Applied mathematics is an interdisciplinary field and one of the most dynamic areas of study in all of science. It has applications in physics, engineering, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, ecology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, economics and a number of other disciplines.
In the online Master of Science in Applied & Computational Mathematics at the University of Washington, you’ll get an outstanding education and earn a highly marketable degree. Graduates of this top-ranked program leave with the knowledge and skills to become leaders in the field and help tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today.
The online Master of Science in Applied & Computational Mathematics is offered by the Department of Applied Mathematics, which offers graduate degrees both on campus and online. A self-sustaining fee-based degree, it is administered in partnership with UW Continuum College.
On this Page:
- Degree Requirements
- Course Sequence
- Online Learning
- Financial Aid
- For More Information
Prospective students should have an undergraduate degree in mathematics, applied mathematics or another branch of science or engineering and have completed all prerequisite coursework. For complete admissions requirements, see the Admissions page. Because this rigorous program is offered completely online, students who are organized and highly motivated are most likely to be successful.
Please note: due to overlap between the online MS curriculum and our advanced undergraduate courses and the limited nature of online course offerings, applicants who have already taken one or more of AMATH 401, 402, 403 are ineligible for admission to the online program.
Minimum Admission Requirements
- Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or its equivalent from a foreign institution
- A cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher over the last 90 quarter hours (60 semester hours) of undergraduate work
- Demonstrated English language proficiency for applicants whose native language is not English
Background and Prerequisites
Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree in mathematics, applied mathematics or another branch of science or engineering. You should also have completed coursework in:
- Calculus series (advanced calculus and/or real analysis strongly recommended but not required)
- Differential equations
- Linear algebra
- Numerical analysis or scientific computing* (you should have the ability to program in Matlab, C, C++, Python, Fortran or a similar scientific computing language)
For a full list of requirements by specific program, please see this guide. To earn the degree, you must complete a minimum of nine courses, including:
- Four core courses (20 credits total)
- One elective from applied math (at least 4 credits)
- Minimum of 36 credits*
- GPA of 2.7 or higher in each class and an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher
*On average, students complete the program with 42 credits.
You are required to take these four core courses:
- AMATH 501: Vector Calculus & Complex Variables
- AMATH 502: Introduction to Dynamical Systems & Chaos
- AMATH 503: Methods for Partial Differential Equations
- AMATH 581: Scientific Computing
In addition to electives in applied mathematics, you may be able to take online elective courses outside the department. These courses must be worth a minimum of three credits, graduate level, numerically graded and mathematically relevant. Check with your adviser before enrolling an elective course to make sure it will count toward your degree.
Satisfactory Performance and Progress
At all times, all Master’s students need to make satisfactory progress towards finishing their degree. Satisfactory progress in course work is based on grades. Students are expected to maintain a grade point average of 3.2 or higher. The Graduate School rules regarding satisfactory progress are detailed in Policy 3.7: Academic Performance and Progress. The Department of Applied Mathematics follows these recommended guidelines of the Graduate School including an initial warning, followed by a maximum of three quarters of probation and one quarter of final probation, then ultimately being dropped from the program. We encourage all students to explore and utilize the many available resources across campus.
Below is a list of all applied mathematics courses offered in this program. You do not need to complete every course listed to earn your degree. Please keep in mind that some courses are not offered every year, as noted below.
Note: You are required to take four core courses: AMATH 501, 502, 503 and 581.
- AMATH 501: Vector Calculus & Complex Variables (5)
- AMATH 581: Scientific Computing (5)
- AMATH 584: Applied Linear Algebra & Introductory Numerical Analysis (5)
- AMATH 502: Introduction to Dynamical Systems & Chaos (5)
- AMATH 515: Fundamentals in Optimization (5) (offered odd years)
- AMATH 582: Computational Methods for Data Analysis (5)
- AMATH 585: Numerical Analysis of Boundary Value Problems (5) (offered even years)
- AMATH 503: Methods for Partial Differential Equations (5)
- AMATH 575: Dynamical Systems (5) (offered odd years)
- AMATH 583: High-Performance Scientific Computing (5)
- AMATH 586: Numerical Analysis of Time-Dependent Problems (5) (offered even years)
You can also complete four credits of independent research by taking AMATH 600.
The UW online Master of Science in Applied & Computational Mathematics is well suited to working professionals and those who live outside the Seattle area. All classes, readings, assignments and discussions are accessed online, meaning you have the flexibility to study on your schedule and earn a UW degree from anywhere in the world that has high-speed internet service.
In many ways, online courses are similar to classroom courses. Along with the rest of your cohort, you start each course at the beginning of the quarter, follow a weekly schedule and meet regular deadlines. You need to keep up with all lectures, readings, activities and assignments as scheduled and complete all of your work by the quarter's end. Unlike on-campus students, you can choose when and where to do your coursework within this structure.
Course lectures are available in real time via live streaming and on demand starting two hours after the class ends. To access courses, you will need to connect your computer to a robust online learning management system called Canvas. This web-based software allows you to access lectures and other course materials, upload assignments and interact with your instructors and fellow students through discussion boards and other online features. Some faculty may use an alternative online classroom system.
Online students must arrange for an approved proctor to monitor their midterm(s) and final exam. Proctored exams for online students should be taken on the same day (Pacific Time) they’re administered to classroom students; any exceptions must be approved by the instructor. The proctor approval process is outlined in detail here.
- Computer able to run a recent version of a major web browser such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari
- Reliable high-speed internet connection
- Student version of MATLAB (recommended)
The online Master of Science in Applied & Computational Mathematics is a self-sustaining, fee-based program administered by the UW Department of Applied Mathematics in collaboration with UW Continuum College.
Course fees are charged on a per-credit basis and are the same for Washington state resident students and nonresident students. In addition to these fees, students pay other required fees each quarter, including registration, U-PASS and technology fees. Payment is due by the third Friday of the quarter.
Cost per credit: $1,080
Minimum number of credits required: 36*
*Students complete an average of 42 credits to finish the degree.
This estimate is based on 2023–2024 rates and does not factor in textbooks, software or any annual fee increases.
Students in the program can apply for various forms of financial aid to help cover their educational costs, including federal financial aid, scholarships and loans. For more information, visit the fee-based programs page of the UW Student Financial Aid website. Students in fee-based programs are not eligible for tuition exemptions or University grants.
Graduate Student Funding
The Graduate School’s Office of Fellowships & Awards is a resource for students seeking information about fellowships, awards and assistantships. The Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) helps UW graduate students in their search for funding opportunities for graduate school-related expenses. GFIS representatives host workshops, post funding announcements and meet one-on-one with students.
Some employers will cover all or part of the cost of a professional education. Check with your employer to see if such a program is available.