Creative Components, Reports, and Theses


This portion of the Master's degree program is designed to demonstrate that the student has reached a level of mathematical maturity beyond that of successfully taking courses and examinations. The student should exhibit such qualities as creativity and good judgment, as well as independence, clarity, depth, and breadth of thought.


Master's Thesis Option


A Master's thesis in the Department of Mathematics is a substantial written work in the mathematical sciences in which the student makes an original research contribution to the subject which they are investigating. The thesis topic is determined by the student in consultation with the student's advisor. A public oral defense of the thesis is required after its completion. The committee must submit the thesis defense form to the Graduate College and should give a copy to the Mathematics Department's graduate director along with the Assessment Questionnaire for Theses.

In recognition of the effort involved in preparing a thesis, the requirement for courses taken in graduate school is reduced to 30 hours if the thesis option is elected. These hours include 6 hours of credit for the thesis (Math 5000).

Work on the thesis should begin as soon as possible after the student has completed a substantial portion of their required course work. The student is encouraged (but not required) to present the thesis at a regional mathematics meeting.

The thesis must conform to the guidelines for thesis preparation established by the Graduate College. The student must submit the thesis, thesis abstract, and signed approval page to the Graduate College by the due date. One copy of the thesis must also be submitted to the Mathematics Department's graduate director. Copies of Master's theses are on display in the Mathematics Department lounge.

Master's Report Option


A Master's report in the Department of Mathematics is a substantial written expository work on a topic in the mathematical sciences determined by the student in consultation with the student's advisor. The required 32 hours of course work includes 2 hours of credit for the report (Math 5000).

A public oral presentation of the report is required. The student is encouraged (but not required) to present the report at a regional mathematics meeting.

The written portion of the report must be typed. However, the technical style and form specifications are determined by the director of the report. One copy of the written report must be submitted to the Mathematics Department's graduate director. Copies of reports are on display in the Mathematics Department lounge.

Upon approval of the written report by the committee, the Formal Report Approval form must be submitted to the Graduate College by the end of the graduating semester. A copy of this form along with the Assessment Questionnaire for Formal Reports should be given to the graduate director.

Creative Component Option


A creative component in the Mathematics Department is an individual investigation of a special topic in the mathematical sciences beyond normal course work. This work is done under the direction of a faculty member who determines what work is to be done and whether or not the student has completed it satisfactorily. The director of the creative component need not be a member of the student's advisory committee. A written presentation and a lecture to the Mathematics Department are required. Under this option, no credit for Math 5000 may be included in the required 32 hours.

Work on the creative component should be started as soon as possible after the student has completed a substantial portion of their required course work. The student is encouraged (but not required) to present a talk on the work at a regional mathematics meeting.

The written portion of the creative component must be typed. However, the technical style and form specifications are determined by the director of the creative component. One copy of the written portion must be submitted to the Mathematics Department's graduate director. Copies of creative components are on display in the Mathematics Department lounge.

Upon approval by the creative component director, a Verification of Completion form and Assessment Questionnaire must be submitted by the end of the graduating semester to the graduate director for inclusion in the student's file.