The basic requirement for the MA degree is 30 units of approved coursework in mathematics, following these guidelines:
- Complete Math 710 & 850.
- Students who have not already completed a complex analysis course with a B or better will need to take Math 380 or Math 730.
- Complete 30 units, at least 70% from graduate courses, at least 50% from unpaired graduate courses, at most 30% from (approved) undergraduate courses. 6 units need to come from graduate courses other than Math 710, 850, 898, and 899.
- At most 6 units of Math 899 can be counted towards an MA.
- At most 6 transfer units can be counted towards an MA; for SFSU graduates, this is at most 12 transfer units from their last semester of study.
- SFSU graduates who completed a paired course with the undergraduate number will not be able to repeat the course at the graduate number.
Students who have not passed the GRE Analytical Writing Assessment with a score of 4 or better are also required to pass the University's Graduate Essay Test (the GET) prior to their first semester of study or enroll in SCI 614 or Math 729 during their first year.
In addition to coursework, the MA degree requires a culminating experience, for which there are two options:
- Pass comprehensive exams in two areas selected from algebra, analysis and statistics, and complete an expository paper on an approved topic. (Syllabi for the written exams and sample exams can be found here.)
- Complete a Masters thesis. (Students who write a thesis may use the department's LaTeX template.)
Graduate study at SFSU is guided by the philosophy that graduate students should develop and pursue their own mathematical interests. As much choice as possible is provided in the approved courses, including courses in other disciplines like computer science, the physical and biological sciences, and philosophy. The culminating experience, too, is largely guided by the students own background and interest.