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Departmental Scholar Program

The Mathematics Departmental Scholars program is the most advanced program offered to Mathematics majors. It provides excellent preparation for graduate school for exceptional students. It is also the program that the MUMS fellows are expected to follow. Scholars complete both  Bachelors (BS) and Masters (MA) degrees, usually within a four-year period.  

Admission to the Scholars program is by application only.  Students normally apply immediately after passing the Basic Exam. In addition, candidates must fulfill all University level requirements.

Normally, a successful applicant will have passed the Basic by Spring Quarter of their Junior year, have a very high gpa in math courses, and have letters which strongly support the application. Applications are reviewed and decided by the Undergraduate and Graduate program faculty, in consultation with other faculty. 

It is recommended that  potential Scholars and Scholars  follow a timeline similar to:

  • First year at UCLA: Complete or have credit from another institution/standardized test (AP or IB Exams) all lower-division Calculus-based courses (Math 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B). If possible take 115AH in spring.
  • Second year at UCLA: Complete premajor courses, take Math 115AH (Honors Linear Algebra), Math 115B (Linear Algebra), Math 131AH (Honors Analysis) and 131BH (Honors Analysis).  Begin preparation for Basic Exam (offered Sept. and March)  using online copies of past exams. 
  • Third Year at UCLA: Pass the Basic Qualifying Exam, preferably by the start of Fall Quarter. (MUMS recipients should note that continuation of the MUMS fellowship into the 4th year requires passing of the Basic by Spring Quarter of the third year.) Apply to Scholars program immediately after passing Basic.  Complete remaining undergraduate math major courses. During the quarter of admission to the Scholars program, it is possible to begin graduate coursework which counts toward the MA. 
  • Fourth year at UCLA: Complete remaining graduate level courses for the Masters Degree.

The MA requirements include 11 additional courses, of which 8 must be graduate Math courses. Normally Scholars follow at least two of the Core graduate course sequences. These start in the Fall Quarter and hence it can be advantageous, if you are ready,  to attempt the Basic in September of your junior year, thus enabling you to take one core sequence that year. On the other hand, it is possible to finish the program on time, or nearly on time, if you pass the Basic later.  The normal load for beginning graduate students is 3 Math courses, with a least 2 in core sequences. 

More information on the Basic Exam, including old exams: http://www.math.ucla.edu/grad/handbook/quals/basic
Dates of upcoming exams: http://www.math.ucla.edu/grad/qe-dates 

If you have further questions, please contact the Undergraduate Mathematics Student Services Office at ugrad@math.ucla.edu.