Institute of Mathematics

Master's course

The Masters course

The Masters course provides the student with a scientific education in depth, and develops the capability of independent scientific work. The degree is the "Master of Science in Mathematics" (MSc). 90 credit points (modules) are needed to obtain the degree. The recommended duration of the course is 3 semesters.

In the Masters course, substantial emphasis is placed upon a Masters thesis, requiring about 2 semesters of work, in the form of a research dissertation of a high scientific standard.

The MSc in mathematics is the qualification necessary for academic mathematical careers, and forms the scientific basis for a career as gymnasial teacher.

The Masters degree in mathematics can include a minor subject, requiring 30 credit points. The 30 credit points are on top of the 90 achieved in the major. 

The Masters degree carries a grade. The grade is the average of the marks obtained in the individual modules as well as the Masters thesis, weighted according to their credit points. The marks for major and minor subjects appear separately on the certificate. The weighted average is rounded up to the next 1/10 of a mark. Students must send an application to the Dean of Studies in order to obtain the degree. The necessary documents are listed in the "Merkblatt Masterarbeit und Masterprüfung". If all the conditions have been met, and if the application is made more than 3 weeks before a faculty meeting, the degree will be awarded at that meeting; otherwise, at the next one.

Detailed information is to be found in the "Studienordnung" for studying in the Bachelor and Master programs at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Zurich from July 1, 2015 and in the "Wegleitung for the study of mathematics".

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How do I find a master thesis?

Possible topics for a Master's thesis are dynamic and very individual, which is why it is difficult to specify a list of open Master's thesis topics. In the search for a suitable Master's thesis, we therefore recommend that you get in touch with one or a possible lecturer at the beginning of the Master's program. It is best to make an appointment for an initial interview, in which the topic of the Master's thesis may already be agreed upon. Once the topic is clear, you should also discuss the meaningful familiarization with the area. The preconditions which the individual lecturers place on their students are published from time to time in the Bulletin of the Fachvereins Mathematik or can be accessed via the homepage of the lecturer.

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Master Thesis

The masters thesis is a very essential part of the masters program, on which correspondingly much importance is to be attached.
The time required to complete the master's thesis is approximately 6 months, corresponding to the 30 ECTS.

The start of the master thesis as well as any modules as preparation will be agreed upon with the supervisor in advance.
Provided that the work is done accordingly, students are free to organize their own time (e.g. further modules for the master or minor program, part-time job, vacations) and use up to two semesters to write their master thesis.

The master exam is oral and lasts 60 minutes. The content of the Master's examination is the Master's thesis and the environment of the Master's thesis in agreement with the person responsible for the Master's thesis. The date of the Master's examination is agreed with the person responsible for the module of the Master's thesis. In addition to the person responsible for the Master's thesis, one to two other persons authorized to take part in the Master's examination participate in the Master's examination. Examiners are ordinary and extraordinary professors, assistant professors and adjunct professors, private lecturers and postdocs of the faculty. Corresponding persons of other faculties or university colleges can be consulted. In addition, assessors may be present who have an academic degree at the diploma or master level. You will find all leaflets as well as registration forms here.

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Admission without conditions to the master mathematics is possible with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics as a mono- or major program of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Zurich.

The admission requirement  for master mathematics is a bachelor's degree in mathematics at least at the level of a bachelor's major in mathematics of 120 ECTS credits. Without sufficient technical knowledge, admission may be conditional. Admission sur dossier is possible; without sufficient subject knowledge and competences, conditions or requirements may be imposed. The missing knowledge and competences are identified on the basis of the professional requirement profile.

With the required field of study from a Swiss university, but without sufficient technical knowledge, admission can be granted with conditions. For all other applicants, admission sur dossier is possible, without sufficient technical knowledge and competencies, conditions or requirements may be imposed. The missing knowledge and competences are identified on the basis of the technical requirement profile.

Requirement profile: Admission to the consecutive Master's mono- or major study program in Mathematics requires proven academic achievements that correspond both quantitatively (content and scope) and qualitatively (level and research relevance) at least to those of the Bachelor's major study program in Mathematics of 120 ECTS credits of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Zurich. These include basic knowledge and competences in linear algebra, analysis, numerics, algebra, geometry and stochastics amounting to at least 84 ECTS credits as well as advanced knowledge and competences in at least two areas of mathematics amounting to at least 32 ECTS credits.

More information and application deadlines: