It usually takes 3-4 additional semesters to complete a master's degree (A.M.) after earning the bachelor's degree (A.B.). The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences has an accelerated A.B.-A.M. program in which highly qualified undergraduate majors can earn both the A.B. and A.M. degrees with two additional semesters work (usually a total of 5 years). The department offers the A.M. degree in mathematics or statistics.
Note that this program is only for WU undergraduates who, if they participate, must do so in the academic year immediately following graduation (no deferments). According to the Graduate School, eligibility requres having completed the A.B. degree from Arts & Sciences (which would rule out, for example, a second major who degree is from the Engineering School).
Some students might find a master's degree earned through this program useful. However, students planning to enter a Ph.D. program in mathematics or statistics usually do so directly after completing the A.B. degree rather earning an A.M. degree first. Majors should talk with their advisors early about whether this program would have any advantage for them.
Majors who are interested in the program should
- look at the general Information in the Bulletin (graduate School of Arts & Sciences). TA description for the Accelerated A.M. program appears several paragraphs down on that page.
- read the Department's requirements for the A.M. in Mathematics and for the A.M. in statistics.
The application deadline (subject to change by the Graduate School) is the August 1 prior to beginning the AM program in the fall semester following completion of the WU AB degree. Note that the application is made through the Department, which forwards it to the Graduate School. Since relevant people in the Department might not be available much during the summer months, it's best to complete the application by the end of the semester's classes.
The program allows participants to count up to 15 units of 400-500 level coursework earned during the 4 years of undergraduate study (with grades of B or better) toward the A.M. course requirements. (The point of the 15 unit limit is to avoid having majors push so much specialized work into the A.B. years that they limit their opportunities to do the exploration outside of the major that an undergraduate should do.) Counting these 15 units makes it possible to finish the master's requirements in one additional year, but the program is still fast-paced and requires a lot of intense work and some careful planning.
Careful course selection throughout the undergraduate program is required. Usually, the Department will not recommend that the Graduate School admit a major to this program unless the 15 applicable units of 400-500 level work will be completed by the time of graduation. In addition, the Department expects applicants to have backgrounds comparable to students admitted to our regular master's programs. The total number of master's candidates that the Department can accept at a given time may be limited.
For more information about graduate program requirements, contact the Department's Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Mohan Kumar.
Applying to the Program
The Department of Mathematics asks that interested majors apply to the program by the end of the fall semester in the senior year. If accepted, they must begin the program in the fall semester immediately after graduation: no deferred admissions are allowed by the Graduate School.
Students should fill out the Application Form and make an appointment to meet with the Administrative Assistant for the Department's graduate programs, Ms. Maryann Stenner, in Cupples I, Room 100. She will clarify the rest of the procedure for you: submitting the application for Department consideration and getting the required signatures from the Department Chair and Chair of the Graduate Committee. If the Department approves the application, then Ms. Stenner will submit it to the Graduate School which will make the final decision.
For students in the U.S. on a visa as undergraduates: staying on to complete an A.M. creates a change in visa status, which will involve reapplication paperwork. Be sure to check on the details with an international student advisor at the Office for International Students and Scholars.