Department of Mathematics

some math pictures

The M.A. Program in Mathematics

The Master of Arts in Mathematics at SFSU offers students the opportunity to study advanced mathematics under the guidance of a faculty encompassing many different areas of research. Classes are small, usually fewer than 20, and graduate students pursue their own mathematical interests through seminars and research projects with faculty members.

The expected completion time for the program is two years. After graduation, students enroll in Ph.D. programs, seek employment in the San Francisco Bay Area's technology and financial industries, or at one of California's 110 community colleges.

Support for graduate students is provided through teaching assistantships and scholarships. For many students, teaching is an important part of their career preparation. At SFSU, graduate student instructors manage all aspects of their classes.

San Francisco State University is a large comprehensive urban university enrolling about 7000 graduate students in 124 different Master's degree and credential programs. The campus is located in an unusually vibrant and beautiful city with a rich intellectual and cultural life. Graduates find opportunities in nearby Silicon Valley, home to many of the world's leading technology companies, in downtown San Francisco's large financial and insurance industry, and in a thriving biotechnology sector.

San Francisco State University is strongly committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. Applications are encouraged from underrepresented groups.

For more general information, contact the Graduate Coordinators Dr. Yitwah Cheung and Dr. Joseph Gubeladze. You are encouraged to contact individual faculty members if you have specific questions about their research activities.


Admission Requirements & Application Procedures

Admission to the program requires an undergraduate degree but not necessarily in mathematics. Many students with minors in math have succeeded in the SFSU graduate program. Successful applicants are expected to have completed three semesters of calculus, linear algebra, and three upper division math courses, including modern algebra and real analysis, with a grade of B or better. However, an applicant who is deficient in one of those courses may be admitted conditionally on passing it satisfactorily during the first calendar year of study.

Information on how to apply along with on-line application forms are available from the Graduate School. Applicants must contact all colleges and universities where they have been enrolled and order official transcripts for SFSU. To be considered for admission, we require GRE general exam scores. Applicants for fellowships and teaching positions must submit at least two letters of recommendation. These letters may be from academic supervisors, past employers or anyone else who can address the applicant's qualifications for graduate study in mathematics. Applicants may submit these with their applications.


Financial Incentive Programs

The SF State Pilot Incentive Program for Graduate Teaching Associates will provide $2082 in Fall 2019 to 16 students among the new graduate students. This will be a re-imbursement of the tuition the students will pay in the fall semester. In order to participate in this program, students need to be a full time student, i.e., take more than 6 units. Everyone interested in receiving the incentive need to include in the application to the MA program (1) two recommendation letters, (2) description of need of the financial assistance, and (3) description of prior teaching. Since every student interested in teaching needs to have two recommendation letters, these can be the same letters. The selection of 16 students will be made by the Mathematics Department.

Independent of the SF State Pilot Incentive Program, the Math Department will provide $3000 to each new graduate student entering the MA program in Fall 2019 to be used for selected expenses related to the student's graduate studies and professional development. These funds can be used, among other things, for textbook and other material purchases, for equipment (such as computers--some restrictions apply) and software purchases, and for travel to conferences, workshops, and other professional development events. The funds need to be used within two years.


Application Deadlines

  • Priority Deadline for the Fall semester is March 1. The Mathematics Department will continue to review applications on a space available basis.
  • Priority Deadline for the Spring semester is October 1. The Mathematics Department will continue to review applications on a space available basis.

General information about graduate studies at San Francisco State University can be obtained from the university web page or by calling 415.338.2234. International students should contact the Office of International Programs, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, 94132, USA. Their phone number is 415.338.1293, and they have a very informative web page.

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