Information about Degree Programs
Our Degree Programs at a Glance
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers five different graduate degree programs:
- MSc in Mathematics (Research-Focused Master's Degree with Thesis, typically 2 years)
- MMath in Mathematics (Course-Focused Master's Degree with Project, typically 1.5-2 years)
- PhD in Mathematics (Research-Focused Doctoral Degree with Thesis, typically 4-5 years)
- MSc in Statistics (Research-Focused Master's Degree with Thesis, typically 2 years)
- PhD in Statistics (Research-Focused Doctoral Degree with Thesis, typically 4-5 years)
The MSc and PhD are research-focused degrees, culminating in an original thesis. In particular, a PhD dissertation is intended to make a substantive and formative contribution to existing knowledge in mathematics, statistics, or the wider mathematical sciences. The MMath program is centred around courses and a final project whose outcome is an exposition or synthesis of existing and perhaps emerging ideas in the mathematical sciences.
Students applying to one of the three Mathematics degree programs (MSc, MMath, PhD) can select a specialization based on their area of interest. The specializations are Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, or Discrete Mathematics. The specializations are informal and a student can work at the interface of two or more of these (e.g. blending pure mathematical perspectives into applied problems). Choosing a specialization helps us to match a student with potential supervisors and will influence graduate courses that they will take, if they are successfully admitted to the program.
In the majority of cases, students will take approximately 2 years to complete the MSc program in Mathematics or Statistics, although students sometimes take a shorter time (e.g. 1.5 years) or a longer time (e.g. 2.5-3 years). Students completing the MMath program will often take 1.5-2 years to complete the program, although this is partly subject to the availability of appropriate courses given the larger number of courses required compared to our other programs. Finally, students will often take between 4 and 5 years to complete the PhD program in Mathematics or Statistics, although it is not unusual for students to require a longer period (e.g. 6 years).
All three degrees (MSc, MMath, and PhD) involve taught courses that are designed to give students a solid foundation in graduate-level mathematics and/or statistics as they approach the research frontier of, and cutting-edge ideas within, these disciplines. As the MMath program is not research-based, it involves more coursework than the other programs.
Please consult these pages regarding the official admissions requirements for our programs:
- MSc candidates in Mathematics are required to complete a minimum of 9 credit units of coursework (equivalent to 3 one-term courses) at the graduate level as part of their degree requirements.
- MMath candidates are required to complete a minimum of 24 credit units of coursework (equivalent to 8 one-term courses) as part of their degree requirements, with at least 18 credit units at the graduate level.
- MSc candidates in Statstics are required to complete a minimum of 12 credit units of coursework (equivalent to 4 one-term courses) as part of their degree requirements, with at least 9 credit units at the graduate level.
- PhD candidates in Mathematics or Statistics are required to complete a minimum of 9 credit units of coursework (equivalent to 3 one-term courses) at the graduate level as part of their degree requirements.
The total number of required courses will be determined by the student's Master's or PhD Advisory Committee, which includes their supervisor(s) as well as additional faculty experts.
For more information about the course work requirement and other policies associated with the program, please see Information for Current Students.
MSc Thesis Requirements
In addition to the coursework requirement (9 credit units for Mathematics and 12 credit units for Statistics), MSc candidates must complete an original thesis that elicits or anticipates an original point of view on emerging theoretical topics and/or applications in mathematics, statistics, or the wider mathematical sciences. A student in this program will have a thesis supervisor(s) who will guide the student towards completing the thesis. The adequacy of the thesis is decided by an Examination Committee consisting of the candidate's Advisory Committee and an Arm's Length Examiner drawn from within or outside the University. The candidate must pass an oral defence based on the work in the thesis.
MMath Project Requirements
In addition to the 24 credit units or more of coursework (of which at least 18 must be at the graduate level), MMath candidates must complete a project whose outcome is an exposition or synthesis of existing and perhaps emerging theoretical ideas and/or applications in the mathematical sciences. A student in this program will have a project supervisor(s) who will guide the student towards completing the project. The written project will be evaluated by the student's MMath Advisory Committee but will not be subject to a defence.
PhD Qualifying, Comprehensive, and Thesis Requirements
In addition to the 9 credit units or more of graduate-level coursework, a student registering in the PhD program in Mathematics or Statistics must pass a written Qualifying Examination within the first 12 months of their program in order to demonstrate sufficient knowledge aspects of the discipline relevant to their eventual thesis work. The Qualifying Examination consists of two written exams, delivered remotely (i.e. via Canvas, our University's learning management system). The exams are open book with solutions due within a 24-hour window. The topics of the two exams are to be chosen by the student's PhD Advisory Committee in consultation with the student.
