Mathematics (MSc)

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Length of program

Full-time: 24 months Part-time: 48 months

Mode of delivery

In person

Program consists of:

  • Thesis
  • Coursework
  • Co-op (optional)




Summer, Fall and Spring

Program description

The MSc program is 24 months for full-time students and 48 months for part-time students. The format for the degree consists of at least 3 graduate level courses and a thesis. All students will take Algebra (Math 5405), Analysis (Math 5505), and a third course. In some cases, a student may be required to include undergraduate courses as well, if additional background preparation is required.

The thesis is the most significant component of work towards the degree and usually involves original research. The first step for any prospective student is to select a potential supervisor and in consultation with the supervisor, organise a research plan including possible thesis topic, before admission to the program. Faculty research interests are a critical factor in this preliminary decision.

The department is attempting to expand and strengthen its research activities and graduate students will play an important role in this endeavour. Almost all faculty members in the department receive external or internal funding to support their research programs.

Graduate degrees traditionally have been awarded for the successful completion of a satisfactory thesis. The thesis route expresses the fundamental tradition of academic scholarship. It also relates to the University's undergraduate programs, because the creation of a thesis in any discipline calls for a range of skills which are central to the liberal education tradition, including analysis and synthesis of ideas, empirical investigations, the construction and articulation of arguments, and writing skills.

Students with a BSc major in mathematics with a strong GPA, should be well-prepared to enter the MSc program.

In case of discrepancies between this page and the Graduate Studies Calendar and Course Catalogue, the Graduate Studies Calendar and Course Catalogue shall prevail.

Finding a supervisor

​Students are required to secure a potential supervisor prior to submitting an application for this program.​ Additional supervisors may be available. For further information please visit our Search Supervisors page.

Career pathways

Being a mathematician is touted as being the best of all jobs. In 2009, the Wall Street Journal published a study ranking Mathematician, Actuary and Statistician as the top three careers. Other recent surveys grading job satisfaction according to income, job security, stress and work environment all ranked jobs involving mathematical reasoning and knowledge at the very top.

Here are just a few of the options open to you once you've earned your degree:

Researcher, Cryptologist, Statistician, Actuary, Economist, Investment Banker, Computer Scientist, Systems Analyst, Software Developer, Physicist, Geologist, Meteorologist, Astronomer, Ecologist, Epidemiologist, Biomathematician, Biostatistician, Operations Research Analyst, Sales Manager

The University of Lethbridge MSc graduates in mathematics have gone through successful careers. Many of them decided to continue in a Ph.D. program and pursue a research career.

Additional information

The department has a number of research-related activities, including the Colloquium Lecture Series, Number Theory and Combinatorics Seminars, and Optimization Research Group Seminars, all highlighting leading experts from other universities as guest speakers. The Number Theory and Combinatorics Seminar has been particularly active over the last ten years with over 200 seminars including 50 external speakers.

The department has also hosted high profile research conferences including Number Theory Day 2008, Canadian Number Theory Association 2012 (CNTA XII), Western Canada Linear Algebra Meeting (W-CLAM) 2012, Algebraic Design Theory and Hadamard Matrices 2014 (ADTHM), and Alberta Mathematics Dialogue 2015 (AMD). The CNTA XII meeting was one of the largest conferences hosted at the university with nearly 200 participants from all over the world.

Our department became a member of PIMS (the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences) in 2012. PIMS was created in 1996 by the community of mathematical scientists in Alberta and British Columbia, and subsequently extended to both Washington State, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. It is a multi-million dollar venture, with various universities being awarded funding for projects, conferences, speakers, post doctoral positions, graduate scholarships, etc.

The mandate of PIMS is to promote research in and applications of the mathematical sciences, to facilitate the training of highly qualified personnel, to enrich public awareness of and education in the mathematical sciences, and to create mathematical partnerships with similar organizations in other countries (with a particular focus on the Pacific Rim). PIMS funds Collaborative Research Groups, Post-Doctoral Fellowships and individual events on a competitive basis.

There are many benefits of having membership in PIMS. Each year the department has two post-doctoral fellows in-house, sponsored by PIMS. Several financial awards have been granted to faculty and graduate students in the department.

The Department of Mathematics has faculty members who conduct research in the following fields:

  • Algebra
  • Analysis
  • Combinatorics
  • Logic
  • Number Theory, and
  • Statistics

The research strengths of the department include Number Theory and Combinatorics.

The mathematics program will allow you to develop a variety of mathematical skills, such as: dealing with abstract concepts, analyzing and solving problems, constructing mathematical arguments, analyzing and interpreting data, finding patterns and drawing conclusions, applying mathematical theories to physical theories, and using mathematical software. You will also learn to present arguments and conclusions with accuracy and clarity, organize your work and time effectively, as well as build on your critical thinking, communication and teamwork skills.