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Texas A&M University

Distance Education - M.S. in Mathematics

Notes on Making Your Degree Plan

There's not much counseling we can offer. Here is your plan, just about everyone's plan. See also the Graduate Program Pages.

The Plan

First, select your masters committee chair. This is a member of the Math Department that will basically sign the paperwork and help get you through the process. In addition, you need two other faculty on your committee, one inside and one outside the mathematics department.

A. Make your degree plan to include all nine math courses on our distance education website.

B. Select two education courses from the list. A rule of thumb is that the course should pertain in some way to mathematics education such as the teaching mathematics or using technology in mathematics education.

C. Select STAT 651 and possibly 652 or 653. You may select Stat 652 and/or Stat 653 only with the approval of your committee chair.

D. If you plan to transfer courses to the program... Math courses must be at the graduate level and pertain strictly to mathematics. Education courses that pertain in some way to mathematics education. In both cases, you must submit catalog descriptions of the courses. Finally, by University rule, you must have been a degree-seeking graduate student when these courses were taken. (See below for more rules.)

E. With your courses selected, write up your degree plan. It will have 36 credit hours or more. It is recommended that you work with your committee chair on the preparation of your degree plan, as your chair must ultimately approve it.

The"deficiencies" portion of the degree plan pertains only to mathematics courses we offer online. Exceptions can be sometimes made to these provisions, but only with the direct support and approval of your committee chair.

Transferring Credits

You may transfer at most twelve credit hours to the masters degree with the following stipulations.

  1. You must have been a degree seeking graduate student at the accredited institution where you earned the credits.
  2. Each course for transfer needs to be individually approved by your committee chair and the department.
  3. You may only transfer up to six hours of education courses.
  4. You may transfer up to twelve hours of graduate level mathematics courses

Statistics Notes

For all statistics courses you must obtain enrollment permission from Dr. Speed. He requires you to read in full this page. Follow the directions exactly. (email

Now, in reality what you do is take (appropriate) courses that are available and petition to replace them on your degree plan. The petition is a virtually automatic process that is prepared by you under the supervision of your committee chair. All committee members must sign it. You see, there's not much latitude. Basically, you will need to take what's offered. Keep in mind that the degree "plan" is just that, not a "contract." Most all students make a petition or two during the course of their studies.

Send the plan first to your committee chair for approval and then a signed version to Judy Muzny. Then we route the approved version for signatures. That's all there is too it.

Final Oral Examination

You will need to take a final oral examination. This can be taken during your final term. You need to arrange a time and date with your advisor AND committee well in advance of the planned examination. It is recommended you begin arrangements at least three to four months prior to the time you want to take the oral exam.

Setting Up the Oral Exam

Pick a couple of dates well in advance of the current time, but before the deadline to graduate at your preferred semester. Get the opinion of your committee members on what date and time they prefer. This can take several iterations of creating times and dates. When all agree on a time and date, contact Monique Stewart to initiate the paperwork to the OGS.

For most of you, the oral exam will be mediated through Centra conferencing software. Instructions for downloading the client portion of Centra (it's free) will be given as the exam time nears. We like to do at least one "dry-run" to be sure the connection speed and quality are adequate beforehand.

Final Oral Preparation

You will need to prepare for this oral as it is designed to be a comprehensive examination over all of your course materials. Take this preparation seriously. Some of your committee members may make suggestions on what to emphasize in your preparations.