M.S. in Mathematics

Program Overview

Fairfield University’s Master of Science in Mathematics teaches you the necessary theoretical skills to learn advanced mathematics as well as the quantitative methods needed to apply these results to real world problems. You’ll work with a supportive faculty of mathematicians dedicated to helping you reach your full potential. Whether you’re an aspiring teacher or business leader, pursuing a PhD in mathematics or other technical fields, or just wanting to challenge yourself, our program will provide you with the foundation to reach your goals.

 



Graduate Information Session

Join us for an upcoming Graduate Information Session where we can answer your questions one-on-one, give you an opportunity to meet our faculty and introduce you to the Fairfield University community and experience.

Message from the Director

Stephen F. Sawin headshot‌Because of its beauty, precision, and usefulness, mathematics has always attracted not only the most profound and theoretical minds, but also pragmatic thinkers who are eager to apply its insights to the problems of the world around us.

Fairfield University's Master's Degree Program in Mathematics is designed for students who have a strong undergraduate background in mathematics or a related field. Our program caters to students in many different situations, including, but not limited to, middle- and secondary-school teachers, those seeking to teach in two-year colleges, business professionals whose work is quantitative in nature, students desiring solid preparation for entrance into a doctoral program, and those who are simply attracted by the beauty of mathematics.

Full-time Fairfield University faculty members teach in the Master's Program, bringing a wealth of expertise to the classroom. The breadth of their specialties, together with their commitment to excellence in teaching and making a difference in individual students’ lives, enriches the program and the options available to students. This benefit translates into an ability to allow our students to design individualized programs of study, in consultation with a faculty advisor, related to their background, interest, and personal goals.

The curriculum features a common core of 12 credits, supplemented by a series of electives that make specialization possible. Because our program caters to working adults, classes mostly meet one evening a week during the fall and spring semesters and are available in the summer, as well.

As director of the graduate program in mathematics, I invite you to peruse the course descriptions and faculty credentials that follow and join us in a more focused study within the field I so enjoy. 

Stephen F. Sawin, Ph.D.
Director of the 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

  • 401: Introduction to Applied Mathematics
  • 417: Applied Statistics
  • 452: Statistical Theory
  • 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.

 

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 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)

Graduate Certificate Programs

Fairfield University also offers a four-course Certificate in Financial Mathematics, as well as a four-course Certificate in Applied Statistics. Each program is designed with the busy professional in mind and combines individual attention, a deeply committed faculty, and a focus on the whole person to meet you where you are and give you the skills you need to achieve your professional goals.

Admission Requirements

The M.S. in Mathematics program welcomes students of ability with a strong undergraduate background in mathematics or a related field such as computer science, engineering, physics, finance, economics, or certain social sciences. Students who hold a bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent) are encouraged to apply.

Formal Admission Process

Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee. Students seeking admission must submit:

  • A Completed Application for Graduate Admission Form Apply Online. While your application is in progress, you can check to see if your supporting documents, such as transcripts and recommendations, have been received. Please allow 48 hours from the time we receive the documents for them to post to the checklist. Track the status of your application.
  • A Non-refundable $60 Application Fee
  • A Professional Resume. Applicants are required to submit a current resume that includes employment and education history. (Submit Online)
  • A Personal Statement of self-evaluation of work experience and career objectives. (Submit Online)
  • Official transcripts from all universities and colleges attended. (All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an approved evaluating service.)
  • Two Recommendation Forms and Letters, one of which must be, preferably, from a current employer or supervisor. The Recommendations are completed online. At the time of application you will need to provide your two Recommender's names and e-mail addresses.
  • Interviews. Applicants may be required to participate in an interview as part of the admission process. If required, candidates will be contacted by the program director to schedule an appointment.
  • Credit transfer form. This form is applicable if the students wishes to count a course taken outside the Fairfield Mathematics program towards their degree.

International Students

Students from non-English speaking countries are required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report. A TOEFL composite score of 550 for the paper test, 213 for the computer-based, or 79-80 on the Internet-based test (IBT) is strongly recommended for admission. Fairfield's ETS code is 3390.

All application materials should be sent to:

Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies Admission
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824-5195
Phone: (203) 254-4184
Fax: (203) 254-4073
gradadmis@fairfield.edu

 

How to Apply

For detailed admission requirements, please refer to the links below:

Admission Deadline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


Financial Aid

To be considered for financial aid, Fairfield University requires students to complete a FAFSA form. For further information, visit the Office of Financial Aid.

Faculty

The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and passionate scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others.

Accelerated Master's Degree

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) has created an accelerated pathway for current, high achieving undergraduate students who are interested in transitioning directly into one of our Master's programs.

Eligibility

  • Mathematics majors may apply with a minimum Major GPA of 3.2
  • Completion of at least 96 credits prior to the start of fall senior year

 

Admission Requirements

  • Online application available at fairfield.edu/applynow
  • $60 admission fee (waived for current students)
  • Fairfield University transcript (obtained by the Office of Graduate Admission)
  • A letter of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Copy of resume
     

Timeline

  • Math undergrad students apply in the Spring of your junior year or either semester of your senior year
  • Upon acceptance, students will remain an undergraduate, but are allowed to register for TWO graduate classes during their senior year
    • These classes will be covered through full-time tuition payment
    • These classes cannot count towards fulfillment of the undergraduate degree
    • During the final semester, typically spring, students will need to apply to the program officially to become a matriculated graduate student upon completion of their undergraduate degree.

