I am finishing up my BS degree in Computer Science, and I have been accepted to a PhD program in Computing and Information Sciences. I was wondering if it would be possible (and how feasible it would be) to get a Master's degree in Mathematics during my PhD by doing math research with a professor and publishing something?

Would I have to apply and be accepted to the Master's program at my university? How likely do you think this is? I have quite quite a bit of math completed from my BS in CS; I would estimate about 18-30 credits left not including the [required] electives if I was pursuing a BS in Applied Math.

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    How are you even going to do this? A Masters would take ~1 year, but you've been accepted to a PhD program which would presumably start within 1 year, too. – Allure Sep 18 '18 at 1:49
  • Yes, I was asking if I could do my MS in math during my PhD, I have edited my question to clarify – Abraham Sep 18 '18 at 1:53
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    The answer is "it depends on the rules of the university." At mine, there were enough classes that counted toward both degrees that I was able to earn a semi-related masters en route to my PhD. Acceptance was not difficult, and neither was completing the requirements. There was some minor paperwork and a short writeup required, but I would say it took only about 2 days total. But the answer will be "it depends." – Dawn Sep 18 '18 at 2:00
  • This will very much be a "depends on the university" question. However, I can say that I've advised a couple of students who got MS degrees in math in addition to PhD's in other science/engineering disciplines. In both cases, the student had to complete a separate MS thesis and take all of the coursework requirements for the MS, but some of this was also used towards the PhD. – Brian Borchers Sep 18 '18 at 2:47

The question you should really ask yourself is: What is the purpose of having an extra degree? Is it to enlighten yourself and learn something new or related? Is it to improve your CV and future job prospects?

IMO, looking at your situation, it seem a bit of a waste of time and a lot of extra effort to also pursue your math master. You can study math on your own accord at any time with the best universities and lectures using the edX free and open university.

  1. Q: Would I have to apply and be accepted to the Master's program at my university?

A: Probably not.

  1. Q: How likely do you think this is?

A: Most universities allow for completing multiple degrees concurrently as long as your academic records are in good standing and you pay the additional costs.

  • Yes, while edX is nice, I feel that the math research that I am doing can be continued and reach a MS-level thesis. Also, I feel that the additional math courses required for the MS program can be done as my electives during my PhD, so I thought, "why not get a MS since I'm doing the math research anyway, and need electives for my PhD" – Abraham Sep 18 '18 at 18:11

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