Applied Mathematics, University of Washington

April 16, 2016

The Department of Applied

These guidelines are intended to help familiarize graduate students in the Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Applied Mathematics program with the policies governing this degree program. All the guidelines apply to both the on-campus M.Sc. degree and the on-line M.Sc. degree, unless otherwise specified. This material supplements the graduate school requirements found on the Graduate Student Resources page and on the Master’s Degree Policies page. Students are expected to be familiar with these procedures and regulations.

Most full-time students obtain the M.Sc. degree in one year. Some full-time students spend two years, by taking more courses than the minimum requirements, or by writing a thesis. Part-time students generally complete it over a longer period of time.


The M.Sc. Program is intended to give the student a working knowledge of several areas of Applied Mathematics, which may include a specific area of application, in order to prepare for a productive career in industry or elsewhere, or to prepare the student for continuing towards a Ph.D. degree. The Graduate School and the Department require a minimum of 36 credits for the M.Sc. degree. The following are the requirements to be met:

  • Core course list: Students are required to take all three of AMATH 567 (Applied Analysis), AMATH 568 (Ordinary Differential Equations) and AMATH 569 (Partial Differential Equations). Substitution of any of these courses with AMATH 501, AMATH 502 and AMATH 503, respectively, is permitted. Either AMATH 581 (Scientific Computation) or AMATH 584 (Numerical Analysis 1) is also required.
  • A minimum of 24 credit hours must be taken from the AMATH Curriculum.
  • M.Sc. students must take a minimum of 9 numerically graded courses, including the core courses as listed above. The overall GPA in these courses must be at least 3.2 on a 4.0 maximum scale. Each course must be a minimum of 3 credits. One of these courses may be substituted by a total of 4 credits worth of AMATH 500 (seminar/journal club) or AMATH 600 (independent reading). Any courses taken outside of the AMATH Curriculum must be approved by the GPA or GPC.
  • At the start of every quarter, the program of study of any on-campus M.Sc. student must be approved by the graduate program coordinator, so as to ensure that studies progress satisfactorily and degree requirements are met. The program of study of on-line students has to be approved by the graduate program coordinator. Students should use the Masters Degree Program Plan Form for this.
  • Final Examination: Beginning academic year 2014-15, the Graduate School requirement for the Final Examination is satisfied by an on-campus oral presentation by the candidate to be evaluated by his or her Graduate Committee (consisting of two members of the AMATH faculty) on a current topic of interest from the literature or on the results of original research. If giving a talk on campus is impracticable, the student may instead receive a take-home written exam that will be offered once per year, each spring quarter. The exam will be based on AMATH 501, 502, 503, 581/584, and their prerequisites. Approximately three weeks before spring quarter ends, the exam will be provided on a Friday at noon (PDT) and due Monday at noon (PDT). The exam is graded by faculty and will be scored pass/fail. No exam proctor needed for the final. Students continuing in the AMATH PhD program satisfy the requirement by passing the PhD qualifying examination.

It is the student’s responsibility to make certain that all deadlines set by the Graduate School are met in order to graduate at the expected completion of study.

Students who wish to be excused from any of these requirements should petition the department.

Thesis option

(Not available for the on-line program)

Students in the on-campus M.Sc. program may wish to complete a M.Sc. thesis. The requirements to do so are in addition to those mentioned above. Students should register for no less than 9 credits of AMATH 700 (Master’s Thesis) with a thesis advisor and submit a written thesis. Four of these credits may be counted towards the Seminar/Journal Club/Independent Study requirement. For students in the thesis option, the final examination requirement is satisfied by an oral defense of the M.Sc. thesis.

Admission to the Ph.D. program

If a student in the M. Sc. Program is interested in continuing on towards a Ph. D. degree in the department, he/she is expected to formally make his/her intention known to the Graduate Program Coordinator by January 15 of the year before they intend to start the Ph.D. program. The Graduate Program Coordinator and the AMATH faculty will consider their application together with those of other applicants to the Ph.D. program. Students will be notified of their admission status (including possible financial aid) no later than April 15.

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