This is a named option within the Mathematics MA. It is designed to strengthen the student's mathematics background and enhance the opportunities for applications to PhD 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 March 15
Spring Deadline November 1
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 exclusively in English, must provide an English proficiency test score earned within two years of the anticipated term of enrollment. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Requirements for Admission policy:
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) The GRE subject test in Mathematics is not required but may be considered if available.
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Admission is competitive. For more information about application to the MA program, 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

Mode of Instruction

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 typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

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.

Curricular Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 30 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement policy:
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required. Refer to the Graduate School: Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement policy:
Other Grade Requirements None.
Assessments and Examinations None.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required Courses

These courses must be taken by all students, except when it is determined by the director of the program that equivalent courses were taken prior to entering the program.
MATH 522 Analysis II3
MATH 542 Modern Algebra3
Basic Electives:
FOUR courses numbered 500 or above in Mathematics may be taken as basic elective courses, including up to three credits of MATH 698 or MATH 790. Excludes courses counted toward another requirement. Excludes MATH 521, 522, 541, 542, 607, 681, 682, 691, 692, 790. 12
Numerical Linear Algebra
Numerical Analysis
Ordinary Differential Equations
Linear Optimization
Probability Theory
Mathematical Methods in Data Science
Elementary Topology
Elementary Geometric and Algebraic Topology
Differential Geometry
Modern Number Theory
Mathematical Logic
Fundamentals of Set Theory
Stochastic Methods for Biology
Mathematical Methods for Systems Biology
Data-Driven Dynamical Systems, Stochastic Modeling and Prediction
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
Directed Study
Mathematical Fluid Dynamics
Mathematical Statistics
Mathematical Statistics
Ordinary Differential Equations
Randomized Linear Algebra and Applications
Nonlinear Optimization I
Integer Optimization
Nonlinear Optimization II
Stochastic Analysis
Enumerative Combinatorics/Symmetric Functions
Topics in Ring Theory
Lie Algebras
Algebraic Number Theory
Analytic Number Theory
Homological Algebra
Algebraic Topology I
Algebraic Topology II
Introduction to Algebraic Geometry
Introduction to Algebraic Geometry
Differential Geometry
Nonlinear Dynamics, Bifurcations and Chaos
Masters Thesis
Advanced Electives:
FOUR courses numbered 700 or above in Mathematics listed below may be taken as advanced elective courses. 12
Methods of Applied Mathematics 1
Methods of Applied Mathematics-2
Methods of Computational Mathematics I
Methods of Computational Mathematics II
Partial Differential Equations
Stochastic Computational Methods
Partial Differential Equations
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
Introduction to Ergodic Theory and Dynamics
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 or graduate degree 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 Credits Earned at Other Institutions

Students in the MA program may transfer no more than 14 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Undergraduate Credits Earned at Other Institutions or UW-Madison

Refer to the Graduate School: Transfer Credits for Prior Coursework policy.

Credits Earned as a Professional Student at UW-Madison (Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Veterinary careers)

Refer to the Graduate School: Transfer Credits for Prior Coursework policy.

Credits Earned as a University Special Student at UW–Madison

Refer to the Graduate School: Transfer Credits for Prior Coursework policy.


Refer to the Graduate School: Probation policy.

Advisor / Committee

Students are recommended to meet with an advisor.

Credits Per Term Allowed

15 credits

Time Limits

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

Otherwise, refer to the Graduate School: 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 in Mathematics–Foundations of Advanced Studies program. 

Professional Development

Graduate School Resources

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


Please visit the Math Department website for a complete list of faculty and instructional academic staff.