Graduate Admission

We hope that this will answer some of your immediate questions about admission into the MS Program in Mathematics at CSULA. For any remaining questions, feel free to contact the Mathematics Department by calling (323) 343-2150.

How to apply

Step 1: Apply through CSU Mentor.   Follow all the instructions on CSU Mentor and send CSULA all the materials that they request.  These will include transcripts from your school(s).

Step 2: In addition to the CSU Mentor application and materials, the Mathematics Department requires that you submit the following application materials directly to the Mathematics Department: DOC or PDF.

For the most up-to-date admission deadlines go to this website:

Admission process

The minimum GPA requirement for admission to the Department is 2.75 in upper division courses in the applicant's major.  The admissions committee especially looks at all the applicant's grades in Mathematics courses.  Students with a Mathematics degree who have a GPA of between 2.5 and 2.74 might be admitted but, if admitted, may be required to take preperatory upper-division mathematics courses (to be specified by the graduate advisor) to strengthen their preparation.  The GPA earned in these courses must be 3.0 or higher. 

For students without an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, we require at the minimum that you have taken at least the following courses, or their equivalents, to be admitted into the program. 

  • MATH 2110 (Calculus I)
  • MATH 2120 (Calculus II)
  • MATH 2130 (Calculus III)
  • MATH 2150 (Differential Equations)
  • MATH 2550 (Introduction to Linear Algebra)
  • MATH 2450 (Foundations of Mathematics I: Discrete Mathematics) -- or a similar introduction to proofs course or proof based upper-division mathematics course.

The above courses are offered at community colleges in the Los Angeles area.  For example, MATH 2450 above is comparable to MATH 10 (Discrete Structures) at Santa Monica College or MATH 272 (Methods of Discrete Mathematics) at ELAC. 

See the course catalog for more information on these courses.  

Initially, if accepted, all students are admitted conditionally. Before taking courses counting towards the master's degree students must be in classified graduate status.   Classified means that you are ready to start the 30 semester units of course work that counts towards your MS degree.    We now outline below how this process of becoming classified occurs.  In each case, this process involves meeting with the graduate advisor.   Talking with the graduate advisor should be your first step once you are admitted conditionally into the program.

In order to attain classified graduate status, students with a Mathematics degree or an equivalent degree must have a minimum B or better grade in each of MATH 4650 – Analysis I and MATH 4550 – Modern Algebra I (or equivalent courses at other institutions) for Option 1 (General Mathematics); or a minimum B or better grade in each of MATH 4650 – Analysis I and MATH 4570 – Advanced Linear Algebra (or equivalent courses at other institutions) for Option 2 (Applied Mathematics).  

If you have an undergraduate degree in mathematics and you meet the grade requirements given in the paragraphs above, then the graduate advisor will map out a course program with you and classify you.   If you have an undergraduate degree in mathematics and do not meet the requirements given in the above paragraphs, then the graduate advisor will map out with you how to satisfy these requirements so that you can become classified.   In this second case, you may have to take some preparatory classes before becoming classified.

If your background is not “substantially equivalent” to a BA/BS in mathematics, you will be required to take prerequisite undergraduate mathematics courses before becoming classified.  The amount of prerequisite courses will depend on your undergraduate degree.   The prerequisite courses will include, if not already completed, MATH 4650 (Analysis I) and MATH 4550 (Modern Algebra I) for Option 1, or MATH 4650 (Analysis I) and MATH 4570 (Advanced Linear Algebra) for Option 2, with grade requirements as described above.  The prerequisite courses may take up to a year to complete depending on how many upper-division mathematics courses you took during your undergraduate education.  Note that the prerequisite courses will not count towards your master’s degree; they will be required prerequisite courses to prepare you for the program.  The graduate advisor will determine these prerequisite courses in an initial meeting with the student.

Transfer credit

Post-undergraduate courses taken elsewhere can count toward your MS degree. Such courses count as transfer credit and are limited to a total of 9 semester units.  You can consult with the graduate advisor to see if courses you have taken, or plan to take, can be transferred to your MS degree.

If, for example, you want to get started on your degree before you are admitted to the university, you can take courses through Open University. Courses taken through Open University can be transferred to your MS degree but are considered transfer credit and are subject to the 9 semester unit limit.

Financial aid

All university financial aid programs are administered by the Center for Student Financial Services. The Mathematics Department is not involved. For information on financial aid, see or call the Center for Student Financial Services at (323) 343-6260.

Teaching associates            

Many of our graduate students work as Teaching Associates in the department.

Requirements to become a TA


Math 2110, 2120, 2130 - Calculus
Math 2550 - Linear Algebra
Math 2150 - Differential Equations
MATH 2450 - Foundations of Mathematics I: Discrete Math (or a similar proofs class)
Math 3450 – Foundations of Mathematics II: Mathematical Reasoning (or a similar proofs class)
Math 4550 - Modern Algebra I
Math 4650 – Analysis I
plus 20 units of other math courses at 400 level or higher.