Math MA Master's Plan I

This plan requires 36 upper division or graduate units, of which at least 20 must be at the graduate level in mathematics. 

Course Requirements – Core and Electives (36 units).

a) Core Courses (20 units)

  • 201 AB Analysis (4 units each)
  • 250 AB Algebra (4 units each)
  • And one of :
    • 201C Analysis (4 units)
    • OR
    • 215A Topology (4 units)
    • OR
    • 239 Differential Topology (4 units)

b) Elective Courses (16 units)

All courses at the 200 level count towards elective units. No more than 6 units of MAT 280 (Topics in Mathematics) may be counted toward the M.A. Courses at the 300-level do not count toward the unit requirement of the M.A. degree.

c) Research

Students may take research units (299) when doing research with a faculty member. There is no specific requirement for a minimum number. English Language Requirement

Students who have not obtained a previous degree at an approved English- medium institution or demonstrated English-language proficiency through an appropriate exam (e.g. TOEFL) are required to complete appropriate English- language courses, as described in the policy Graduate Student Course Requirements – English as Second Language (GC2018-02). Courses taken in satisfaction of this requirement do not count towards the units required for graduation.

d) Summary

20 units of core coursework, 16 units of electives are required for a total of 36 units. Full-time students must enroll for 12 units per quarter including research, academic and seminar units. Courses that fulfill any of the program course requirements may not be taken S/U unless the course is normally graded S/U. Once course unit requirements are completed, students can take additional classes as needed while completing their Thesis (Plan I) or Comprehensive Examination (Plan II), although the 12 units per quarter are generally fulfilled with a research class (299) and perhaps seminars. Per UC regulations students should not ordinarily enroll in more than 12 units of graduate level courses (200) or more than 16 units of combined undergraduate and graduate level (100, 200, 300) courses per quarter. 

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy Students are expected to advance to candidacy after their first year (3 quarters) in graduate school. Every student must file an official application for Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Arts and pay the Candidacy Fee after completing one-half of their course requirements and at least one quarter before completing all degree requirements; this is typically the fourth quarter. The Candidacy for the Degree of Master form can be found online at: A completed form includes a list of courses the student will take to complete degree requirements. If changes must be made to the student’s course plan after they have advanced to candidacy, the Graduate Advisor must recommend these changes to Graduate Studies. Students must have their Graduate Advisor and committee Chair sign the candidacy form before it can be submitted to Graduate Studies. If the candidacy is approved, the Office of Graduate Studies will send a copy to: the appropriate Graduate Program Coordinator and the student; the Thesis Committee Chair will also receive a copy, if applicable. If the Office of Graduate Studies determines that student is not eligible for advancement, the program and the student will be told the reasons for the application’s deferral. Some reasons for deferring an application include: grade point average below 3.0, outstanding “I” grades in required courses, or insufficient units. Students are instructed to file for advancement to candidacy according to the deadlines posted by Graduate Studies. 

 Thesis Requirements:

a) Thesis requirements (Plan I) – The M.A. thesis should be:

  1. i)  A scholarly piece of theoretical research. Specific formatting expectations vary between subfields and the Thesis Advisor provides information about appropriate length and formatting guidelines.

  2. ii)  Rigorous in approach (design, methodology, and analysis), but not as extensive as a Ph.D. dissertation.

  3. iii)  The topic of the thesis should be acceptable to all members of the committee when they agree to serve and a joint meeting of committee members and the student should be held at that time. For the thesis to be acceptable for the degree, all committee members must sign the title page. Instructions on preparation of the thesis and a schedule of dates for filing the thesis in final form are available from Graduate Studies; the dates are also printed in the UC Davis General Catalog.

  4. iv)  Thesis committee members have a responsibility to review the thesis within four weeks (one month) after being provided a copy. Should the committee determine that the thesis is unacceptable, a recommendation to disqualify the student will be made to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

  5. v)  Exit Seminar: Students are encouraged to give a 50-minute seminar presentation, open to the public, on their thesis subject. After the seminar, the student’s thesis committee may meet privately with the student to discuss the contents of the thesis.

  6. vi)  The thesis must be filed in a quarter in which the student is registered or on filing fee. Instructions on preparation of the thesis and a schedule of dates for filing the thesis in final form are available from Graduate Studies; the dates are also printed in the UC Davis General Catalog and in the Class Schedule and Registration Guide issued each quarter. A student must have a GPA of 3.0 for the M.S. degree to be awarded.