Masters of Science in Mathematics

Dr. Joe Yanik teaches an online course

Emporia State University’s Master of Science in Mathematics Program is flexible so you can reach your personal goals in the way that will best fit your needs. Our classes are available to both on-campus and online students, allowing you to decide when and how you take your classes.

The program also allows you to select several areas of mathematics you might want to pursue, such as: applied mathematics, statistics, algebra or analysis.

Most students choose the M.S. degree program (34 hours of coursework) in order to obtain academic appointments at community colleges or find employment in business or industry. Others earn their degree in order to continue their education by pursuing a doctorate degree at another institution.


Masters of Science in Mathematics

From the courses listed below, students must take
  • MA 701: Mathematical Proofs (if admitted for Fall 2016 or later)
  • Admitted to start ON/AFTER Summer 2019: 6 credit hours in each of the areas of Analysis, Algebra, and Statistics/Applied Mathematics.
  • Admitted to start BEFORE Summer 2019: 6 credit hours in two of the three content areas: Analysis, Algebra, and Statistics/Applied Mathematics; and 3 credit hours in the third content area
  • MA 810 (online or on-campus) or MA 850 (on-campus only)
  • 34 total credit hours (32 credit hours for on-campus thesis students)
Additionally, students must pass their comprehensive exams.


MA 715Topology3 hours
MA 734Complex Variables3 hours
MA 735Advanced Calculus I3 hours
MA 736Advanced Calculus II3 hours
MA 728Vector Spaces3 hours
MA 740Number Theory3 hours
MA 741Group Theory3 hours
MA 742Ring Theory3 hours
MA 743Field Theory3 hours
MA 746Computational Algebraic Geometry3 hours
Statistics and Applied Mathematics
MA 532Mathematical Statistics I3 hours
MA 731SAS (available only to on-campus students)3 hours
MA 732Categorical Data Analysis3 hours
MA 733Mathematical Statistics II3 hours
MA 738Applied Differential Equations3 hours
MA 739Applied Analysis3 hours
MA 758Wavelets3 hours
MA 760Numerical Analysis3 hours
MA 762Optimization Techniques3 hours
MA 763Simulation Techniques3 hours
MA 764Regression Analysis3 hours
MA 765Numerical Linear Algebra3 hours
Electives and Other Topics
MA 510Technology in Mathematics*3 hours
MA 701Mathematical Proofs3 hours
MA 714Knot Theory3 hours
MA 721Projective Geometry3 hours
MA 722Non-Euclidean Geometry3 hours
MA 757Graph Theory3 hours
MA 791Introduction to Mathematical Logic3 hours
MA 791Combinatory Logic3 hours
MA 793Mathematics in the Common Core Standards*3 hours
EC 710Econometrics I3 hours
EC 711Econometrics II3 hours
EC 737Game Theory3 hours
MA 810Seminar in Mathematics**1 hour
MA 850Thesis**1-6 hours
Other Notes
* These courses are considered non-core courses since they are focused on math education. A maximum of 6 credit hours of non-core courses can be applied toward the completion of the M.S. Math program. (None may be applied to the Graduate Certificate program.)
** MA 810 is the course that non-thesis students take when they are ready to give their seminar presentation before graduation. MA 850 is for on-campus thesis students only.

Comprehensive Exams

All students must complete their comprehensive exams according to the following guidelines.
  • Seminar students must take exams from four subjects and pass three of them.
  • Thesis students (only available for on-campus students) must take exams from three subjects and pass two of them.
  • Students must take at least one exam in each of the areas of Algebra, Analysis, and Statistics/Applied Mathematics.
  • All exams are taken at the same time.
  • Students must choose their subjects and notify the approprirate instructors by the end of the fourth week of the semester in which they are taking the exam, and they must take the exam itself by the end of the eighth week.
  • If a student does not pass the necessary number of exams, he or she can make one more attempt that semester. If the student was one subject away from passing, he or she may retake only the failed subjects; otherwise, the student must retake all subjects. No more than two attempts per semester are allowed.
  • Transfer courses, non-core courses, and MA701 Mathematical Proofs are not eligible subjects for the exams.
  • Students must be enrolled in at least one class in the semester that the exams are attempted.

General Information

Applications are submitted to the graduate office. To start on your application, visit Graduate Admissions.

Applicants must also submit transcripts of all previous college work to the graduate office.

The deadline for Summer or Fall admission is March 1, and October 1 for Spring admission.

We do not require you to take the GRE.

You may enroll in a course as a non-degree-seeking student while your application is pending. If your application is accepted, that course will apply toward your degree (up to a maximum of 12 credit hours). However, once you decide to enter the program, it is to your advantage to complete the application because there is an additional application fee for enrolling as a non-degree-seeking student.

Recommended Background

Applicants who have completed 24 credit hours of undergraduate mathematics, including at least two semesters of Calculus and at least one course where writing mathematical proofs is a significant part of the content, are viewed favorably.