After the student has completed all course requirements for the PhD and the Qualifying Examination, the student will be required to pass a Comprehensive Examination. which consists of a written report, an oral presentation, and an oral examination conducted by the candidate's Advisory Committee and is intended to ensure the student is prepared to begin work on the proposed area(s) of research.
The research for the PhD thesis and the thesis preparation are supervised by designated research supervisor(s). The student is required to submit a thesis containing a formative and worthwhile contribution that enhances current knowledge within a specialized theoretical and/or applied aspect(s) of mathematics, statistics, or the wider mathematical sciences. The adequacy of the thesis is decided by an Examination Committee consisting of the candidate's Advisory Committee, University Examiner drawn from within the University, and an External Examiner drawn from outside this University. The candidate must pass an oral defence based on the work in the thesis.
For more information about the course work requirement, Qualifying and Comprehensive examination procedures, and other policies associated with the program, please see Information for Current Students.
Separate from our primary programs and specializations is the Collaborative Biostatistics Program, which is an interdisciplinary graduate program managed by the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan with support from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
Applications to the Collaborative Biostatistics Program cannot be made through Mathematics and Statistics and require a separate, dedicated application.
Information for International Students
The language of instruction and examination at the University of Saskatchewan is English. Applicants for admission whose first language is not English must, therefore, present evidence of proficiency in English prior to initial registration. Evidence of proficiency in English is necessary, as evidenced by a degree from a country where one of the official languages is English, or approved standardized testing (TOEFL examination or equivalent).
We are pleased to be able to offer financial support to the majority of our graduate students. In the course of the application process, applicants are advised about the possibility of financial support and about particular funding opportunities.
Financial support for graduate students is normally offered in the form of Graduate Teaching Fellowships (GTFs). These fellowships provide full funding (up to 19,000 CAD per year for MSc, and up to 22,000 CAD per year PhD) as well as valuable teaching experience. Furthermore, our PhD-level GTFs are guaranteed for 4 consecutive years subject to the maintenance of good academic performance. Fellowship holders will serve as tutorial assistants and graders during the Fall and Winter terms (and sometimes the Spring and Summer, depending on the availability of courses and teacing hours). The majority of our current MSc and PhD students are funded through GTFs. The Department automatically considers all eligible applicants for GTF funding without a separate application. Similarly to admission itself, funding is competitive and we typically cannot give funding to applicants with an entrance GPA lower than 80%. Please note that MMath candidates are ineligible for funding. Supervisors themselves may have funding through various grants and collaborations that they can offer to prospective students, and supervisors typically contribute funds to each GTF that is awarded.
Our Department also has access to a very limited number of CGPS 75th Anniversary Scholarships that can be awarded to graduate students each year. These are valued at 20,000 CAD with no teaching obligations. In most cases, we will use this award as a one-time recruitment award for especially outstanding applicants. In most cases, a student who receives a CGPS 75th Scholarship in their first year will have a GTF in their second year. If the CGPS 75th is awarded to a PhD applicant, the value may be increased to a maximum of 22,000 CAD by the Department to match the value of GTFs awarded in the same year. We aim to award the CGPS 75th Scholarships equitably between candidates in Mathematics and Statistics.
We also note that our Department has been home to a number of PhD students who have been named Teacher-Scholar Doctoral Fellows (TSDFs). These one-year awards give senior PhD students with exceptional research and teaching potential the opportuity to lead the instruction of a mathematics or statistics course.
Beyond these awards, there exist additional institutional and national scholarships that require additional applications, such as those of NSERC, which is Canada's national science funding body. We are pleased that our Department has been home to a number of NSERC scholarship winners in the past few years. For more information on funding external to the Department, please see:
Please note that the majority of NSERC scholarships are open only to permanent residents and citizens of Canada.
Applicants from China have the opportunity to apply for the China Scholarship Council (CSC) Scholarship, which allows them to undertake a bridging research period at the University of Saskatchewan. Eigible candidates must formally apply and be admitted to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Saskatchewan as "Non-Degree Joint Students". The application procedures are here.
Please Note: MMath applicants are ineligible for internal financial support, funding, or scholarships. Also, as the MMath degree is not research-based, candidates are furthermore ineligible for most external funding.
Graduate Program Contact Information
Dr. Steven Rayan, Graduate Chair in Mathematics
Dr. Chris Soteros, Graduate Chair in Statistics