     

For more information, contact:

Dr. Stephen Sawin, Director of the M.S. in Mathematics
ssawin@fairfield.edu
(203) 254-4000 x2573

Ms. Fran Yadre
College of Arts and Sciences
fyadre@fairfield.edu
(203) 254-4000 x2246

Alumni Profiles

Jonathan Gryak headshotJonathan Gryak MS'09
Title: Infrastructure Manager
Employer: Westport Public Schools
PhD student in Computer Science, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY

I am currently the Infrastructure Manager for the Westport Public Schools, overseeing the district’s IT infrastructure, including: voice, data, and video networks; email; server hardware and software; as well as building automation and environmental monitoring. 

I am also a PhD candidate in Computer Science at the CUNY Graduate Center, performing research in the fields of non-commutative cryptography and computational group theory. 

 

Why did you choose to attend the math graduate program at Fairfield University?

I was looking to advance my studies in mathematics, in part for my own edification, but also to help me determine if I wished to pursue a PhD. Fairfield offered a program that allowed me to pursue my interests, and with evening classes made it possible to fit into my work schedule.

 

What are/were the best academic aspects of the program?

I greatly appreciated the flexibility the program afforded me to study the subject areas in mathematics that I was interested in.

 

Describe a project or problem in your work or life where you used what you learned in the math graduate program.

The group theory and other algebra learned in the required courses have assisted me in my current research in non-commutative cryptography. Moreover, I was introduced to the field during my capstone project, under the direction of Prof. Fine, who continues to be an active researcher in the field.

 

What attributes regarding the faculty did you find particularly helpful and encouraging?
When courses weren’t available in subjects I was interested in, a number of faculty members agreed to mentor me in independent studies. They challenged me with non-trivial problems and provided guidance throughout the course.

 

What were some of the challenges in going back to school as an adult student?

The primary challenge was working and studying concurrently, but the evening courses and the flexibility to choose the number of courses per semester helped mitigated this issue. 

 

Describe an anecdote or experience with a particular professor that you found helpful or meaningful.

Knowing my potential interest in academia, Professor Fine invited me to a weekend conference on group theory held at Fairfield, where I was introduced to many mathematicians working in the field. I was struck by how collaborative mathematics can be, and by the depth and warmness of the long-term personal relationships that such collaboration engenders. It was such a contrast to how the work of academics in general and mathematicians in particular is perceived, and enabled me to envision myself pursuing a PhD and making a life for myself in academia.

Career & Professional Opportunities

Fairfield University's M.S. in Mathematics graduates have gone on to diverse professional fields, including:

  • Education - Middle School, Secondary School, and Community College
  • Engineering
  • Finance and economics
  • Actuarial science
  • Business forecasting
  • Biomathematics

Recent employers/institutions include:

  • Columbia University
  • Monroe Public Schools
  • Westchester Community College
  • Barnum School, Bridgeport
  • Cornell University
  • QuEST Engineering
  • George Mason University
  • Noble Americas
  • Connecticut Speed School
  • Greenwich Public Schools
  • Fairfield Prep
  • IBM
  • Gen Re Intermediaries
  • Fairfield Public Schools
  • Strategas Securities, LLC
  • New Haven Public Schools
  • Weston Public Schools
  • DePaul University
  • EDR, Inc.

Career Planning Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

When are applications due?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee.

 

What are the application requirements?

 

Do I need to take the GREs?

The GREs are not required. We do look closely at your academic record and other application materials. Generally, we like to see that you have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. If your GPA is lower than 3.0 but you would like us to consider your application, you may include with your application a statement that explains your GPA and why you are confident you will be able to maintain the required 3.0 GPA in your graduate studies.

 

How much does it cost?

Tuition and fees for Fairfield's graduate programs

 

Do I have to be a full-time student?

Our programs are designed to accommodate students who want to attend part-time because most of our students are working at least part time. Some of our students attend full time, however.

 

When are courses offered?

Courses are offered during 4 semesters per year: fall, spring, summer 1 and summer 2. During the fall and spring semesters, most courses are offered in the evenings from 6:30-9 p.m. once a week.

 

What is the average class size?

Our classes are small, with 10-15 students per class.

 

Do I need to have earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics to be eligible for admission?

No, but you need a significant number of undergraduate credits in mathematics including at least a year of calculus.

 

How long does it take to complete the degree?

The program can be completed in two academic years.

 

What financial aid is available?

To be considered for financial aid, Fairfield University requires students to complete a FAFSA form. For further information on financial aid, visit the Office of Financial Aid.

 

Are graduate assistantships available?

A limited number of part- and full-time University assistantships are available to assist promising and deserving students.

 

Whom do I call if I have questions?

For information about admission, contact gradadmis@fairfield.edu. For information about the program, contact Steve Sawin, Program Director.

 

Contact Us

For more information about Fairfield University's graduate programs, please contact:

Office of Graduate Admission
Fairfield University
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

Call (203) 254-4184 or email gradadmis@fairfield.edu.

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