An undergraduate degree is required preferably in mathematics, mathematics education, or an area with a significant mathematics requirement.

In general, success in our programs requires fimiliarity with the content of the first two semesters of a typical Calculus sequence as well as experience in writing mathematical proofs.

For information about tuition and fees, visit Distance Education.

Most courses require exams to be proctored. Students are responsible for finding a suitable proctor and paying any associated fees.

Each year the Department of Mathematics and Economics employs a number of on-campus graduate students as teaching assistants. These assistants are typically responsible for teaching two courses of undergraduate mathematics each semester. Because assistants are given sole responsibility for their classes, these positions provide valuable experience for those seeking academic employment in the future. In addition to a salary, graduate teaching assistants receive a tuition waiver and pay only the activities fee.

For those students who do not qualify for a graduate teaching assistantship, there is a competitively selected, merit-based scholarship of $500 per semester for first year students.

For further details about the assistantships and scholarship award, please contact the graduate advisor, Dr. Chad Wiley (

Is it possible to complete the program completely online?

Yes. We offer a number of online courses each semester, giving students multiple classes to choose from and take.

How do the online courses work?

It varies a bit from course to course, and it is constantly evolving as new technologies become available. Broadly speaking, our classes come in two varieties.

Some classes are offered purely online. There are no physical meetings, although most classes include online chats that function similarly to office hours. Instruction in these classes takes a variety of forms, including textbook readings, instructor-made videos, and/or tutorial worksheets. Assignments are collected, graded, and returned on a regular basis. Exams require that the student arrange a proctor.

Other classes are offered in a hybrid format. These courses are taught on the ESU campus with regular lectures, which are broadcast online using web conference software. Online students can log in during the class time and participate along with the on-campus students. These lectures are also recorded so that students who cannot log in during class time can catch up later. Otherwise, these classes are the same as the online courses (assignments, exams, etc.).

Can I transfer graduate classes I've taken at another university?

Yes, with restrictions. ESU policy allows students to transfer up to 9 credit hours of graduate courses from other universities. The courses must have been taken for graduate credit, and you must have received a B- or better. Standard mathematics courses will generally transfer with no problems, but courses which are only math-related (such as physics, computer science, or math education courses) must be approved by your advisor and the graduate committee. In addition, at most 6 credit hours of such courses can be applied toward the Master of Science degree.

If I begin the Graduate Certificate program, can I later switch to the M.S. in Mathematics program?

Yes, with restrictions. Up to 12 credit hours from the Graduate Certificate in Mathematics program may be applied towards the M.S. in Mathematics degree. A separate application to the M.S. in Mathematics program is also required.

What kinds of students are in the graduate programs?

We have students from a variety of backgrounds and locations. Originally our program was populated with math teachers in eastern Kansas, and we still have many such students. But we now have students from all over the U.S. and beyond. We have students with backgrounds in teaching, pure and applied mathematics, engineering, computer science, and other subjects.

Is there opportunity for student interaction?

Definitely. As previously mentioned, most classes include at least one weekly online chat (via web conference software) that allows students to discuss class material, ask questions, and generally interact with the instructor and with each other. Courses also include discussion boards that allow students to ask and answer questions throughout the week.

Is the Master's degree a mathematics degree or a mathematics education degree?

The graduate programs we offer are in mathematics, not math education. For the most part, the courses we offer are the standard math courses you would find at most universities. We do offer a small number of classes that are focuses on math education, but only a limited amount of these classes (6 credit hours) can be applied toward the Master of Science degree, and none can be applied toward the Graduate Certificate.

How many courses can I take each semester?

You can take as many as you can handle. Until recently, we often only offered one online course per semester. This is not as limiting as it sounds. Most of our students have full time jobs, and one course a semester is essentially a full load for them. A graduate level mathematics course is a significant time commitment! However, with the expansion of our program, we now offer multiple classes each semester, so it is possible to take two or even three courses in a single semester for those not working.

How long will it take to complete the program?

That depends on how many courses you can handle in a semester. Most of our students choose the non-thesis option, which requires 34 credit hours. That is eleven three-credit-hour courses plus a one-hour project. So, if you are able to take one course during the two regular semesters and two courses in the summer, you could complete the program in less than three years.

Do you still have an active on-campus program?

Yes, we do. Although many of our courses are taken by both off-campus and on-campus students simultaneously, there are still a few courses offered each semester that are only available to on-campus students. In addition, on-campus students are eligible for teaching assistantships that pay a stipend and include a full tuition waiver.

Where can I find more information?

Questions about the master's degree program or the certificate program should be directed to our Graduate Coordinators (

Questions about the application process or about graduate study at ESU in general should be directed to the Graduate Office ( or 1-800-950-GRAD).

To apply to the program go to Graduate Admissions.

To register for courses go to Distance Education.

To get information about tuition and fees go to Distance Education.

For information about financial aid go to Financial Aid.

Emporia State University is a state university in Kansas and is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. You can find more information about ESU's accreditation at