Graduate: MA Program

Master’s Capstone Experience

Master’s students must choose a capstone experience before submitting their master’s plan of study.  Students may choose the thesis, project, or comprehensive exam option. Not every capstone experience is allowed with every concentration.

Thesis

The thesis option is available for concentrations in Mathematics, Applied Statistics, or Data Analytics.  Students selecting this option must find a thesis advisor and a thesis committee from the graduate faculty prior to completing the Plan of Study.  The thesis committee, chaired by the thesis advisor, consists of two other members of the graduate faculty.  The committee must be approved by the Department Head.  The student must include either 6 hours of MAT 699, 6 hours of STA 699, or 3 hours each of STA 698 and STA 699 in the required hours as indicated in the master’s plan of study and completes a thesis based on investigation of a topic in their chosen concentration.

Writing the thesis requires a broad understanding of mathematics or statistics to give the topic some context.  Depth of knowledge in one particular area is demonstrated by the focus of the thesis and the public oral presentation gives the student the opportunity to effectively communicate their knowledge.

Each thesis is reviewed by the thesis committee. The thesis must conform to rules established by the UNCG Graduate Studies Committee.  Detailed information is available at the Graduate School’s webpage on Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD). Additionally, the student must present their completed thesis research in a public oral presentation and defend the research to their thesis committee.

Project

The project option is available for concentrations in Mathematics, Applied Statistics, Actuarial Mathematics, Data Analytics, and Teaching College Mathematics. Students selecting this option must find a project supervisor prior to completing the master’s plan of study.  The supervisor must be approved by the Department Head. The student must include 3 hours of MAT 687 or STA 698 (Project) in the required hours as indicated in the master’s plan of study and prepares a project based on in-depth investigation of a topic in their chosen concentration.

Writing the project requires a broad understanding of mathematics or statistics to give the topic some context. This requires the student to apply their basic knowledge and to read about topics that were not covered in their coursework. When the project is complete, the results are carefully written in a report, which is approved by the project supervisor and delivered in an oral presentation which is open to the public.

Comprehensive Exam

The exam option is available for concentrations in Mathematics, Applied Statistics, Data Analytics, and Teaching College Mathematics.  Students selecting this option must select one of the following exam types prior to completing the master’s plan of study.  Students selecting the Comprehensive Exam Option cannot include any hours of Project (MAT 687 or STA 698) or Thesis (MAT 699 or STA 699) in the required hours.

  • Area exams:  Take two area exams in the written component of the doctoral preliminary exam.  Students must earn scores of M.A. Pass or Ph.D. Pass on both area exams for completion of this capstone.  Students who continue in the Ph.D. program in Computational Mathematics after completing their M.A. degree may apply any scores of Ph.D. pass on these exams towards the written component of the preliminary exam requirement.
  • Program exam: Take an exam based on 18-21 hours of coursework in the student’s program of study selected by the DGS, in consultation with the Graduate Studies Committee.  The exam consists of two parts. Each part is a three hour written exam covering 9-12 hours of coursework, created and graded by a committee of three faculty members appointed by the DGS.  Two possible scores are available on each part: Pass and Fail.  Students must earn scores of Pass on both parts for successful completion of this capstone.