Welcome to the Department of Mathematics

Department of Mathematics at Illinois State University

Frequently Asked Questions

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Deadlines and Timelines Top of Page

Credit Hours and Courses Top of Page

  • How and when do I register for courses?

    You can register for courses on go.ilstu.edu and under student services center you can enroll in a course at ISU.

  • How do I request an override into a course?

    You may request an override by going to your Myilstu account login. Under the academics tab you see a link named course permit request (override). Fill out the proper information.

  • What is the minimum number of credit hours I can register for as a graduate student?

    Part time students enrolled in the mathematics department may have less than 9 credit hours.
    As a GA, student on fellowship, and international student: You must be registered as a full time student which is at least 9 credit hours. If you register for more than 15 credit hours, you must obtain approval from the graduate coordinator. During the summer sessions a full time student is considered to be at least 6 credit hours. However, if you are in your last semester as a master’s student you can register for a minimum of 1 credit hour but must file a form with the graduate coordinator who will approve your course load.

  • What is the maximum number of credit hours I can register for as a graduate student?

    Mat 400 (Independent Study for Master’s Students): Only 6 credit hours will count towards your degree.
    Mat 490 (Master’s Project): 3 credit hour course that can’t be repeated for credit.
    Mat 498 (Professional Practice): Between 1-4 credit hours will counted toward your degree
    Mat 499 (Thesis): Between 4-6 credit hours where a minimum of 4 are required for a master’s degree. More than 6 credit hours will not count towards graduation.
    Mat 500 (Independent Study for Doctoral Students): Only 12 credit hours will count towards your degree.

  • Can I repeat a course?

    Yes. You can take a course at most twice. The 3rd time taking a course requires permission from the graduate coordinator and the graduate school. Note that permission is not always granted and the grade received during your repeat semester is the grade that goes on your transcript regardless if it was better or worse.


  • Can I use courses from outside the mathematics department in my plan of study?

    Yes, you may but the course must be approved by the graduate coordinator in order to be counted towards your degree.

  • Can I take undergraduate classes?

    Yes. However, the credit hours will not count towards your graduate GPA. Although they will count towards your course load requirements. You may have to take an undergraduate course to satisfy pre-requisites for graduate level courses. In addition, you may have to take undergraduate courses to fulfil VEE’s for the Society of Actuaries.

  • Can I tranfer credits from other insitutions to count towards my Master's/Doctoral degree?

    Sometimes, with approval from the graduate coordinator and graduate school. Credits that are more than 6 years old will not transfer. If a course you wish to transfer was used to count towards your bachelor’s degree, you can’t use those credits to count towards your master’s degree. Only graduate level courses with a grade of B or better will transfer and they will only transfer as 300-level electives.

    Master’s Students: Generally, a maximum of 9 credit hours can be transferred. However, more than 9 needs to be approved by the graduate coordinator and graduate school.

    Ph.D. Students:
    Generally, a maximum of 6 credit hours can be transferred. However, more than 9 needs to be approved by the graduate coordinator and graduate school.

  • How do I audit a course and what does it mean to audit a course?

    In order to audit a course you must fill out the form located on this website.

    An auditor does not participate in the activity of the class but is expected to attend regularly. A student may register as an auditor in a class or classes if space is available. An Audit (AU) designation will appear on the student’s transcript when the instructor certifies that the student has attended the class on a regular basis. If the student has not attended regularly, a WX will be recorded on the transcript after the instructor has notified the Office of the University Registrar in writing that the student has not attended regularly.

  • Will you waive courses I've already taken?

    We may waive requirements on a case-by-case basis after considering your transcript. Note that we don’t waive credits only individual course requirements. This means that you must replace the credits for any course we waive with an equal number of other graduate mathematics credits.

  • What is a visiting graduate student?

    A visiting graduate student is one who either does not seek a degree at Illinois State or has not been officially admitted to a degree program. Only students admitted to Illinois State as a degree student or a visiting student may take graduate classes. More information can be attained here about visiting graduate students.

  • How many credits can I take as a visiting graduate student and will those credits transfer to a graduate program at ISU in the future?

    A student who has not yet been admitted into a degree program can take up to 9 credit hours as a visiting student at ISU. If a student at large gets admitted into a graduate program at ISU they can transfer up to 12 credit hours to their degree program.

Graduate Assistantships Top of Page

Master's Degree Top of Page

Ph.D. Degree Top of Page

  • What are the requirements for the Ph.D. program?

    Please find all that information here and then select your desired sequence for additional requirements.

  • How do I apply for graduation and the commencement ceremony at Redbird Arena as a Ph.D. student?

    We’re very glad to hear that you're close to finishing your master’s degree at ISU! Since deadlines come early, it’s good that you’re getting a jump on the paperwork. You need to file twoforms: a Ph.D. Degree AuditForm,and a Completion of Degree andCommencementParticipationForm. (Click on the links to get the forms.

    For your Degree AuditForm, fill out everything you can, including the courses you took, the number of credit hours, and your grades. Send your completedformas an email attachmentto Dr. Cynthia Langrall.

    The instructions for completing theCompletion of Degree and CommencementParticipationFormsare on the first page of thatform. There’s a $40 fee for filing thisform. It's important that you follow the deadlines for submitting thisform. Click on the tab for your graduation date to see the deadlines. We know it's early in the semester for submitting this paperwork, but the Registrar's Office has over a thousand of these to process. They need every bit of that time.

    You can send Dr. Langrall your degree audit as soon as you know which courses you’re going to take during your final semester. Leave blank the grades on any classes you may have taken over the summer and those you plan to take in the fall.

    For further information regarding graduation and commencement please visit http://grad.illinoisstate.edu/academics/graduation/. When it becomes time to participate in commencement, you will want to purchase your cap and gown from http://www.jostens.com/ by selecting Illinois State University as your school. Learn more information about participating in commencement from theGraduation Services Web Site. This site will tell you the schedule, give you directions to Redbird Arena, and much more.

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