The M.S. in Natural Sciences is an interdisciplinary 36 graduate hour program with both thesis and non-thesis options. Upon entering the program, graduate students are assigned to a graduate faculty committee to design a degree plan and oversee the specific program of study, including development and administration of pertinent culminating projects and examinations. The program is characterized by flexibility and as such, courses and labs are offered at alternative times and in a variety of formats, including face-to-face, hybrid and online. The thesis option includes a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours including at least 24 hours within the college, 18 of which must be in a single area or discipline. Three hours each of thesis research and thesis writing are taken above the 18 hour requirement in discipline. Students are required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination (written, oral, or a combination of the two methods) based on their area(s) of study and to defend the thesis. The non-thesis option requires a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours, including at least 24 hours within the college, exactly 18 of which must be in a single discipline. A maximum of 12 graduate credit hours may be in an area external to the College of Sciences and Mathematics (CoSM). Students choosing the non-thesis option are required to successfully complete a capstone project as well as a comprehensive examination (written, oral, or a combination of the two methods) based on their area(s) of study.
Example Program: Mathematics/Mathematics Education
The Mathematics/Mathematics Education program of study involves only the non-thesis options which requires 36 graduate credit hours, as follows:
Graduate hours in mathematical sciences (MTH or STA) may be selected from the following three credit hour courses:
Graduate hours in mathematics education (MTE) may be selected from the following three credit hour courses:
Graduate hours in education (SED) may be selected from the following three credit hour courses:
The general mathematics or statistics programs of study are similar to the mathematics/mathematics education program of study described above in that students may select 18 graduate credit hours from areas of mathematics, statistics or a combination of the two for a mathematical sciences focus. Typical options chosen by students for the 18 graduate hours outside of the area of concentration are listed below (note that in options 2, 4, and 5, the 18 hours of concentration are exclusively in mathematics).