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For Current Graduate Students
To Do List for Current Graduate Students in Pure and Applied Mathematics, Math Education, and Applied Statistics
If you were admitted to the program conditionally, contact your advisor to determine what you must do to have the conditional status removed. Generally this involves taking missing prerequisite courses, or repeating undergraduate courses in which you received low grades.
Take the GWAR.
Please visit the University GWAR web site for details and pay attention to the "Students" and "Policy" sections. If you have previously passed the GWAR at CSULB or at another CSU, or you have received a score of 4 or higher on the analytical writing test of the GRE or GMAT, you have satisfied this requirement.
You must first pass the GWAR before applying for Advance to Candidacy. If you haven't passed the GWAR, contact your graduate advisor for guidance.
Maintain a GPA of at least 3.0.
Graduate students whose GPA is below 3.0 for more than one semester will be automatically dropped from the program.
Decide between comprehensive exams and a thesis.
To complete the graduate program, students must pass two comprehensive exams associated to their program or work with a faculty advisor to write a thesis/project.
Students opting to take comprehensive must take both comprehensive exams during the same semester. Students have at most two attempts to pass each exam.
- The areas of examination for the pure mathematics students are Algebra, Topology, Complex Analysis, Real Analysis, and Functional Analysis.
- The areas of examination for the applied mathematics students are Partial Differential Equations, Applied Nonlinear ODE, and Numerical Analysis. Applied mathematics students may replace one of these exams by the statistical compreprehensive exam Statistical Inference.
- The areas of examination for the applied statistics students are Statistical Inference and Experimental Design and Analysis.
- The areas of examination for the math education students are one representing MTED 511/512 and another in a selected area - MTED 540, 550, 560, or 580
Passing the exams:
With grade C or better. Retake any failed exam(s). Maximum two attempts in total.
Students must file the paperwork to Advance to Candidacy before signing up to take the comprehensive exams. The exams are offered during the third and fourth weekend of each semester. The sign-up period roughly begins three weeks before the end of the previous semester and ends roughly a week before classes begin. Fliers announcing the exams will be posted in the department during these periods.
Please also check out Information for preparing your comprehensive exams.
The thesis/project option is a much more significant undertaking than the comprehensive exams. A thesis/project is a collaborative activity between a faculty advisor and the student. Both the topic and the content of the thesis/project should be generated in collaboration; students should not attempt to generate a thesis/project topic or research without faculty guidance. Students considering the thesis/project option should speak with faculty members about the possibility of working together on a thesis/project. With the faculty advisor, the student and advisor should together:
- Solicit two other faculty members to be readers and committee members who will evaluate the thesis/project once it is complete. In case of the project option, an addtional industrial advisor is also required.
- Write an abstract of the thesis/project work to be completed to be submitted with the paperwork required to Advance to Candidacy.
Students completing the thesis/project option must enroll in at least 3 units of Math 698 after Advancing to Candidacy.
Advance to Candidacy.
The catalog description of the graduate program that is in place the semester during which you Advance to Candidacy describes the program under which you will graduate. Any changes made to the program before you Advance apply to you; changes made to the program after you Advance do not. Before you begin the paperwork to Advance to Candidacy, you must
- have taken the necessary steps to remove deficiencies in your preparation for graduate work (if you were admitted conditionally),
- have completed at least 6 units of graduate course work,
- have at least 3.0 in both your graduate program GPA and cumulative GPA,
- have passed the GWAR, and
- have selected the comprehensive exam or thesis option.
Get the preliminary form to Advance to Candidacy from your graduate advisor. The program you plan when you file this paperwork can be changed, but that requires more paperwork, so choose your courses carefully.
Transfer Credit. The paperwork to transfer the courses to CSULB takes place when the student advances to candidacy. Courses used in obtaining other degrees (bachelors, master's or otherwise) are not transferable to CSULB. At most 9 semester units of credit can be transferred into a graduate program, subject to the approval of the graduate advisor. Courses taken through "Open University" at CSULB come under the same transfer limitations as courses taken at another university. One quarter unit counts as 2/3 of a semester unit; thus an approved course worth 4 quarter units would transfer as 2.667 semester units. Thus at most three courses worth 6 quarter units may be transferred into the program, earning 9 semester units of credit toward the degree at CSULB. Contact your advisor for more information.
Pass comprehensive exams or defend and submit your thesis to the library.
Comprehensive Exams. Students must file the paperwork to Advance to Candidacy before signing up to take the comprehensive exams. The exams are offered during the third and fourth weekend of each semester. The sign-up period roughly begins three weeks before the end of the previous semester and ends roughly a week before classes begin. Fliers announcing the exams will be posted in the department during these periods.
Thesis/Project. The thesis/project must be submitted to the Thesis Office by the deadline. The following web site shows the deadlines as well as other information for students preparing theses. TeX and Word templates are available for the CSULB thesis/project format; contact your advisor for more information: Thesis Office.
File for graduation.
The following university web site has information about how and when to file for graduation: University site about graduating with a Master's Degree from CSULB