Department of Mathematical Sciences
Graduate Program
Information for Current Graduate Students
  • Guide to Graduate Programs in Mathematical Sciences 2013; 2011; 2008-2010 (pdf)
  • Supplement to the Guide 2012-2013; 2011-2012; 2010-2011; 2009-2010; 2008-2009 (pdf)
  • Scholarships and Awards
  • Current Students & Advisors
  • Graduate Student Seminar
    Tuesdays at noon in Math 108
    Mathematical Sciences
  • 2011-2012 Program of Studies (Word docx):
  • 2008 Program of Studies (pdf):
  • 2007 Program of Studies (pdf):
  • Committee Request Form
  • Course Transfer Form
  • Travel Award Request
  • Comp Exam Syllabus Sample
  • Graduate School Forms
    Graduate Program

    The University of Montana's Department of Mathematical Sciences offers both masters and doctoral degrees. As a compact department with diverse interests, we have a well-rounded program and considerable interaction among faculty and students.

    Our regular (Option 1) Ph.D. program offers research training in algebra, analysis, applied mathematics, combinatorics & optimization, computer science, and statistics.

    Our non-traditional (Option 2) Ph.D. program has given the department a national identity. It emphasizes greater breadth in course work and less specialization than in the regular program. An emphasis in mathematics education is available under this option.

    Our graduates take positions in academia, governments and business in the USA and around the world.

    Community & University

    campusThe University of Montana is in Missoula, a town in western Montana with a community of about 80,000 people.

    Set in a river valley in the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 3,200 feet, Missoula enjoys a moderate climate and easy access to downhill and cross-country skiing, camping, backpacking, hiking and mountain biking, hang-gliding, paragliding, kayaking, canoeing, hunting and fishing.

    The scenic 200-acre main campus of the University of Montana - Missoula is one of the prettiest and safest campuses in the country. It sits against the backdrop of Mount Sentinel along the banks of the Clark Fork River.

    The University currently enrolls approximately 12,000 students. It has Colleges of Arts and Sciences and of Technology, and Schools of Fine Arts, Forestry, Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Law and Journalism.

    The Department of Mathematical Sciences, in the College of Arts and Sciences, has about 60 undergraduate majors and 25 graduate students.

    University Facilities


    The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, a five-story structure, subscribes to over a hundred important mathematical and statistical journals.


    The University has several student computer labs with full-time system administration and current version applications.

    The departmental computers and labs are connected to a campus-wide network. All Teaching Assistant offices are supplied with networked computers. All classrooms in the Mathematics building are equipped with computers, VRC's and LCD projectors.

    University Area Housing

    Dormitory rooms and convenient family-style apartments are available for students.


    Missoula's public bus line, the Mountain Line Company, has several designated bus stops within the University area. Students ride for free.

    Department Activities

    Research and Teaching Seminars

    Seven to ten graduate seminars are offered each semester, giving students and faculty the opportunity to speak, discuss and do research on current professional topics in formal and informal settings. These are considered an integral part of a student's education.

    Mathematics Colloquia

    Our colloquium series brings together outside speakers and the campus professional community in mathematics and other sciences. Graduate students are encouraged to attend and participate.

    Grant Supported Research

    Our faculty and students are also involved in a number of grant supported research projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the USDA Forest Service, the NASA, the National Security Agency, and others. The Show-Me Project was funded to work with teachers in the professional development phase of the STEM project through the year 2002. ShowMe Phase II was recently funded through 2007. Large infrastructure grants across the university support student research and training in the department, namely the Montana-Ecology of Infectious Disease (M-EID) NSF IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) program, and the NSF sponsored EPSCOR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) at The University of Montana.

    Master of Arts Program

    The M.A. Program aims to provide students with a broad background in mathematics and the opportunity of concentration in an area of special interest. The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers two options for the Master of Arts degree.

    Option I is the traditional mathematics option. The areas of study are Algebra, Analysis, Applied Mathematics, Combinatorics & Optimization, and Statistics.

    Option II is the Mathematics Education option, designed to improve the proficiency of teachers in mathematics and in the techniques of teaching.

    Candidates for admission to the Master of Arts in Mathematics degree program should have an undergraduate mathematics major in addition, candidates for Option II must have a teacher certification in mathematics.

    Students may apply up to 10-credit hours of research towards the degree. The professional presentation for the non-thesis option consists of at least 2-credit hours of research on advanced-level material, culminating in oral presentation(s) by the student.


    • a total of 30 graduate credits including a thesis (thesis option), or,
    • a total of 36 graduate credits including a professional presentation (non-thesis option).
    • Option II candidates must have a teaching certificate.
    • Option I: Comprehensive examination in major area.
      Option II: A two-part comprehensive examination in mathematics and mathematics education.

