Mathematics, MA

The Masters of Arts program in mathematics is intended for students who wish to go into professional careers in mathematics, and who have a background corresponding to an undergraduate mathematics major.

Students in the masters program take at least eight graduate mathematical courses numbered 5000 and above, including at least one each in algebra, analysis, and geometry-topology. The other courses can be in either pure or applied mathematics, and some can be taken in other departments. There is also a requirement to pass the Masters Preliminary Exam and to submit and defend a masters thesis. 

The masters degree can also be earned by Penn Math Ph.D. students, on the way to their Ph.D. In addition, Penn Ph.D. students in allied fields of study can also apply to enter the masters program in mathematics, which can allow them to earn both degrees simultaneously.

View the University’s Academic Rules for Research Master's Programs.


A total of 8 course units are required for graduation. A minimum of 4 course units must be taken at the University of Pennsylvania.

Core Requirements
Select eight course units at the 5000-level and above 18
Total Course Units8

At least four courses must be taken in the Penn Mathematics Department. Among these courses, every student must take at least a semester of graduate courses in each of algebra, analysis and geometry-topology.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.

Bridge to Ph.D. Program

The Bridge to PhD is a master’s program in mathematics offered by the University of Pennsylvania. The goal of this program is to increase the number of PhD’s awarded in mathematics at Penn to members of groups that are traditionally underrepresented. This program is different than conventional master’s programs as students will be fully funded and prepared for direct entry into a PhD program. 

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