed the following courses or their equivalents or hold a BA or BS degree in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, or Statistics from an accredited university:

MATH 181   (Differential Calculus of one variable)
MATH 182   (Integral Calculus of one variable),
MATH 283   (Multivariable Calculus),
MATH 330   (Linear Algebra), and
MATH 310   (Real Analysis).

All applicants are required to fill out an online application form. With the exception of the ‘Online Application’, all other application materials (Transcripts, Letter(s) of Recommendation, GRE, TOEFL) should be sent to the following address:

Graduate School
Student Services Building, Room 225
Mailstop 0326
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557

Students should consult the General Catalog to ensure that they are in compliance with all of the requirements of the Graduate School, including residence requirements and limits on transfer and graduate special credits.

International Students. All international students must comply with the appropriate Graduate School requirements. In particular, candidates whose native language is not English must include a TOEFL or IELTS score.

V. Program Requirements

The program credit requirements differ for the thesis and non-thesis options. All students who follow a thesis option must earn 30 graduate credits; 6 of those credits must be thesis credits. Students following the non-thesis option must earn 32 graduate credits and pass a comprehensive exam.

All students must earn 18 of their credits in 700-level MATH or STAT courses.  The Graduate Program Director must approve all of the courses required for graduation.

There are three programs of study for the Master of Science degree in mathematics: 

  1. the Pure Mathematics Emphasis,
  2. the Applied Mathematics Emphasis, and
  3. the Statistics Emphasis.

Pure Mathematics Emphasis:

This emphasis provides a solid foundation in the theoretical aspects of mathematics.

Students must successfully complete

And at least one of the following three courses:

Applied Mathematics Emphasis:

This emphasis provides a broad technical background for solving real-world problems.

An internship may be included in the plan of study, subject to availability and approval of the graduate advisor.

Statistics Emphasis:

This option provides students with broad technical background in the theory, methods, and applications of probability and statistics to prepare them for an industrial career or for doctoral studies in statistics.

Graduate Progression

Any changes to the individual student’s “Program of Study” or to the “Degree Plan” requirements described above are subject to the following conditions:

  • Any student wishing to change her/his core course requirements must petition the Graduate Committee of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics in writing. The Graduate Committee must then approve any such changes in writing.
  • The Graduate Committee must approve in writing any changes in the requirements for the comprehensive exam topics for any Math/Stat graduate student.
  • Record of the approval(s) will be placed in the student’s file in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and sent to the Graduate School for its files.
  • In all cases, at least 24 credit hours of courses numbered 600 or higher must be taken in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, including at least 18 credits at the 700-level. For the statistics option, students who have taken STAT 461  and STAT 452  can waive this requirement. However, they cannot get graduate credits for STAT 661  and STAT 652  unless they have taken these courses under these numbers. Only students taking the Statistics Option may get 700-level credits for STAT 757 . Students should be sure they are in compliance with all requirements of the Graduate School.

VI. Total Units

 There are two degree plans within each program of study.

Plan A (Thesis)

This plan requires students to write and successfully defend a thesis.

Requirements for graduating with Plan A:

  • Students must complete at least 30 credits of acceptable graduate courses.
  • Students must complete 6 thesis credits (MATH 797 ).
  • Student must complete 12 non-thesis credits at the 700-level.
  • Student must complete at least 21 credits through on-campus courses at the university. For transfer credits, please consult the Graduate Director.

Plan B (Non-Thesis)

This plan requires students to pass a comprehensive examination given by the department.

Requirements for graduating with Plan B are:

  • Students must complete at least 32 credits of acceptable graduate courses.
  • Students must complete at least 18 credits of 700-level courses.
  • Students must complete at least 23 credits through on-campus courses at the university. For transfer credits, please consult the Graduate Director.
  • Students must complete 1 credit of the “Comprehensive Exam” course (MATH 795 ).

VII. Notes


Each graduate student is required to meet with his/her Advisory Committee Chair at least two weeks before the end of each semester to discuss his/her progress and approve class schedules for the following semester. All graduate level classes that are counting towards the 32 (non-thesis option) or 30 (thesis option) hours of required graduate credits have to be approved by the student’s Advisory Committee Chair prior to taking these classes.

In addition to the required meeting with their Advisory Committee Chair every semester, we require our graduate students to fill out and submit to the Graduate School their Program of Study by the end of their 2nd semester in our Graduate Program.

Graduate students need to follow all policies of the UNR Graduate School. In particular, they need to make sure that they file all forms required by the Graduate School on time. For pertinent information and important dates, please see the Graduate School web site.

Course Rotation Schedule

Access the schedule for the courses required by our program to develop your program of study.