    Master of Arts in Teaching Middle School Mathematics (MATMSM)

    The Master of Arts in Teaching Middle School Mathematics degree addresses the specific need for highly qualified teachers of mathematics at the middle grades level. Students in this program learn mathematics content and pedagogy to provide them with skills and expertise to teach middle school students appropriate mathematics. The program is available mostly online, with a two-summer on-campus requirement.

    Students can begin the program in any summer. C&I 588 Action Research in Classrooms should be taken early in the program. During and following the course, students will work on their final project during the school year with their advisor and committee, then present their results in the final term.

    Middle school teachers in MATMSM Program will learn mathematics content and pedagogy to provide them with skills and expertise to teach appropriate mathematics. One course is specific to mathematics pedagogy (C&I 542). Another course (C&I 588) focuses on classroom research. In addition, appropriate pedagogy and technology will be modeled in all courses. Components of this program are offered online with two summer sessions, each consisting of two or three courses. Summer courses typically involve one week of face-to-face (FTF) sessions on campus with online assignments completed later.


    A total of 30 graduate credits is required for this degree.
    24 Credit Core (all have online components; some have FTF components):

    Course Title Semester/format
    M 500 (3 cr) Current Mathematical Curricula Fall or Spring online
    M 501 (3 cr) Technology in Mathematics for Teachers Summer 1 week FTF
    M 572 (3 cr) Algebra for Middle School Teachers Summer 1 week FTF
    M 573 (3 cr) Geometry for Middle School Teachers Summer 1 week FTF
    M 574 (3 cr) Probability and Statistics for Middle School Teachers Summer 1 week FTF
    M 570 (3 cr) Concepts of Calculus for Middle School Teachers Summer 1 week FTF
    C&I 542 (3 cr) Supervision and Teaching of Mathematics Summer 1 week FTF
    C&I 588 (3 cr) Action Research in Classrooms Fall online

    Electives (6 credits):
    M 504 (R-12) Topics in Math Education (such as )  
                  Number Theory Fall or Spring online
                  Anatomy of Curves Fall or Spring online
                  Historical Topics Fall or Spring online
    M 506 (3 cr) Integrated Math/Science Fall or Spring online
    M 578 (3 cr) Discrete Math for Middle School Teachers Fall or Spring online
    M 510 (3 cr) Problem Solving for Teachers Fall or Spring online
                  (3 cr) Cognate Field Course chosen with Advisor Fall or Spring online

    Professional Paper:
    Students, under the direction of an advisor, are required to prepare a professional paper and give an oral presentation of the research topic chosen. This project will be planned and evaluated by a committee of at least three faculty that must include at least two from Mathematical Sciences and one from Curriculum and Instruction.

    Proposed Rotation:
    Summer One Fall Spring Summer Two
    M 573 (3 cr) C&I 588 (3 cr) online M 500 (3 cr) online M 570 (3 cr)
    M 574 (3 cr) Elective (3 cr) online Elective (3 cr) online M 572 (3 cr)
    C&I 542 (3 cr)     M 501 (3 cr)

    Students can take 9 credits each summer and 12 credits during the year to finish in two summers and one academic year (9-12-9) or they could take a lighter load during the academic year and finish in two summers and two academic years (9-6-9-6).

    Summer Programs for Teachers

    The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers an MA degree with an emphasis in mathematics education (Option II). The program is designed to improve the proficiency of teachers in mathematics and in the techniques of teaching. Candidates for admission to this program should have an undergraduate degree with a strong mathematics background and a teacher certification. (Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)

    The requirements for the degree are:

    • 36 credits
    • Course requirements: Three courses in mathematics education and an additional four courses in mathematics from at least two areas.
    • Comprehensive exam
    • Professional paper and oral presentation on the research topic chosen
    Suggested Course of Study:
    Year 1 3 summer courses & 1 course (night or correspondence) during the year (eg. Math 500)
    Year 2 3 summer courses & comprehensive exam
    Year 3 3 summer courses & professional paper

    Schedule of courses:
      504 Version 1

    Integrating Mathematics and Science: Functions in Context
    Discrete Mathematics for Teachers
    Algebra for Teachers
      C&I 542

    Supervision and Teaching of Mathematics
    Geometries for Teachers
    Probability & Statistics for Teachers

    Technology in Mathematics for Teachers
    Calculus for Middle School Teachers
    Algebra for Middle School Teachers

    UM Summer Semester Information

    Doctor of Philosophy Program

    The regular (Option 1) Ph.D. program, prepares research specialists in the mathematical sciences. The department offers research training in algebra, analysis (real, complex and functional), applied mathematics (biomathematics, differential equations), combinatorics & optimization, statistics, and computer science.

