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The Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Mathematics



MA Degree in Mathematics

Overview: The MA degree enables a serious study of Mathematics and/or Statistics at the graduate level. Alumni of this program are employed in the private and government sectors and as community college teachers. Others have gained admission to doctoral programs upon completion of their MA degree. Full time students generally finish the program within two years. All courses involve face-to-face meetings in small classes. Most courses are offered during the evening hours to accommodate the needs of part-time students.

Program Structure and Degree Requirements: The MA in Mathematics comprises three concentrations: Mathematics, Statistics and Mathematics in the Community College. Students complete 30-35 hours of coursework (10-12 courses) to satisfy the minimum requirements for this degree. Students in the Mathematics and Statistics concentrations either write a thesis (6 credit hours) or complete a research project (with an additional 9 credit hours of coursework) under the direction of a graduate faculty member. Students pursuing the Mathematics in the Community College concentration prepare a teaching portfolio under the direction of a faculty mentor (with an additional 9 credit hours of coursework) and give a presentation to an undergraduate audience. The program also requires a comprehensive exam and satisfaction of the Graduate School’s research skill requirement (demonstration of reading competency in a foreign language or completion of certain courses specific to the concentration). For a more detailed description of the program requirements and courses, follow this link to the Mathematics section of the Graduate Catalogue.

Course Offerings: Required courses for the Mathematics concentration cover Topology, Real and Complex Analysis, Modern and Linear Algebra. Required courses for the concentration in Mathematics in the Community College overlap these but also include Applied Statistics, Number Theory and Teaching Methodology. Required courses for the Statistics concentration cover Advanced Calculus, Matrix Algebra, Probability Theory, Applied Statistical Analysis, Statistical Design, Inference and Programming. Electives have also been added in Risk Management and Financial and Actuarial Mathematics designed to help students pass the corresponding actuarial exams.

Advising: All students are advised by the Director of Graduate Studies, who helps with course selection to tailor individual curricula.

Admissions Requirements: Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree in Mathematics, or its near equivalent, from an accredited four-year institution. The undergraduate transcript should include courses in Single and Multi-variable Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Modern Algebra and Statistics/Probability. Applicants lacking certain of these courses may be required to complete them as part of their curriculum. To qualify for regular admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.7 and a satisfactory score on the GRE or MAT. Additional requirements for international applicants may be found here.

Application Procedure: Applications are submitted to ECU’s Graduate School
A complete application includes

  • official transcripts from all schools where seven or more hours were earned,
  • a Statement of Purpose,
  • three letters of recommendation, and
  • an official score on the GRE General Test (or the MAT).
    The GRE Subject Area test in Mathematics is not required.

Financial Support, Graduate Teaching Assistantships: Some students are awarded Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA’s). In addition applicants who do not currently reside in
North Carolina may receive a partial tuition remission which pays the difference between the in-state and out-of-state tuition rates (current in-state tuition rates may be found here). Currently, our assistanstships pay $13,575 per academic year. Students with higher GPAs and test scores are eligible to receive
an additional $4,000 pre academic year in the form of a Graduate Scholar Award. To apply for a GTA position, or for current information on the availability of support, please contact the
Director of Graduate Studies.

Application Deadlines:Applications for admission during the fall semester should be made before June 1, though applications made after June 1 will still be considered. Applicants seeking financial support should apply by April 1 for full consideration. International Applicants should apply earlier to allow for necessry visa paperwork. Applications for admission during the spring semester should be made by October 15, though applications made after that date will still be considered.

Opportunities: Our graduates have followed many different paths upon graduation. Employers include community colleges in North Carolina and nearby states, financial institutions, insurance companies, the Department of Defense, and biomedical companies. A number have also gone on to Ph.D. programs not only in mathematics and statistics, but also in closely related fields such as biostatistics, economics and operations research. (See the American Mathematicsl Society website for more on careers in mathematics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook for their future prospects.)

The Area: East Carolina University is located in Greenville, North Carolina. It is a city of approximately 86,000, located about an hour-and-a-half east of Raleigh and about an hour-and-a-half from the Atlantic Ocean. More information on the Greenville area may be obtained by visiting the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce website.

Further Information: You can learn more about our faculty and programs from the Mathematics Department web site. Information on the GRE can be found on the web site for the Educational Testing Service.


Dr. Chris Jantzen: jantzenc@ecu.edu