This is a named option within the Mathematics M.A. 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.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline February 15
Spring Deadline October 15
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required but may be considered if available.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) The GRE subject test in Mathematics or another science is recommended.
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Admission is competitive. Applicants to the Ph.D. program are automatically considered for financial support. For more information about application to the Ph.D. and M.A. programs, see the department's admission website

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 restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

The Department of Mathematics cannot provide financial support for the Master's–Foundations of Advanced Studies Degree program.

Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

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

Named Option Requirements


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

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement All credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's GPA Requirement policy
Other Grade Requirements None.
Assessments and Examinations None.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required COURSES

Required Courses:
These courses must be taken by all students, except when it is determined by the director of graduate studies that equivalent courses were taken prior to entering the program.
MATH 522 Analysis II3
MATH 542 Modern Algebra3
Basic Electives:
All other 500-level and all 600-level courses in Mathematics may be taken as elective courses. Currently the following courses are available. Select four of the following:12
Numerical Linear Algebra
Numerical Analysis
Ordinary Differential Equations
Linear Optimization
Probability Theory
Elementary Geometric and Algebraic Topology
Differential Geometry
Modern Number Theory
Mathematical Logic
Stochastic Methods for Biology
MATH 608
Mathematical Methods for Systems Biology
Analysis of Partial Differential Equations
Introduction to Manifolds
Complex Analysis
Introduction to Fourier Analysis
Introduction to Measure and Integration
Introduction to Stochastic Processes
An Introduction to Brownian Motion and Stochastic Calculus
Introduction to Error-Correcting Codes
Advanced Electives:
All 700 level courses in Mathematics may be taken as elective courses. Students must pass at least four of the following core graduate courses with a Grade of B or higher. Select four of the following:12
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
Total Credits30

Students in this program may not take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without faculty advisor and program director approval. Students in this program cannot enroll concurrently in other undergraduate, graduate or certificate programs.

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.

Named Option-Specific Policies

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

This program follows the Graduate School's policy for Satisfying Requirements with Coursework from Undergraduate Career at UW–Madison.

UW–Madison University Special

This program follows the Graduate School's policy for Transfer from UW–Madison University Special Student Career at UW–Madison.


This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.


Students are recommended to meet with an advisor.


15 credits

Time Limits

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

Otherwise, this program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.

grievances and appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.


The Department of Mathematics cannot provide financial support for students in the Master's Degree–Foundations of Advanced Studies program. 

Graduate School Resources

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

Faculty: Professors Anderson, Andrews, Angenent, Arinkin, Căldăraru, Craciun, Denisov, Ellenberg, Erman, Feldman, Gong, Gurevich, Kent, Lempp, Mari-Beffa, Maxim, Miller, Paul, Poltoratski, Roch, Rycroft, Seeger, Seppäläinen (chair), Smith, Soskova, Spagnolie, Stechmann, Stovall, Street, Terwilliger, Thiffeault, Valko, Waleffe, Yang; Associate Professors Dymarz, Guo, Ifrim, Kim, Li, Marshall, Tran, Wang; Assistant Professors Apisa Chen, Cochran, Fabien, Kemeny, Lawrence, Loving, Lyu, Rodriguez, Shankar, Shcherbyna, Shen, Uyanik, Waldron, Wu, Zepeda-Núñez, Zimmer.