Academic information
Curriculum FAQs

For any curriculum questions not addressed below, please contact the Next Gen. SAM program director. 

Can courses taken as undergraduate count towards the MS? 

Yes, though restrictions apply:

  • No more than 3 courses taken as undergraduate can be counted towards the MS (pre-requisite courses do not count towards the MS anyway).
  • Students must satisfy the total credit requirement of both their undergraduate program (45 credits) and of the MS program (35 credits). 
  • Students must still take a minimum of 35 credits while being enrolled as graduate students. 

Comprehensive vs. thesis track of the MS? 

The comprehensive track requires 3 electives and an exam, while the thesis track requires 1 elective, and a thesis. Student interested in pursuing a PhD beyond the MS are very strongly encouraged to pursue the thesis track, unless they already have had research experience as an undergraduate. Students in the comprehensive track can usually graduate by June of their MS year, while students in the thesis track usually graduate by the end of the summer of their MS year. 

How to find a research advisor (at senior and MS level)? 

Browse the departmental website to learn about the faculty's research interests. Select a few that pique your curiosity. Email the faculty to request an appointment, stating your interest in research. Try to read a few selected papers by the faculty prior to the meeting. Be prepared with questions on what the research project would be about, what courses you would need to take to be well prepared, and  what the timeline of the project would be. You may need to approach several faculty before you can find an advisor. 

Academic resources provided by UCSC

UCSC provides a variety of resources to help student with their academic progress. 

The Learning Support Services provide students with additional tutoring. Several programs exist:  

  • Programs offered in conjunction with a particular class (MSI, Small Group Tutoring)
  • Drop-in Math advising
  • Drop-in or individual writing tutoring

The Disability Resource Center provides a variety of accommodations and services to currently enrolled UCSC students with disabilities to support them in making the most of their educational experience.

Future employers will strongly value any professional experience acquired through internships, either in academia or in the industry. Next Gen. SAMs are encouraged to seek out such internships during the summer between their senior and MS year, and/or by pursuing the thesis track of the MS program. 

Professional internship opportunities

Note that many of the deadlines for application to the following internship opportunities are early in the year (sometimes as early as Fall for the following Summer). Be ready to apply! 

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics keeps a repository of many internship opportunities for undergraduates and graduates. See the full list on this page. You will need to click on the various topics to see what each has to offer. 

The National Science Foundation promotes Research Experiences for Undergraduates at many different sites within the US. Please see this page for a list of applied mathematics internships, or more generally this page for any kind of REU (e.g. Physics, Astronomy, Engineering, Computing, etc.)

The Department of Energy National Laboratories offer a wide variety of internships for students at all levels. See here for the full list. 

NASA is a major provider of internships at all levels and in many different subject areas. See here for more information.

Research opportunities at UCSC

Pascale Garaud (pgaraud at ucsc dot edu) is looking for 1-2 seniors or MS students to work with her on astrophysical fluid dynamics projects. Funding available. Experience in scientific computing (e.g. AM 147, 129) and fluid dynamics (AM 107 or 217) necessary. 

Dongwook Lee (dlee79 at ucsc dot edu) is looking for students to work with him on computational mathematics and specifically computational fluid dynamics.

Marcella Gomez (mgomez26 at ucsc dot edu) is looking for students to work with her on mathematical biology and in particular machine learning and data-driven models for complex biological systems. 

Please contact professors for detail!