Ph.D. students in the math department and students enrolled in other UW Ph.D. programs are eligible to earn an M.A. degree in Mathematics.

The M.A. degree is available with the named option titled Foundations of Advanced Studies (FAS). It is designed to strengthen the student's mathematics background and enhance the opportunities for applications to Ph.D. programs and for employment as a mathematician in nonacademic environments.

The M.A. (no named option) is offered for work leading to the Ph.D. Students may not apply directly for the master’s, and should instead see the admissions information for the Ph.D.

Students may also apply to the M.A. Named Option in Foundations of Advanced Studies.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement The coursework must consist of graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements At least 12 credits from a specified list of 700 courses are required to be passed with grade B or higher.
Assessments and Examinations None.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required COURSES

(i) Core Courses: 112
Select four of the following:
Methods of Applied Mathematics 1
Methods of Applied Mathematics-2
Methods of Computational Mathematics I
Methods of Computational Mathematics II
A First Course in Real Analysis
Complex Analysis
A Second Course in Real Analysis
Theory of Probability I
Theory of Probability II
Abstract Algebra
Abstract Algebra
Introductory Topology I
Introductory Topology II
Differentiable Manifolds
Foundations of Mathematics
Set Theory
Computability Theory
Model Theory
(ii) Four Mathematics courses at 600 level or above passed with a grade of B or higher 1, 212
(iii) Electives (500 level or above)6
(iv) Advanced Computer Science Course:
Students must complete an advanced computer science course which involves substantial programming. Other courses require prior approval of the director of graduate studies. This requirement is waived for Math Ph.D. students, provided two qualifying exams have been passed.
Programming III
Introduction to Programming Languages and Compilers
Introduction to Operating Systems
Database Management Systems: Design and Implementation
Principles of Programming Languages
Methods of Computational Mathematics I
Methods of Computational Mathematics II
Stochastic Programming
Nonlinear Optimization II
Total Credits30

30 graduate credits related to mathematics, including at least 24 credits in the mathematics department (cross-listed courses included). At least 12 credits from a specified list of 700 core courses must be taken.

Named Options (Sub-Majors)

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral. 

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Students in the M.A. program are allowed to count no more than 14 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

No more than 7 credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 15 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

  1. Good standing (progressing according to standards; any funding guarantee remains in place).
  2. Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; loss of funding guarantee; specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status).
  3. Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence or change of advisor or program).


Students are recommended to meet with an advisor.


15 credits

Time Constraints

Two years. Extensions have to be approved by the program.

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.



Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Learn a substantial body of mathematics presented in introductory graduate level courses in mathematics.
  2. Select and utilize appropriate methodologies to solve problems.
  3. Communicate clearly in written/oral presentations.
  4. Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.

Faculty: Professors Anderson, Angenent, Arinkin, Bolotin, Boston, Căldăraru, Craciun, Denisov, Ellenberg, Feldman, Gong, Lempp, Mari Beffa, Maxim, Miller, Mitchell, Paul, Roch, Seeger, Seppäläinen, Smith, Stechmann, Terwilliger, Thiffeault, Valko, Waleffe, M. Wood, Yang (chair); Associate Professors Andrews, Dymarz, Erman, Gurevich, Kent, Soskova, Spagnolie, Stovall, Street, Bi. Wang; Assistant Professors Chen, Ifrim, Kim, Li, Marshall, Shen, Tran, Bo. Wang, L. Wang, P. Wood;  Affiliate Faculty Bach, Cai, Del Pia, Ferris, Ron, Sifakis.