ETSU Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Graduate Program - Overview and Miscellaneous

A student may pursue a program of study to include course work in other mathematically or statistically oriented disciplines. For example, under the supervision of a graduate advisor, the student may design a program in which as much as half of the student's course work is taken at the graduate level in a discipline such as computer science, management science, physics, technology, or some other quantitatively oriented area.

Depending on the design of the program, opportunities for the student who successfully completes the M.S. degree are numerous. These programs may lead to careers in business, industry, government, research, or advanced teaching positions in secondary or higher education.

Admission to the School of Graduate Studies

The following materials must be submitted before an applicant will be considered for admission:
  1. Payment of required nonrefundable application fee.
  2. A completed application form.
  3. An official transcript of all previous undergraduate and graduate work.
  4. A completed personal vita form and essay.
When all required material is received, the Graduate School will forward the applicant's material to the Graduate Coordinator in the Mathematics Department for approval of admission. The final decision to admit or reject an applicant rests with the university through the dean of Graduate Studies. For additional information, check out the School of Graduate Studies webpage.

Mathematics Program Admission Requirements

For admission to the program, a student must:
  1. have a bachelors degree from an accredited college or university in mathematics or in a related area.
  2. submit general GRE scores,
  3. submit three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic performance and likelihood of success in graduate school, and
  4. completed all of the admission requirements of the graduate school.
In addition, international students must have acceptable TOEFL scores (more more details, check here). Incoming students lacking certain prerequisites may be required to make up these deficiencies. However, graduate credit will not be given for this course work.

Comprehensive Exams

Each student is required to take a comprehensive examination in Calculus I-II and Linear Algebra. These exams are to be taken during the first semester of enrollment. In the event that a student does not achieve a grade of "B" or better on the exam, the student must make arrangements to do remedial work and retake the exam at the next scheduled time. The student may not register for MATH 5960 - Thesis until both exams have been passed by achieving a grade of B or better. For more details, see the ETSU Math Graduate Program Comprehensive Exams webpage.


The chair of the student's committee will ordinarily direct the research and preparation of the thesis. After selecting a topic, the student, in consultation with the student's committee, must prepare a tentative outline and the student must give a preliminary presentation. The outline and preliminary presentation paperwork are kept current during the preparation of the thesis and contained in the student's graduate folder. for more details, see Thesis and Graduation requirements.

Core Requirements

Every candidate must complete Real Analysis I (MATH 5210) and Modern Algebra I (MATH 5410). If a student does thesis work with one of the departmental statisticians (Hendrickson, Lewis, or Price) then a substitution of Statistical Methods I (STAT 5710) for Modern Algebra I (MATH 5410) may be approved. The student's program of study must contain at least one two-course sequence. The two-course sequence may contain a course from the above requirements. Examples of two-course sequences include:
  • Real Analysis I and II (MATH 5210-5220)
  • Graph Theory I and II (MATH 5340-5350)
  • Modern Algebra I and II (MATH 5410-5420)
  • Complex Analysis I and II (MATH 5510-5520)
  • Applied Mathematics I and II (MATH 5610-5620)
  • Statistical Methods I and II (STAT 5710-5720)
  • Operations Research I and II (MATH 5810-5820)
  • Numerical Analysis I and II (MATH 5850-5860)

Senior/Graduate Courses Offered

ETSU offers several classes cross-listed as both undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduates and graduates share the same classroom, but the graduate students are required to do additional or alternative work (at a higher conceptual level) beyond that of the undergraduates. Up to 30% of a student's credit hours may be in these cross-listed classes. Those with an insufficient undergraduate background in mathematics may be required to take certain of these classes (in particular, Introduction to Modern Algebra I and Analysis I and II). These courses are usually offered yearly and include: Mathematical Statistics I & II, Introduction to Modern Algebra (a prerequisite for a required core class), Introduction to Modern Geometry, Analysis I, Analysis II (a prerequisite for a required core class), Numerical Analysis, Numerical Linear Algebra, Applications of Statistics, Sampling and Survey Techniques, Complex Variables.

Graduate-Credit-Only Courses Offered

At least 70% of a students credit hours must be in "graduate only" courses. These courses are usually offered every other year and include: Theory of Matrices, Real Analysis I & II, Differential Geometry, Graph Theory I & II, Modern Algebra I & II, Complex Analysis I & II, Applied Mathematics I & II, Fundamentals of Functional Anlaysis, Statistical Methods I & II, Operations Research I & II, Numerical Analysis I & II, Independent Study, Readings and Research, Thesis. The core courses Real Analysis I and Modern Algebra I are offered annually. Graph Theory I and II are, due to high demand, also offered annually.


The Department of Mathematics currently has a total of 18 Graduate Assistantships and 4 additional tuition scholarships. Graduate Assistant stipends range from $7,600 - $8,600 for 9 month contracts and $10,650 for 12 month contracts. Each assistantship includes a tuition waiver for the contracted period. The positions fall into the following categories:
  • The first year teaching assistant is paid $7,600 and is responsible for 20 hours/week of work, usually in the form of tutoring, grading, and assisting of a professor. There are four of these positions.
  • The second year teaching associate may be put in charge of teaching one or two sections of their own three-semester-hour freshman class(es). The stipend for teaching associates is $8,600. There are four of these positions.
  • The department offers assistantships in Learning Support, which involve orchestration of classes for students not quite ready for college level math classes. These are 9 month positions and pay $9,400 per calendar year. There are four of these positions.
  • There is another category of 12 month position which involves tutoring in the Center For Academic Achievement (CFAA). These positions pay $10,650 per calendar year. These require 20 hours/week of work in the CFAA which involves tutoring in freshman and sophomore level classes, particularly our general education statistics class. There are four of these positions.
  • There are two additional positions which pay $8,400 for fall and spring. These positions pay slightly more than the other positions available to first year students, but have similar obligations to the other first year positions. These positions are used to try to offer a competitive stipend as part of recruitment of talented first year students. There are two of these positions.
A tuition scholarship may be awarded to a graduate student who has been admitted to the program for the first time. The work assignments for the scholarship will be equivalent to 8 hours per week and may be in instruction, research and/or service. These scholarships do not come with a stipend, but do include a tuition waiver. If you hold an assistantship provided by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, then you will be required to sit in on an Introduction to Probability and Statistics (MATH 1530) class (this 3 hours per week will be credited towards the required 20 hours per week). More details are available on the Statistics Proficiency Exam webpage. For more information and assitantships, see the Frequently Asked Questions: Financial Aid and Assistantships webpage.

Tuition and Fees

Student's with an Assistantship or tuition scholarship will receive a tuition waiver, but must still pay fees. Fees are (as of spring 2018) aroung $800 per semester (much more for out-of-state students not on assistantship). The latest graduate tution rates can be found at the Graduate Fees website.

For the latest on-campus housing rates, see the Living on Campus webpage. For additional information, see the Department of Housing and Residence Life.

Last updated: May 7, 2018.

East Tennessee State University
Box 70267
Johnson City, TN 37614-0267
Tel.: 423-439-1000
Department of Mathematics
312 Gilbreath Hall | PO Box 70663
Johnson City, TN 37614-0663
Phone: 423-439-4349
Fax: 423-439-8361