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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2016-2017

Program Info

Last Updated 2014-11-12

Mathematical Science MS

Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:


The Mathematical Science MS program requires 30 credit hours minimum beyond the bachelor’s degree. There are two options for the master's degree: thesis and nonthesis.

Thesis and nonthesis options are offered within the program. In both options, after completing the core courses, a student must establish an academic adviser for nonthesis MS option or a thesis adviser for thesis MS option. A program of study must be established by the end of the second semester and presented to the graduate program director for departmental approval. The program of study must include the completion of the core courses and one 2-semester sequence. At least one-half of the program courses in both options must be taken at the 6000 level.

Required Courses—15 Credit Hours

For thesis or nonthesis option, the master's program requires all students to complete the following five courses.

  • MAS 5145 Advanced Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory (3 credit hours)
  • MAA 5228 Analysis I (3 credit hours)
  • MAA 6229 Analysis II (3 credit hours)
  • MAT 5712 Scientific Computing (3 credit hours)
  • MAP 6385 Applied Numerical Mathematics (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours

Restricted Electives—3–6 Credit Hours

After the completion of the core courses, the program requires all students to complete one of the following two-semester sequences. The following shows examples of acceptable sequences using current courses. We expect that other sequences will be developed as our program grows. Note that some sequences consist of a core course plus one elective, while others consist of two electives. Thus, the credit hours in this requirement are variable (3 to 6 credit hours).

  • MAP 6407 Integral Equations and Calculus of Variations (3 credit hours) / MAP 6408 Perturbations and Asymptotic Methods (3 credit hours)
  • MAA 6405 Complex Variables (3 credit hours) / MAA 6404 Complex Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • MAD 5205 Graph Theory I (3 credit hours) / MAD 6309 Graph Theory II (3 credit hours)
  • MAP 5336 Ordinary Differential Equations and Applications (3 credit hours) / MAP 6356 Partial Differential Equations (3 credit hours)
  • MAA 6238 Measure and Probability I (3 credit hours) / MAP 6111 Mathematical Statistics (3 credit hours) or MAA 6245 Measure and Probability II (3 credit hours)
  • MAA 6306 Real Analysis (3 credit hours) / MAA 6506 Functional Analysis (3 credit hours)

Unrestricted Electives—3-6 Credit Hours

Unrestricted electives should be chosen in consultation with the graduate program director or the student’s thesis adviser and may be chosen from the suggested options: Approximation Theory, Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis, Big Data and Mathematical Statistics, Combinatorics and Graph Theory, Commutative Algebra and Algebraic Geometry, Control and Optimization, Differential and Symplectic Geometry, Fluid and Plasma Dynamics, Functional Analysis, Inverse and Ill-posed Problems, Mathematical Biology, Mathematical Finance, Nonlinear Waves and Nonlinear Dynamics, Numerical Analysis, Orthogonal Polynomials, Partial Differential Equations, Probability and Stochastic Analysis, Tomography and Medical Imaging, and Wave Propagation. A list of courses for these elective options can be obtained from the graduate program director. Approved graduate courses outside the department may also be used.

Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours

In this option, the MS degree requires a total of at least 30 credit hours comprised of at least 24 credit hours of course work and 6 credit hours of thesis. This includes the 15 credit hours of the core courses and 3-6 credit hours of a two-course sequence. No more than 6 credit hours of independent study or directed research may be credited toward the degree. It is strongly recommended that the student select a thesis adviser and establish a program of study by the completion of the core courses. With the help of a thesis adviser, the student will form a thesis committee of three members, of which at least two must be from the Department of Mathematics.

It is recommended that the thesis topic have potential for industrial applications. An oral defense of the thesis will be required.

  • MAP 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)

Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours

Nonthesis students will take an additional 6 credit hours of electives. The electives should be chosen in consultation with the graduate program director or the student’s adviser.

Nonthesis students will receive independent learning experiences by taking one of the two-semester sequences, where they apply mathematical principles to independent projects. Other courses that also have substantial research projects include MAP 5117 Mathematical Modeling, MAT 5712 Scientific Computing and MAP 6111 Mathematical Statistics, MAP 6424 Transform Methods, MAP 6465 Wavelets and Their Applications, and may be taken as electives.

