Department of MathematicsWestern Science

Degree Requirements

The Department of Mathematics offers programs leading to the degrees of M.Sc. and Ph.D.

In the following, a "half-course" means an ordinary one-semester course that meets for approximately three hours per week. A list of Graduate Courses.

Master's Degree

Our MSc degree is a 3-term (1 year) course-work degree that is intended to provide a solid foundation in mathematics. A student completing this degree will be in an excellent position to dive into research in a PhD program.

The requirements below are in addition to the requirements available from the website of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

M.Sc. DEGREE REQUIREMENTS 

  1. A candidate shall complete satisfactorily a minimum of eight half-courses in mathematics numbered 9000 or above. Of those eight half courses, at least five half-courses should be core courses, with at least one half-course in each of Algebra, Analysis, and Geometry/Topology. Core courses will typically have regular homework assignments and exams. The core courses requirement can be waived in the exceptional cases when a candidate has already acquired substantial background in the area.

  2. A candidate may be permitted to substitute a thesis for at most four half-courses, in which case a student is required to pass three core half-courses in at least two of the three areas.  (The thesis option is rarely used and requires approval of the program.)

  3. In combined undergraduate-graduate courses, graduate students must do more substantial work than is required of undergraduate students. 

Note: At the discretion of the student's advisory committee, a candidate for the M.Sc. degree may be permitted to substitute certain graduate courses in other departments for mathematics courses.

List of Core Courses  (.pdf)

Ph.D. Degree

Our PhD degree generally takes 4 years, although some students finish earlier or later than this. We provide 4 years of funding to all applicants, unless they have external funding.

The requirements below are in addition to the requirements available from the website of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Ph.D. students should in particular take note of the thesis regulations.

Ph.D. DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

  1. A candidate holding an approved Master's degree shall satisfactorily complete a minimum of 6 half-courses in mathematics numbered 9000 or above, of which at least three must be numbered 9100 or above. A candidate without an approved Master's degree shall complete a minimum of 14 half-courses in mathematics numbered 9000 or above, of which at least three must be numbered 9100 or above. In combined undergraduate-graduate courses, graduate students must do more substantial work than is required of undergraduate students.
  2. A candidate will be required to pass a comprehensive examination. This examination is in two parts. The first part, a written exam, will cover certain undergraduate and MSc-level material. The second part will be a project and presentation related to the candidate's intended specialty. More information is available here.
  3. A candidate will be required to pass a departmental oral examination just before final submission of the thesis; this examination will be primarily concerned with the contents of his or her thesis, but may include questions of a general nature relating to his or her field of specialization.  More information is available here (.pdf).

Note: At the discretion of the student's advisory committee, a candidate for the Ph.D. degree may be permitted to substitute certain graduate courses in other departments for mathematics courses.