A group of students looking over a canyon

Ancient Discipline, Cutting-Edge Field

Program Information

Although it's one of the most ancient disciplines, new math is being created every day. It can be found in everything from internet security, to green energy technology, to Wall Street investment strategies. In short, math is a cutting-edge field. 

The M.S. in Mathematics program is small enough to allow personal interaction between students and faculty but large enough for flexibility in catering to student interests in pure math, various applied topics, computer science, statistics, and/or mathematical physics.

Our graduate program currently has 18 Teaching Assistants receiving full financial support, and 5 self-supporting students. Our graduates have been very successful both in the general job market and in getting teaching positions in the community colleges. A number go on to Ph.D. programs at prestigious institutions.

Consider visiting Bellingham! See some of our classes in action. Meet current graduate students; find out how they live, what their offices are like, and how they like our program. 


The program prepares students for:

  • Continuing further graduate studies, or
  • Professional employment in industry, or
  • College teaching.

Application Requirements

  • All applicants must complete the Graduate School's ApplyWeb application and pay the $100 application fee.
  • Within the application you will be prompted to upload an unofficial transcript from each institution attended. If admitted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
  • Additional application materials are specified below. Applications will not be forwarded to the department for review until all required materials have been received by the Graduate School.
  • International Applicants: Please review the requirements for information regarding Degree Equivalency, English Language Proficiency and student VISA requirements.

Additional Application Requirements

  • Three (3) Letters of Reference
  • Your personal statement will be used primarily to aid in awarding of teaching assistantships.  It is therefore pertinent that you write it with this in mind.  In particular, we ask that you address the following.
    1. Mathematical motivation: what is your motivation to pursue an MS?  Was there a class, or mathematical result, which was instrumental in providing you motivation to continue your studies in math?
    2. Experience in working with learners: have you been involved in teaching or tutoring in any form?  What thoughts do you have about how to best enable undergraduates in beginner math classes to be successful?
    3. Equity, inclusion, and diversity:  Do you have any experience working with under-represented groups?  What thoughts do you have about providing an equitable learning environment to a diverse group of students?  Do you have any life experiences which are likely to contribute to the diversity and inclusiveness of Western's community?
    4. We are looking for students whose life experiences and/or previous activities are likely to contribute to the diversity and inclusiveness of the department.  We will evaluate
      1. Your academic preparation
      2. Your teaching potential
      3. Any evidence of the ability to learn independently
      4. Any experience in working with learners
      5. Your commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity
    •  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Please limit your response to two pages


WWU graduate Halley McCormick with plants in the background

The size of Western’s MS in Mathematics program and the unique opportunity for full funding through a TAship were the primary things that attracted me to grad school at WWU.

The grad classes are small. You make a lot of direct contact, and it’s all very approachable, but the rigor is definitely there!

Halley McCormick
MS Mathematics, 2021


Gabriel Wechter in the mountains, wearing a helmet with climbing rope around his shoulders

New Heights to Mathematics

Gabriel Wechter studied nonlinear scalar conservation laws in differential equations while teaching undergraduate courses and earning his master's degree in math. He's now a math instructor at Whatcom Community College.