No more than 3 credit hours of independent study may be credited toward the degree. It is strongly recommended that the student select an academic adviser and establish a program of study by the completion of the core courses. In addition, the nonthesis student must pass a comprehensive written examination (by passing the qualifying/comprehensive examination at or above the MS level) based on the core courses. Two attempts at the examination are permitted. 

Track Curriculum: Industrial Mathematics

The program consists of 36 credit hours of courses and internship. Students will work with an adviser to design a program of study, which will be presented to the program director for approval. If a student has an industrial sponsor, the student's program of study will be developed in consultation with a representative from his sponsoring company. Students are expected to obtain hands-on experience. The capstone requirement for this track is fulfilled by students completing an experiential learning requirement (3 credit hours). At least one-half of the program courses must be taken at the 6000 level.


The following courses are required as prerequisites to this track: Calculus with Analytic Geometry I, II, and III; Differential Equations; Linear and Matrix Algebra (or a course equivalent); proficiency in a computer language (C or MatLab); Advanced Calculus and Statistics.

Required Courses—24 Credit Hours

  • MAP 5117 Mathematical Modeling I (3 credit hours)
  • MAP 6385 Applied Numerical Mathematics (3 credit hours)
  • MAP 6111 Mathematical Statistics (3 credit hours)
  • MAT 5712 Scientific Computing (3 credit hours)
  • MAS 5145 Advanced Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory (3 credit hours)
  • MAA 5228 Analysis I (3 credit hours)
  • MAP 6207 Optimization Theory (3 credit hours)
  • MAA 6508 Hilbert Spaces with Applications (3 credit hours)

Mathematics Restricted Electives—3 Credit Hours

Student take one of the following courses:

  • MAD 5205 Graph Theory I (3 credit hours)
  • MAP 5336 Ordinary Differential Equations and Applications (3 credit hours)
  • MAP 6356 Partial Differential Equations (3 credit hours)

Professional Development Restricted Electives—6 Credit Hours

Students take two of the following courses:

  • COM 6047 Interpersonal Support in the Workplace (3 credit hours)
  • GEB 5516 Technological Entrepreneurship (3 credit hours)
  • GEB 6115 Entrepreneurship (3 credit hours)
  • GEB 6116 Business Plan Formation (3 credit hours)
  • GEB 6518 Strategic Innovation (3 credit hours)
  • MAN 5867 Small Business Consulting (3 credit hours)
  • MAN 6245 Organizational Behavior and Development (3 credit hours)

Experiential Requirement—3 Credit Hours

Students will demonstrate experience in the application of mathematics to industrial problems. This demonstration can be accomplished through the satisfactory completion of an industrial internship (MAP 6946), satisfactory performance at an approved workshop in industrial mathematics (MAP 6946), or through passing with a grade of "B" (3.0 grade point average) or better MAP 6168 Mathematical Modeling II. Students are required as part of the experiential requirement to deliver an oral presentation on the experience. Students are very strongly encouraged to fulfilll this requirement through an internship experience.

Timeline for Completion

For a listing of courses planned for the academic year visit the Course Schedule webpage  on the Mathematics Program website.

Thesis Requirements

University Thesis Requirements

A thesis is optional for this program; the following information is intended for those choosing to complete a thesis.

The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for dissertation formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

The following requirements must be met by dissertation students in their final term:

  • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
  • Defend by the defense deadline
  • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
  • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
  • Submit final dissertation document by final submission deadline

Students must format their dissertation according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Dissertation Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the dissertation process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at

Graduate Research

UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.

Research Policies and Ethics Information:UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see the website: > Compliance.

UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details:> Policies > General Graduate Policies.

Active Research Areas of Faculty

For full information on the faculty’s varied areas of interest, please see the department web page with faculty members organized by research groups at The Department of Mathematics website also provides examples of research opportunities for students.

Financial Support

Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.

Key points about financial support:

  • If you want to be considered for loans and other need-based financial assistance, review the UCF Student Financial Assistance website at and complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, which is available online at Apply early and allow up to six weeks for the FAFSA form to be processed.
  • UCF Graduate Studies awards university graduate fellowships, with most decisions based on nominations from the colleges and programs. All admitted graduate students are automatically considered in this nomination process. To be eligible for a fellowship, students must be accepted as a graduate student in a degree program and be enrolled full-time. University graduate fellowships are not affected by FAFSA determination of need.
  • Please note that select fellowships do require students to fill out a fellowship application (either a university fellowship application, an external fellowship application, or a college or school fellowship application). For university fellowship applications, see UCF Graduate Fellowships.
  • For information on assistantships (including teaching, research, and general graduate assistantships) or tuition support, contact the graduate program director.
    As part of a program's professional development plan for students, full-time graduate students may be offered the opportunity to gain experience as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (or Associate; GTA), Graduate Research Assistant (or Associate; GRA), or Graduate Assistant.

