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Prospective Students

The Department of Mathematics offers graduate degree programs leading to the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mathematics.

Students in the master's program can choose from a rich variety of courses in both pure and applied mathematics and statistics. Each master's degree candidate works closely with a professor in writing a research paper or thesis in an area of interest to the student. A double major at the master's level between mathematics and a related discipline is also an option.

At the doctoral level, a student may specialize in any one of a large number of fields such as algebra, applied mathematics, combinatorics, differential equations, geometry, numerical analysis, probability, or statistics. Interdisciplinary programs are also available. Students will be considered for acceptance into the doctoral program if they have completed with distinction a graduate program comparable to that required for a master's degree in mathematics, statistics, or computer science at SIUC. *Please note, in order to apply to the Ph.D. program, you must either have a Masters degree, or be enrolled in a Masters program.

To get an understanding of the minimum requirements to apply for the Master's or Ph.D. program for domestic and international students please visit the Graduate School website.

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Masters of Science in Mathematics

The Mathematics MS Program requirements are in Chapter 2 of the Graduate Catalog. Please take the time to read it carefully once a semester. The general rules of the Graduate School are also in the Graduate Catalog. They are important too and you should be familiar them. See especially the sections "Degree Requirements General" and "Regulations and Procedures" in Chapter 1. Below is a summary of the steps you will need to take. You are responsible for knowing the Catalog requirements and the Graduate School deadlines and procedures.

Requirements are as follows:

  • 30 semester hours of graduate courses work (meaning 400 and 500 level courses) at least 15 hours of which must be at the 500 level. Your program must include Math 419 and 452 unless you passed equivalent courses eslewhere with a B or better. There are also distribution requirements. See the Graduate Catalog for the details.

  • Together with the Grad Advisor you will select a Master's Committee of at least three facualty. The chair of this committee with be your Master's Advisor. You will fill out the Graduate Faculty Committee Approval Form, have your committee members sign it, and submit it to the Grad Advisor who will check it and send it to the Graduate School for approval.

  • A thesis or a research paper. If you are doing a thesis you will need to take 3 credit hours of Math 599. If you are doing a research you will need to take 3 credit hours of Math 595. To find out what the difference is between a thesis and a research paper read here. The format requirements for a research paper can be found here. The format requirements for a thesis can be found here. Theses of former Math MS students at SIUC can be found through Morris Library.

  • When you have finished your thesis or research paper you will give a presentation to your Master's Committee. The committee members must approve your work. Your advisor will submit the Oral Defense Report and either the Research Paper Approval Form (Print on 25% Cotton Paper) or the Thesis Approval Form (Print on 25% Cotton Paper) to the Grad Advisor who will check them and send on to the Graduare School for approval.

  • You apply to graduate here. Again, this is just a summary. Read the Graduate Catalog and explore the Graduate School's webpages before coming to us with questions. Good Luck!

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Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The Mathematics PhD Program requirements are in Chapter 2 of the Graduate Catalog. Please take the time to read it carefully once a semester. The general rules of the Graduate School are also in the Graduate Catalog. They are important too and you should be familiar them. See especially the sections "Degree Requirements General" and "Regulations and Procedures" in Chapter 1. Below is a summary of the steps you will need to take. You are responsible for knowing the Catalog requirements and the Graduate School deadlines and procedures.

  • You are required to take 24 semester hours of graduate course work (meaning 400 and 500 level courses) and 24 hours of Math 600. You start taking Math 600 once you are ready to begin working on your dissertation. However, only 6 hours of Math 600 taken before you are admitted to candidacy be will counted. You must pass Math 501 & 519 with B's or better.

  • You must pass a Qualifying Exam. These are given every August and January. You must pass the exam by the second January after you were admitted to the Ph.D. program. The exams consist of three tests each covering a 500 level course. When you decide which tests you will take let the Graduate Advisor know. They must include 501 or 519 and another from among {501, 519, 530, 580}. Some old Qualifying Exams can be found here.

  • Next, you must be admitted to candidacy. You need to demonstrate that you meet the research tool requirements of computer programming. You must have completed 24 semester hours of course work at SIUC. And finally you must pass a Preliminary Exam.

  • For the Preliminary exam you and the Graduate Advisor will select an Exam Committee, designate a chair for the Exam Committee, and choose the courses you will be tested over. At this time, the student should fill out the Preliminary Examination Preparatory Form, have their committee members sign it, then give it to the Graduate Advisor, and make a copy for the committee's chair. (Carefully read paragraph 5 of the requirements for the Mathematics Ph.D. program in the Graduate Catalog.) After the exam, the committee's chair shall fill out the Report on Preliminary Examination Form, give it to the Graduate Advisor, and give a copy to the Department Chair's Office Manager.

  • If the committee has determined that the student passed the Preliminary Exam, and the Graduate Advisor has determined that the research tools and other requirements have been met, the committee chair should fill out the Admission to Candidacy Form and give it to the Graduate Advisor. The Graduate Advisor will check it over and then send it to the Graduate School for final approval. The Graduate School will then have to approve your admission to candidacy. You will get a letter from them once this is done.

  • Now you are all ready to work on your dissertation in earnest. But there are a more forms. You will need to submit a Graduate Faculty Committee Approval Form. This establishes your Dissertation Committee and the chair is your Dissertation Advisor. Your committee members must sign it. Then you give it to the Grad Advisor who will sign it and send it to the Graduate School for approval. Usually the Dissertation Committee is the same as the Preliminary Exam Committee but not always.

  • When you are finished, you must defend your dissertation in a public presentation. Your Committee members will decide if your work is acceptable. There are two forms that need to be submitted. These are the Oral Defense Form and the Dissertation Approval Form (Print on 25% Cotton Paper). Your Dissertation Advisor will handle these and give them to the Grad Advisor who will check them over and send to the Grad School for approval. The format for your dissertation and the procedure for submitting it are here. You can read past SIUC Math dissertations through Morris Library.

  • You can apply to graduate here. Again, this is just a summary. Read the Graduate Catalog and explore the Graduate School's webpages before coming to us with questions. Good Luck!

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For students interested in the doctoral degree program with an emphasis in computational mathematics, the entrance requirements are 419, 421, 452, and CS 451. Once students are admitted, the preceding paragraphs 1 through 7 apply except for the following. Courses for the qualifying exam are CS 555, one from 501 or 519, and one other 500 level mathematics course (preferably 549 or 575). For the preliminary examination, computer science should be a minor area. The program must also include mathematics 501, 519, and 549 or their equivalents.

As a matter of policy, the Department of Mathematics does not provide any student working for a master's degree financial support for more than two years nor a Ph.D. student more than four years past the master's or master's equivalent.