“Four plus” BA/BS – MA program

In conjunction with the University of Maine Graduate School, the Department of Mathematics & Statistics offers the opportunity for ambitious mathematics majors to begin taking graduate courses during their senior year, with the possibility of double-counting these credits toward both the BA/BS and the MA. Enterprising students will then be able to get an MA by staying on just one extra year.  Most of our graduate students, including 4+1 students in their fifth year, receive a full tuition waiver and a living stipend by serving as teaching assistants (offered on a competitive basis).  The 4+ program is designed to prepare math students for academic careers, teaching, or industry, with many students continuing into PhD programs.


Any undergraduate student may take graduate level courses with departmental permission.  You do not need to be a 4+ student to do this.  Furthermore, any MAT/STS 5** classes taken by an undergraduate that are not needed for either (a) the 120 credits needed for a bachelor’s degree, or (b) a program requirement for their undergraduate major, may be counted toward a subsequent mathematics MA degree, regardless of whether or not the student is in a 4+ program. The 4+ program is a great option for students who can accelerate their degree progress by counting up to 9 credits of graduate-level courses towards both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees as described above (and in more detail below).


1. Interested UMaine undergraduates should apply by February 1 of their junior year (the year in which they have at least 60 but no more than 100 completed credit hours applicable towards graduation). The application materials shall consist of the following:

  • A transcript (unofficial is fine).
  • A statement of purpose in which either the thesis option (4+2) or the non-thesis option (4+1) is specified.
  • A program of study prepared in consultation with an advisor from the Graduate Faculty indicating coursework that will lead to the degree within the required time-frame.  This should include a completed BA worksheet  or BS worksheet indicating classes to be double counted (if any).
  • A least two letters of recommendation written by faculty in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics.
  • GRE scores (optional, but see item 6 below).

Application materials should be submitted as PDF attachments to math.grad.apps@maine.edu.  The Graduate Committee will make its decision on provisional admission for each applicant by April 1 of the same year, and submit the names and programs of study of all provisionally admitted 4+ students to the Graduate School.

2. Students must maintain an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 from the time of application through graduation.

3. Students must be on track to completing the undergraduate core requirements by the end of the Junior year, with the exception of the Capstone in Mathematics which requires Senior standing. The core classes at this time are: MAT 126, 127, 228, (Calculus I, II, III), MAT 261 (Intro to Abstract Math), MAT 262 (Linear Algebra), MAT 425 (Real Analysis I), MAT 434 (Intro to Statistics), and MAT 463 (Abstract Algebra I).

4. Before graduation, provisionally admitted students may take up to nine credits of 500‐level MAT courses towards the MA degree which will also count towards the Bachelor’s degree (joint credits). 400-level courses cannot be double-counted.

5. During the Senior year, students must enroll in MAT 401 (Capstone in Mathematics). For 4+2 students, research for the capstone will be conducted under supervision of an advisor from the Graduate Faculty, with the idea that it will lead into a Master’s thesis.

6. In January of the Senior year, provisionally admitted students must formally apply for admission to the graduate program through the Graduate School (including payment of the application fee). Submission of GRE scores is optional for such students, but students wishing to be considered for assistantships should be aware that they will be compared with applicants for whom GRE scores are required. (Note: As of 2021, we are not requiring GRE scores for any applicants to the program.)

7. Upon graduation with a Bachelor’s degree with satisfactory performance (defined as 3.0 cumulative GPA and no grade below “B” in the courses to be double-counted for the MA degree), the student may be formally matriculated into the Master’s program. Matriculation in the MA program must occur within three months after receiving their Bachelor’s degree in order to use the joint credits. Under extraordinary circumstances, a student may petition to delay matriculation up to an additional 12 months at the discretion of the Graduate Committee and the Graduate School.

8. Upon matriculating into the graduate program, the existing MA program requirements will apply.

9. A limited number of research and teaching assistantships will be available to matriculated graduate students. Recipients are selected on a competitive basis from the whole pool of eligible graduate students.

10. Students may switch between the 4+1 and 4+2 options at any time with approval of the Graduate Coordinator.

11. Any 4+2 student who does not complete the Master’s degree within 27 months of matriculation (4 semesters + 3 summers) or any 4+1 student who does not complete the Master’s degree within 15 months of matriculation (2 semesters + 2 summers) will not be allowed to count toward their Master’s degree any courses also applied to the Bachelor’s degree unless the student’s committee petitions the Graduate School for an extension due to extraordinary circumstances and the Graduate School grants the exception.