    Our non-traditional (Option 2) Ph.D. program, prepares college mathematics teachers and other "general practitioners" of mathematics. It emphasizes greater breadth in course work and less specialization than in the regular program. An emphasis in mathematics education is available under this option.


    • a total of 60 graduate credits and a dissertation.
    • Preliminary examination in two areas.
    • Comprehensive examination emphasizing the area of specialization.

    Teaching Assistantships

    Applicants may apply for a teaching assistantship by indicating their interest on the graduate school application form. A teaching assistant normally has duties equivalent to teaching an average of 3 to 4 hours per week. The stipend for the current academic year is $10,000 for graduate teaching assistants in our M.A. program and $14,000 for graduate teaching assistants in our Ph.D. program. Registration, tuition, incidental and non-resident fees are waived. Other fees of about $1200 per semester (including health insurance) are not waived. Fee waivers without an assistantship are not provided.

    Annually, the department nominates 2-3 graduate students for B. Morton Fellowships ($3,000) and Scholarships ($2,000). These awards are given by the Graduate School of UM on a competitive basis.

    A limited number of summer assistantships are available too.

    Applications are processed on a rolling basis; review of applications for Teaching Assistantships will start February 1 and continue until all positions have been filled; applicants are strongly encouraged to complete their applications by February 1 or soon after.

    Summer Graduate Research Scholarships

    Each summer the department awards a number of graduate summer research scholarships of up to $3,200. These awards are given on a competitive basis, and any student admitted to the Graduate Program in the Department of Mathematical Sciences is eligible to apply.

    Preference will be given to graduate students in the Ph.D. program, especially students who have passed their preliminary exams, but strong applicants in the Master's program are also encouraged to apply.

    Conditions for Summer Support

    Awardees will be required to be in residency at the University of Montana or possibly another university for at least six weeks during the summer for which the award is granted.

    Application Procedure

    Applicants are requested to submit an application containing the following data:

    • sketch of applicant's background (place of origin, schools attended, degrees, etc.).
    • list of all courses and seminars taken at UM, including names of professors and grades.
    • list of examinations taken (with dates).
    • future academic plans (including courses, seminars and examinations the applicant is planning to take).
    • a narrative detailing the applicant's research plans for the summer during which support is requested sponsored by a departmental faculty member.
    • other pertinent information (publications, presentations, etc.)
    Application Form (Deadline: March 21, 2014)

    The Graduate Committee will review and rank all submitted proposals. The Graduate Committee will forward its recommendations and rankings to the Policy Committee which will make the awards.

    Awardees will have two weeks to accept or decline an award (this gives people some time to make up their minds on summer plans). The Policy Committee may decide to pass declined awards on to students who are next in rank on the alternate list.

    Post Award Obligations

    Successful applicants will have to submit a written one-page final report by the end of the Fall Semester following their award. The final report should describe the way the award has helped the awardee achieve the goals of his or her proposal. Failure to submit a report will disqualify the applicant from any future awards in this program.

    Award Criteria

    The following criteria will be used in ranking proposals:

    • overall quality of the research proposal.
    • likelihood that summer support will substantially aid in the completion of the student's program. (Note that this includes the overall strength of an applicant; academically strong and well-prepared students will be given preference over weaker students or students with short-comings in their background.)
    • preference will be given to Ph.D. students.
    • reports on earlier awards.

    Admission Requirements & Application Information
    Admission Requirements

    To be considered for admission to the graduate program, an applicant must submit:
    • Completed on-line application form, including non-refundable application fee.
    • Scores for the GRE General Test, optional for citizens of foreign countries who take the TOEFL* exams. Submit test scores directly from GRE or TOEFL to the Grad School via our institution code: 4489.
    • Three letters of recommendation, submitted by the writer via the Graduate Schools online application process. You may alternatively mail letters in a sealed envelope signed by the writer, with the items below, directly to the Math Department. Evaluation Form to include with mailed letters.
    • Official transcripts of all previous college work . (transcript request form)
    • Content descriptions of all college-level mathematics courses completed.
    • A personal statement of objectives.
    • Applicants for a Master's or a Ph.D. degree must have a Bachelor's degree by time of their enrollment.
    • In addition to the above requirements, applicants are encouraged to submit other evidence indicating the ability to pursue an advanced degree in mathematics (such as the GRE subject test in mathematics).
    *Applicants whose native language is not English, must submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery) scores to be admitted as a graduate nondegree or graduate degree seeking student. If the TOEFL score is below 580 (paper-based test), 237 (computer-based test) or 92 (internet based test), the IELTS score is below 6.5 or the MELAB score is below 82, applicants may be admitted provisionally into a graduate program or as a graduate nondegree student and be required to complete English as a Second Language course(s) before they can take courses in their major. Applicants who are graduates of English-speaking universities are not required to take the TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB, however, applicants must submit scores for the graduate administration test required by the program (i.e. GRE/GMAT). In some programs the TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB scores may substitute for GRE scores (check with the department).

