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MMath programs

MMath (thesis)

Requirements:

Course restriction: Students may not count more than one graduate course that is cross-listed with an undergraduate course for credit towards their MMath (thesis) degree. This restriction applies to all 600-level AMATH courses and any cross-listed courses offered by other departments.

Selection of courses: Courses are selected in consultation with the student's supervisor. Beyond the breadth requirement, there are no other constraints on course selection. We encourage students to select courses that will help them develop a broad knowledge of Mathematics and its applications: appropriate courses are often offered by other departments in the Faculties of Mathematics, Science and Engineering.

Master's thesis: The MMath thesis is a comprehensive study that contributes to the understanding of a research topic, either by relating various approaches in the literature or by developing new methods. An MMath thesis is not required to contain original results. However, it is not uncommon for students - particularly those who have had research experience as undergraduates - to obtain new results that lead to publication in the research literature. For University guidelines on co-authored material in Masters theses please visit the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) website; additional departmental guidelines apply. 

Master's examining committee: The student and supervisor should solicit faculty members to serve on the thesis defence committee. The Examining Committee shall be comprised of:

  • at least one tenured or tenure track faculty member of the student's home department who will normally be the student's supervisor(s);
  • an additional tenured or tenure track faculty member from the University of Waterloo;
  • and at least one additional examiner whose expertise can support the evaluation of the Master's thesis.

External adjunct appointments require the approval of the Associate Dean, Graduate from the student's home Faculty. No more than one adjunct faculty member (including Professors Emeriti) may serve on the Examining Committee. 

Master's thesis defence: The student will present his or her results in a thesis defence, which consists of a 20 minute presentation by the candidate, followed by detailed questioning by the committee members. The thesis should be provided to the examining committee at least two weeks before the defence date.

For full details, refer to the Master's Degree Completion Procedures and to the Math Graduate Office website.

Procedure for direct transfer into the PhD program:

A Master's student with an excellent record (normally demonstrated by a grade point average greater than 90%) and strong progress in research may apply for direct transfer into the PhD program after one year of Master's studies. To initiate this process, the student's supervisor must submit a written request to the Graduate Officer. Names of two potential examiners should be included. The request should be accompanied by a statement of research progress to date, written by the student, approximately three pages in length. If the student's record is deemed to be of sufficient standing, the statement of research progress will be forwarded to the examining committee, and the student will be invited to present this summary at a 40 minute presentation followed by questioning by the examining committee.

This examination normally takes place in the student's fourth term. If successful, the student is transferred directly into the PhD program and this examination then retroactively takes the place of the pre-comprehensive seminar, which is used by the student's committee to determine the topics for the comprehensive exam; that exam should take place in the student's fifth term.

Accelerated Master's studies:

The MMath (thesis) program typically takes two years to complete. However, in some cases, students are in a position to complete the degree on an accelerated schedule. In particular, students pursuing their undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo can position themselves for such an accelerated Master's by carrying out an undergraduate research term prior to completing the BMath degree. This provides a significant head-start to a Master's project in the same research area. In addition, students with strong grades may take a graduate course in their final year of undergraduate studies. If this course is taken for extra credit (i.e. is not used to satisfy the BMath degree requirements), it may be counted toward the MMath course requirements. Following this plan, the Master's degree can be completed in as few as four terms (e.g. spring-fall-winter-spring).

For more resources for graduate students, please visit the Math Graduate Office website.

MMath (research paper)

We normally accept students into the MMath (research paper) program for part-time studies only. Part-time students do not receive departmental funding.

Requirements:

  • Seven graduate courses, including a breadth requirement. Candidates for the MMath degree must achieve an average grade of at least 70% in their courses.
  • a Master's research paper

Course restriction: Students may not count more than three graduate courses that are cross-listed with undergraduate courses for credit towards their MMath (research paper) degree. This restriction applies to all 600-level AMATH courses and any cross-listed courses offered by other departments.

Selection of courses: Courses are selected in consultation with the student's supervisor. Beyond the breadth requirement, there are no other constraints on course selection. We encourage students to select courses that will help them develop a broad knowledge of Mathematics and its applications: appropriate courses are often offered by other departments in the Faculties of Mathematics, Science and Engineering.

The Master's research paper is a review paper that is typically prepared over the course of one term. It should be 25-35 pages in length. The Master's research paper is assessed by the research supervisor and one other faculty member. There is no oral examination.

For more resources for graduate students, please visit the Math Graduate Office website.

Co-op option

Students do not apply for co-op during the admissions process, but may apply to transfer into the co-op option after completing at least one academic term.

Students enrolled in either the MMath in Applied Mathematics - Thesis or Research Paper programs are eligible to apply to transfer into the MMath in Applied Mathematics - Co-operative Program. However, students enrolled in the MMath in Applied Mathematics - Quantum Information and MMath in Applied Mathematics - Water programs are not eligible to apply for transfer to the co-op option at this time. 

Admission to the co-operative program is competitive. Admittance will be decided based on the student’s progress to date, and is subject to approval by the student's research supervisor.

The MMath in Applied Mathematics - Co-operative Program will enable students to combine graduate studies with some work experience. The program is normally seven or eight terms long, with two work terms and five or six academic terms. The timing of work and academic terms is fairly flexible, but the program must start with at least two academic terms (during which the coursework requirements will typically have been completed) and must end on an academic term. Students in the program are encouraged to complete COOP 601 Career Success Strategies in the academic term prior to the first work term.

Graduate Studies Work Report

Students are required to complete two four-month or one eight-month work terms, in a suitable position, to begin after at least two academic terms. Students will be required to provide a work term report when they return to campus.

Detailed descriptions of the following programs can be found in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar:

  • MMath Applied Mathematics
  • MMath Applied Mathematics (Quantum Information)
  • MMath Applied Mathematics (Water)
  • PhD Applied Mathematics
  • PhD Applied Mathematics (Quantum Information)
  • PhD Applied Mathematics (Water)