Requirements for Both M.S. Tracks

University Rules on Residence Requirements, Time Limits and GPA

  1. Continuous Enrollment Policy: Students are required to maintain continuous registration (be enrolled each semester, excluding summer sessions) until they graduate. Students may request a leave of absence for up to a year. Such requests must be made at least one month before the start of the leave of absence and must be approved by the advisory committee, the mathematics graduate program director and the Graduate School. If a student graduates in the second summer session, then they must be enrolled for either the first or second summer session.
  2. Students engaged in a course of study leading to the master’s degree are required to be in residence, pursuing graduate work, for a minimum of one full academic year or its equivalent.
  3. All requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within six calendar years, beginning on the date that the student first registers for courses carrying graduate credit applicable to the degree program.
  4. A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.


If a student is supported by a half-time teaching assistantship, a research assistantship or a fellowship, normally the Mathematics Department commits to continue to support them in one of these categories. For a student supported by a lecture assistantship or one-third-time assistantship, normally the Mathematics Department commits to continue to support them in one of these categories. However, continued support is contingent upon a student’s

  • remaining in good academic standing (see below), and
  • conscientiously fulfilling the duties of the teaching, grading or research position.

Normally, M.S. students are not supported after their second year of graduate study in the Mathematics Department. Unsupported students are sometimes offered positions on an as-needed basis, with no commitment of further support.

Minimum Progress to Remain in Good Academic Standing

  1. All students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better.
  2. Students should have 18 credit hours (six courses) toward their degree by the end of the first year.
  3. The university requires that master’s students who teach courses (as opposed to students who lead recitation sections or otherwise assist with lecture courses) have 18 credit hours toward their degrees. To meet its teaching responsibilities, the Mathematics Department needs almost all teaching assistants who have completed their first year to be able to teach courses; thus the 18-hour requirement is necessary. If a student cannot meet the 18-hour requirement, they should the director of graduate programs as early as possible.
  4. After three semesters, students should have made sufficient progress so that it is reasonable to assume that all requirements for the master’s degree will be completed by the end of the second year.

Summer Support

Mathematics graduate student half-time TAs and RAs who are in good academic standing and have conscientiously fulfilled the duties of their position have first priority for summer teaching assistantships and grading positions. Within this group, first-year students, students planning to take the Ph.D. Written Qualifying Exams in August and students planning to finish Ph.D. dissertations or master’s projects over the summer have top priority. Others are given priority based on seniority.

After this group, unsupported mathematics graduate students, supported mathematics graduate students who are not in good standing and then TAs from other departments are considered. First-year students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents but are not North Carolina residents generally need to maintain a residence in North Carolina to establish in-state residency for tuition purposes.