Graduate Study in Mathematical Sciences

The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers a program of instruction and research leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Students have access to the traditional areas of doctoral work, including applied mathematics, complex analysis, differential equations, differential geometry, functional analysis, group theory, mathematics education, matrix computations, number theory, numerical analysis, probability theory, ring theory, statistics, and topology. Small classes and a high degree of interaction with the research faculty promote a strong learning environment.

The program is nontraditional in that all students develop a significant application of the computer to current mathematics and spend at least one semester visiting a governmental or industrial research facility prior to completing the degree. The result is a perspective of the mathematical sciences as an integrated whole with appropriate roles for both pure and applied mathematics. The required combination of course work, experience, and research enables a graduate of the program to pursue a career in either academic or non-academic settings.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers the Master of Science degree in Mathematics with specialization in Pure Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Applied Mathematics, Computational Mathematics; the Master of Science degree in Teaching and the Master of Science degree in Applied Probability and Statistics.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences has about 40 faculty members and 100 graduate students, half in the doctoral program.

Financial Assistance

Fellowships and graduate teaching assistantships carry a tuition-waiver scholarship and are available to qualified students. Experienced graduate students have the opportunity to teach a section of calculus, with full responsibility and an enhanced stipend. In addition, the Graduate School offers assistantships and fellowships, some specifically designated for minorities and women in areas in which they are underrepresented. Information on these awards can be obtained from the department or directly from the Graduate School.

Faculty and Facilities

Northern's mathematical sciences faculty is a large and diverse group, presently pursuing a variety of research interests. All graduate faculty members have published research articles in refereed journals and twenty-two of these faculty are, or have been, funded by the National Science Foundation or other federal funding agencies to pursue basic research. Several faculty have been named Presidential Research Professor by the university.

Every effort is made to keep advanced classes small, and the standard of teaching is high; the department has placed a finalist in the campus-wide competition for excellence in teaching awards for 18 of the past 20 years, the best record in the university. Three members of the graduate faculty have been named Presidential Teaching Professor by the university.

Library holdings are excellent; they include over 250 research journals and serials and 10,000 research monographs.

Computer resources in the department are constantly and rapidly evolving. This distributed environment with full internet connectivity supports faculty, staff, and graduate students alike. In addition, the university supports a network of microcomputer laboratories, equipped with Macintosh and IBM-compatible PCs.

Research Interests of Graduate Faculty

Graduate Faculty Roster.

Brief narratives of many of the graduate faculty are available online.

The University

Northern Illinois University is a large and diverse institution with nearly 16,000 undergraduates and over 6,000 graduate students. Through the Colleges of Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Health and Human Sciences, Law, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Visual and Performing Arts, the university offers a large array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The main campus is located in DeKalb, a pleasant residential community of 35,000 located 65 miles west of Chicago via Interstate 88. The university's location within 60 miles of some 8,000,000 people offers many cultural, recreational, and economic opportunities. The well-known Schools of Art and Music present a variety of exhibits and programs every year.

For More Information

Visit the NIU Graduate School for additional online information, including:

Further information on the master's programs in mathematics and the doctoral program in mathematical sciences is available from

  Prof. Jeff Thunder, Director of Graduate Studies
  Department of Mathematical Sciences
  Northern Illinois University
  DeKalb, Illinois 60115-2888

and from the Graduate Program Web Page.

Further information on the master's program in applied probablility and statistics is available from the Director of the Division of Statistics.

Last modified: 06/10/2016 (jt)