M.S. in Mathematics - Course Offerings

The M.S. in mathematics requires completion of 30 credits. These include a 12 credit core and six electives totaling 18 credits including a final capstone project. In consultation with a faculty advisor, each student designs an individualized program of study meeting his or her needs.

The core

MA 435 Linear Algebra and MA 471 Real Analysis.

Two additional courses specifically designated as proof-intensive courses (marked with an ‘*’ in the list below).

Students who have seen most of the material in MA 435 or MA 471 at a comparable depth may with permission substitute additional proof-intensive courses for one or both.

Elective Courses

The examples that follow illustrate three possible areas in which students might specialize within the M.S. program. In each case, students complete the required courses noted above, in addition to electives such as those listed below. These are suggestions only - a student needs not restrict himself or herself to those courses in a specific category.

For Teachers and Prospective Teachers

  • 583 Geometry
  • 585 Topology
  • 510 Foundations and Set Theory
  • 565 Use of Technology in the Classroom
  • 537 Number Theory
  • 417 Applied Statistics

For Business-Oriented Professionals

  • 417 Applied Statistics
  • 451 Probability
  • 452 Statistics
  • 531 Ordinary Differential Equations
  • 532 Partial Differential Equations
  • 577 Numerical Analysis
  • 550 Classical Financial Mathematics
  • 578 Mathematics of Financial Derivatives

For Those Interested in Pure Mathematics

  • 436 Abstract Algebra
  • 472 Complex Analysis
  • 583 Geometry
  • 585 Topology
  • 535 Advanced Abstract Algebra
  • 577 Numerical Analysis
  • 510 Foundations and Set Theory
  • 537 Number Theory

If a student is interested in mathematics not found in any of these courses, they may work with a faculty member to design an independent study in which they learn this material with the guidance of the professor.  Students enroll in MA 599 Independent Study, which they may do up to two times for credit towards their MS degree.  Independent studies must be approved.

The Capstone

Each student should complete, generally in his/her final semesters, a capstone consisting of a project or an oral or written exposition of mathematics, in consultation with a faculty advisor.  Capstones are generally associated with a course the student is taking, though it may be associated with an independent study.  The faculty advisor may or may not be the instructor of the associated course, and each student, with the help of his/her advisor, should develop a proposal in advance for his/her capstone, which is pass/fail.

Certificate in Financial Mathematics

The University also offers a four-course Certificate in Financial Mathematics for those who wish to improve their knowledge of financial markets or to understand the mathematics behind the computer models in the field of finance. The program is designed for mathematically trained professionals and those with a background in finance. Participants acquire additional quantitative and qualitative skills important to advancing careers in investment banking, hedge funds, and financial markets.  The four courses are

  • 550 Classical Financial Mathematics
  • 531 Ordinary Differential Equations
  • 532 Partial Differential Equations
  • 578 Mathematics of Financial Derivatives

The four courses (12 credits) may be applied at a later date to the requirements for a M. S.  degree in mathematics at Fairfield University.

Course Listing (* proof-intensive course)

MA 417 Applied Statistics

MA 435 Linear Algebra

MA 436 Abstract Algebra *

MA 451 Probability

MA 452 Statistics *

MA 471 Real Analysis

MA 472 Complex Analysis *

MA 495 Special Topics in Mathematics

MA 510 Foundations and Set Theory

MA 531 Ordinary Differential Equations

MA 532 Partial Differential Equations

MA 535 Advanced Abstract Algebra *

MA 537 Number Theory *

MA 550 Classical Financial Mathematics

MA 553 Statistical Forecasting

MA 555 Statistical Consulting

MA 565 Use of Technology in the Classroom

MA 577 Numerical Analysis

MA 578 Mathematics of Financial Derivatives

MA 583 Geometry *

MA 585 Topology *

MA 590 Capstone (View capstone form)

MA 599 Independent Study (View independent study application form)