Assignments to these professional development activities are intended to supplement the student's academic plan of study in order to give the student work experiences that will enhance the student's professional development and prepare him/her for post-graduation professional employment. While these activities involve the requirement for students to work in standard graduate assistantship positions, their over-riding purpose is to help develop the skills, abilities, and professional background of the student.

During the academic year (fall and spring), the duties assigned to graduate assistants may not require employment for more than 20 hours per week. During the summer terms, graduate assistants may be employed for up to 30 hours per week.

All graduate assistants (GTAs and GRAs) must be assigned for at least 10 hours per week. However, the standard assignment for graduate assistants is 20 hours per week. Students who want to work for hours in excess of 20 hours per week during Fall and Spring semesters or for more than 30 hours during the summer semester, must complete a Supplemental Assignment Form. UCF Graduate Studies will only grant exceptions to this policy in rare circumstances and for compelling reasons related to the student's professional development. Exceptions are granted only rarely during the first year of a student's plan of study. Decisions are based upon the student's academic record, the number of excess hours requested, the relationship of the assignments to the student's plan of study, support from the graduate program director, and related factors. 

For financial support available specifically for graduate students in the mathematics discipline visit the Financials webpage on the Mathematics program website.

Graduate Student Associations

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

American Mathematical SocietyAMS, serves to further the interests of mathematical research and scholarship, serves the national and international community through its publications, meetings, advocacy and other programs.

Mathematical Association of America(MAA) is an organization for people who love the mathematical sciences. A community that values discussion and exposition, for meeting colleagues and building knowledge together.

Mathematical Knights promotes interest in mathematics and the applications of mathematics through education, leadership and service.

Professional Development

Many opportunities are provided in the department for students to collaborate with faculty on research. Students in the program are encouraged to attend conferences to present their research and to publish papers in their areas of interest. Within the department, students attend and are encouraged to present research at graduate seminars held weekly. In addition to the professional development opportunities available in the department, UCF also provides many opportunities through the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (, and the graduate studies office (

Instructor Training and Development

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. To that end, they offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

  • GTA Training (Graduate Teaching Assistant/Associate)
    This two-day workshop provides information and resources for students who will be instructors. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.
  • Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program
    This certificate program (12-weeks for domestic students, 16-weeks for international students) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided, and a stipend is offered to current UCF students who complete the certificate. International students are provided the same training as well as information regarding language immersion and tricks and cultural awareness as a way of knowing what to expect from American students.

For more information > Events > GTA Programs or call 407-823-3544.

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit

Graduate Research Forum

The Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines.

The Research Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information visit or contact

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. These awards include the following:

  • Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant
    For students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)
  • Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching
    For students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.
  • Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis
    It recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognition from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field. 

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see  


For more information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, please see their website: > Awards.

In addition to UCF awards for excellence, professional associations also offer thesis and dissertation awards and many host student paper competitions. Students are encouraged to check with each professional association for possible award opportunities.

Students should take opportunities to present a poster or a topic of research at a conference. To obtain financial support to present at a conference (other than through your program) or to engage in comparable creative activity at a professional meeting, visit the Graduate Presentation Fellowship section at

For grant-proposal writing resources:

Professional development opportunities are provided on the Opportunities for Graduate Students webpage on the Department of Mathematics website.  Additionally, professional organizations such as the American Mathematical Society are excellent resources for professional development in the mathematics discipline.  The American Mathematical Society website includes resources such as current literature to help students understand what mathematicians do, along with a listing of other fields in which mathematicians work and data on the mathematics profession.

The Department of Mathematics offers a Colloquium Seriesseminar series and Steve Goldman lecture series  throughout the academic year.  Visit the Mathematics webpage  for a listing of coming and past events.

Job Search

UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at

Professional societies such as the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America are excellent resources for job searching in the mathematics discipline. The American Mathematical Society website includes resources such as job sites for math majors, early career profiles and advice for new graduate students.


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