    Mail the application packet to:
    Graduate Program
    Department of Mathematical Sciences
    The University of Montana
    Missoula, MT 59812-0864
    In case you need to contact us: Phone: 406-243-5312; Fax: 406-243-2674;

    If admitted, citizens of foreign countries must provide an original (not a photocopy) certified statement from a bank or sponsoring agency that at least $31,997 is available for transfer to the United States to meet the cost of study in order for the Graduate School to issue an I-20 form. This amount can be reduced by the value of any financial aid awarded by the university. The Graduate School provides further details.

    Paper Applications
    If you are unable to or choose not to apply online, you may request a paper application from the Graduate School at or by calling (406) 243-2572. There will be an additional $10 charge for processing a paper application. (When calling or e-mailing, please provide the Graduate School with the following information 1. Name, 2. Address or e-mail where application materials can be sent, 3. Term applying for, 4. Program applying to, and 5. whether you are U.S. Citizen/Lawful Permanent Resident OR an International Applicant.)

    The Best Road to Success

    Beautiful mountains surround Missoula, and the clear, green Clark Fork River runs through the downtown and beside the campus of the University of Montana. The University is said to be the only college in the United States to have a mountain on its campus. Between classes, many students hike the zig-zag trail up to the "M" on Mt. Sentinel.

    Missoulians are genuinely friendly and proud of their city's beauty. They love Missoula and welcome UM students. A smile and a "hello" are their way of saying "Welcome to Missoula."

    UM's Mathematics Department really does offer a great education in a beautiful setting of a friendly small-town atmosphere. Here, you'll find a program large enough for your highest aspiration and personal enough to appreciate your individuality. If you are skilled in math and science, enjoy solving problems, and are motivated by a challenge, take a closer look at the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Montana - Missoula. You'll receive a stimulating education and you'll be prepared for a career that's versatile, rewarding and in demand. It just may be that the road to success you'd like to follow is here!

    Your professors will know your name!
    They'll also know your interests, what inspires you, and where are you from. You see, at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, students are our number 1 priority. You'll receive personal attention in small classes. (Average size for graduate classes is about ten). And our faculty is readily available to provide help outside the classroom.

    Who will be your peers?
    They're from across the nation and around the globe. They have degrees in mathematics, sciences, computer science, engineering. Most enroll right after baccalaureate or masters graduation. Others return to UM after gaining real-life experience. Female and minority students make up a growing part of the student body.

    You'll be in demand!
    The overwhelming majority of graduate students secure jobs in the U.S. and around the world even before graduation. Our doctoral degree recipients find jobs at four-year universities and colleges. Master's graduates take positions in two-year colleges, high schools and prepschools, industry and government.

    Here is a list of employers of our recent doctoral graduates
    Gallaudet University, Washington, DC
    University of Maine, Farmington, ME
    Riyadh University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    University of Pittsburg at Bradford, PA
    University of Puerto Rico, Managuez
    Black Hills State College, Spearfish, SD
    Tufts University, Medford, MA
    Nostalgia Home Fashions, Inc., Mundelein, IL
    University of Nevada - Las Vegas, NV
    Yogyakarta Nuclear Research Center and Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    The University of Montana - Missoula
    Yarmouk University, Jordan

    In Their Own Words
    "My studies and professors from the UM have served me very well; indeed, I attend conferences among my peers and realize my background is far above that of my peers."
    Tim Thompson, M.S., Southwestern Oregon Community College

    "In an effort to discover how my students learn best, I have experimented extensively with alternate forms of teaching ... I have just been awarded the UM's Graduate Student Distinguished Teaching Award."
    Wendy Houston, M.S., Phillips Academy, MA

    "There was a certain rapport between faculty and graduate students that made the graduate students feel like colleagues ... I would not trade the training that I received in the Mathematics Department at the UM for anything. It has served me well."
    Herbert Kasube, Ph.D., Bradley University, IL

    Come to visit us!
    Meet a professor. Talk with students. Sit in a classroom. Come see how welcome you'll be at the Department of Mathematical Sciences of the University of Montana - Missoula.

    Request for Further Information

    In case you need to contact us: Phone: 406-243-5312;

    To request additional information about specific areas, options, scholarships, etc. you may contact us at the postal address below, call us, or send an e-mail message to Dr. Emily Stone, Associate Chair - Graduate Program.

    Graduate Program
    Department of Mathematical Sciences
    University of Montana
    Missoula, MT 59812-0864
    (406) 243-5312

    Mathematical Sciences | University of Montana