What is the 4 + 1 Program?
The “4 + 1” degree program is designed to provide a student working towards a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mathematics a means to complete the requirements for their undergraduate degree as well as a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Applied Mathematics in a period of five years.
Essentially, a student in the 4 + 1 Program will enroll in several 500-level courses during their senior year, an anticipated two in the fall and two in the spring. These graduate-level courses will count as math electives in the fulfillment of their B.S. degree and will be credited as "advanced placement" towards their M.S. degree.
After receiving their bachelor's degree at the end of their senior year, the student will return as a graduate student for an additional year of graduate-level course work in order to complete their Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Applied Mathematics.
Why should you participate?
Why pursue an advanced degree, let alone one in applied mathematics? Check out a few of these comments taken from the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Employment of mathematicians is expected to decline through 2010, because very few jobs with the title mathematician are available. However, master's and Ph.D. degree holders with a strong background in mathematics and a related discipline, such as engineering or computer science, should have good job opportunities."
"Master's and Ph.D. degree holders with a strong background in mathematics and a related discipline, such as computer science or engineering, should have good employment opportunities in related occupations.”
"Private industry jobs require at least a master's degree in mathematics or in one of the related fields."
"According to a 2001 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, starting salary offers averaged $46,466 a year for mathematics graduates with a bachelor's degree, and $55,938 for those with a master's degree. Doctoral degree candidates averaged $53,440."
Who's Eligible to Apply to the 4 + 1 Program?
In order to apply for admission to the 4 + 1 Program, a student must
- Be in the B.S. Program in Mathematics (Applied or Traditional Option);
- Have completed a minimum of seventy-five (75) and a maximum of ninety-six (96) credit hours in their undergraduate programs, including credits earned from high school advanced placement, i.e. students will normally apply when they have completed the criteria for junior classification standing; and
- Have a minimum accumulated grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 at WCU.
What do I need to do? A proposed timeline:
Discuss the 4 + 1 Program option with your adviser. If you believe that you are qualified and would like to participate in the program, you and your adviser should do the following:
During Your Sophomore Year
- Adjust your projected course schedule to allow for the twelve (12) hours of the eligible 500-level classes during your senior year.
During the Second Semester of Your Junior Year
- Complete your Degree Audit and your Application for Graduation.
- Meet with the department head and the graduate coordinator to complete the application for 4 + 1 Program. At this time, you will finalize a projected schedule for the four terms (two senior years, two in 5th year). These are the courses you will need to complete with the grade of a B or better to satisfy the 4 + 1 Program requirements.
- Submit an application to the Graduate School. 43.asp If you have not taken the GRE to date, you may postpone submitting this portion of your application to a later date.
- Your 4 + 1 Program application will then be forwarded to the dean of the Graduate School for final approval. Once signed by the dean of the Graduate School, you will be accepted to the 4 + 1 Program in mathematics. (Note: Acceptance into the 4 + 1 Program does not guarantee acceptance into Graduate School at WCU. You still have to meet the entrance requirements as stated in the Graduate Catalog.) http://catalog.wcu.edu/index.php
During Your Senior Year
- Take up to twelve (12) credit hours from MATH 522, 523, 524, 541, 561, 562, or 570.
- Complete all Graduate School entrance requirements listed in the Graduate Catalog that were not satisfied in your initial Graduate School Application.
After Admission to the Master's Program
- The designated courses in which you earned grades of B or better may be applied toward the requirements of the M.S. in Applied Mathematics.
- Fulfill the rest of the requirements for the M.S. in Applied Mathematics as stated in the Graduate Catalog and predetermined in your 4 + 1 application. (Note: If you do not complete the 4 + 1 Program within three years, no courses that were counted in the B.S. degree will be counted towards the M.S. degree.)
For more information on the 4 + 1 Program in mathematics, or the mathematics and computer science department at Western Carolina University, check out the following links:
- 4 + 1 General Information Sheet (PDF)
- An Example of a Possible 4 + 1 Course Schedule (PDF)
- 4 + 1 Application Form (Word)
- Mathematics and Computer Science Department's Homepage
Or contact the chair of the mathematics and computer science department.