You are here

Graduate Program

General information

Two types of degree are granted at the graduate level in mathematics: the MA and the MS degree. The requirements can be found below, but otherwise feel free to reach out to the department if you would like to know which degree is right for you! A major selling point of our program is its flexibility. Taking advantage of our asynchronous online format, many of our students hold a full-time job as they work through their degree. It's also common for a student to pursue academics full-time and finish the degree very quickly due to a wide range of summer course offerings. Another key feature of the program is that faculty strive to protect the integrity of our degrees: if you are looking for a program where professors give your own creative work the recognition it deserves, we are the place for you!


Admission requirements

All conditions of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies must be met. In particular, an applicant must hold an undergraduate/bachelor's degree before beginning at ISU. International students must also satisfy English proficiency requirements.

Students applying to the Mathematics master's program must also have completed at least twenty-four hours of undergraduate mathematics. This will usually include the calculus sequence and the equivalent of MATH 333, 320, 410, 412, and 413. Applicants with deficiencies may be granted conditional admission.

It is also possible to complete coursework without the goal of obtaining a degree. In this case you should submit an application to the ISU, indicating that you are a non-degree seeking student.


MA in Mathematics

The Masters of Arts in Mathematics is geared toward high school teachers wanting to become certified to teach dual credit courses, or for those wishing to teach mathematics at the collegiate level. The course requirements for the Master of Arts degree are available here:

A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation with a MA degree (see the College of Graduate and Professional Studies course catalog). Moreover, half of the courses must be at the 600 level or higher.

For more information please contact:  Professor Jodi Frost,


MS in Mathematics

The requirements for the Master of Science degree are available here:

Approved electives include any graduate level mathematics course other than MATH 695 and the four courses used to meet the mathematics core requirements. If you would like to take elective courses outside of the mathematics department, contact your academic adviser to see if the elective is approved.

A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation with a MS degree (see the College of Graduate and Professional Studies course catalog).

There is no "typical" set of courses that students take their first semester. However, it is advisable to complete MATH 510 (Introduction to Analysis) and MATH 512 (Abstract Algebra) as soon as possible since they are prerequisites for many courses. You must complete at least 4 core courses before you plan to graduate, and you must also make sure that you have completed at least half of your credit hours at the 600 level or above (typically 5 courses in addition to MATH 695). Course offerings vary from semester to semester, so you should prioritize taking 600 level courses as they become available.

For more information please contact:  Professor Vin Isaia,


Registering for classes

Upon admission to the graduate program, you will be assigned an academic adviser and receive information about how to obtain an ISU email address and get access to ISU Portal (also known as MyISU). Once you have completed these steps, you should use the course schedule to select courses and ask your adviser if you have any questions. Distance students may take anywhere from 3 to 9 credits each semester. Graduate courses are typically online and asynchronous meaning that you do not have to attend lecture at a specific time, though it is possible that exams must be completed at a fixed time. You will be able to register throught ISU Portal during "Priority Registration." Dates are found in the academic calendar.

Depending on your background, you might see the message "Prerequisite and Test Score error" when you try to register for a course. To resolve this you should use your ISU email address (as always) to contact your academic adviser about the possibility of obtaining an override for this error. Once you have registered for courses, you will typically have access to course information through Blackboard one week before the semester begins.

Students typically register for MATH 695 Mathematics Research after completing 18 credits. However, as you complete your coursework, it is good to be actively trying to identify a professor with whom you would like to complete a 695 project. Individual professors may have different requirements for students to register for 695 with them so you should contact the professor before registering.


Graduate faculty

Liz Brown, Professor,

Jodi Frost, Associate Professor,

Mark Inlow, Assistant Professor,

Vin Isaia, Assistant Professor,

Yi-Yin "Winnie" Ko, Associate Professor,

Russell Lodge, Assistant Professor,

Christine Taylor, Assistant Professor,

Cheng Zhao, Professor,

Peng Zhao, Assistant Professor,