Students who have passed two comprehensive exams may, with the approval of their advisor, substitute a minor thesis for one of the comprehensive exams.

The minor thesis must be a creative, written work of research or exposition on a topic of mathematical content that is:

  • In an area different from an area in which the student has passed a written comprehensive exam.
  • On a topic that is not covered completely in any prior coursework.
  • On a topic approved by the student's advisory committee.
  • Completed in one semester (fall, spring, or summer), from start to finish (to encourage the ability to learn mathematics independently and write a suitable exposition in a timely manner). No extensions will be granted.

After completion of the written minor thesis, the student must pass an oral exam on the subject of the minor thesis. This exam is administered by three faculty members approved by the advisory committee. A grade of pass or fail on the minor thesis will be assigned following this examination. The completed Minor Thesis Report form and Assessment Questionnaire should be returned to the graduate director. A public presentation is encouraged but not required. A student who takes the minor thesis option and does not pass has no further option of a minor thesis.