Graduate Certificate in Mathematics: Program Requirements, Policies, and Advice

Course requirements

The certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of four courses (12 credit hours), none taken on a pass/fail basis, consisting of

  1. Math 6201 and 6202 (Real Analysis I and II),
  2. Any two courses from the following options (see the note below): Math 6214 (Measure Theory), Math 6215 (Functional Analysis), Math 6318 (Applied Math I), Math 6319 (Applied Math II), and Math 6810 (General Topology).

NOTE:  Subject to department approval, a slightly different program of study may be accepted if it is academically appropriate and better fits a student's career goals. Such variations could include, for instance, substituting another course, perhaps outside the department, for one in item (B) above. To request approval of a variation on the program requirements, state your proposed variation, with justification, on the Certificate Petition Form and give the completed form to the certificate program advisor.

Grade-point average, course grades, and time-frame  

Students must maintain a grade-point average of at least 3.0. No course in which a grade below 2.0 is earned counts toward the certificate. These requirements must be completed within a three year period, unless an exception is granted by the department.

Certificate Completion Form  

A student planning to complete a certificate at the end of the semester for which he or she is now enrolled must fill out a Certificate Completion Form to declare his or her candidacy. The completed form must be submitted to the certificate program advisor no later than the dates listed on the Registrar's website. A student must be registered for the semester or summer session immediately prior to the certificate completion date, and must complete all requirements by the last day of final exams for that semester or summer session.

Program Policies

Transferring credit into the program 

At most three credits can be transferred into this program; this limit applies even to courses taken at GW on a non-degree basis.  To qualify, a course must (a) be taken from an accredited institution no more than two years prior to admission to the certificate program, (b) be approved by the department for transfer, and (c) have a grade of B or better.

Applying to our graduate program after completing the certificate

Anyone who, upon completion of the certificate program, applies to our masters or Ph.D. program in mathematics must submit a complete application package. Decisions about admission to those programs are based solely on academic qualifications; affiliation with the certificate program per se is not a factor in admission. A student who is admitted to the masters or Ph.D. programs within two years of completing the certificate can transfer the graduate-level mathematics courses in which he or she earns a grade of B or higher. For anyone who is enrolled in the certificate program when he or she applies to the graduate program, the application fee is waived.

Leave of absence

Students in the certificate program are expected to be continuously enrolled and actively engaged in fulfilling the program requirements each semester of the academic year (i.e., Fall and Spring) until the certificate is awarded. If this is not possible, a student may request a leave of absence for a specific period of time, not to exceed two semesters during the entire period of studies. Such requests are made via petition; the form used to make such petitions can be obtained from the certificate program advisor. Upon granting leave, CCAS provides instructions on how to register as being on leave. Those on leave must register as instructed to remain in the program.

Other policies 

Policies not spelled out here (e.g., course withdrawals, incompletes) follow standard GW policy as set out in the GW bulletin in the sections University Regulations and CCAS Regulations.


Many of the courses that make up this program are theoretical rather than computational. Those with no prior exposure to mathematical proofs may want to take a basic proof-oriented course before enrolling in the program. Consulting the certificate program advisor on this point is encouraged.

We recommend meeting with the certificate program advisor for guidance on the program, including planning a likely program of study. The program of study is an informal plan (thus, no paperwork) that can help ensure that the courses you take meet your interests and match the department's long-term course rotation plan.