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AIM MLB Requirements

Key features of the AIM MLB program are its flexibility and adaptability to individual student goals and academic needs. Each AIM MLB student will construct an individualized academic program, depending on their background, interests, learning objectives and future career plans. The academic program of study will be created in careful consultation with the AIM Director and approved by the MLB Director. This academic plan will be revisited and revised regularly, but at the very least, each semester.


MLB students will receive course counseling from the MLB Director and their research advisor.  The Graduate Program Coordinator will process departmental and Rackham paperwork.  Information about minimum credits, cross-listed courses, etc. can be found in this Course Enrollment section of the Graduate Student Handbook.


Course Comments

At the end of the Fall and Winter semesters, the Graduate Office will send this Google Form requesting course comments from the graduate students’ course instructors.  Students will receive a report with the instructors’ course comments.

Academic Requirements

The MLB master’s degree in Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics requires a total of 31 credits: nine regular courses (3 credits each) and 2 credits of the AIM Student Seminar (Math 501, to be taken in the first two semesters), with the remaining credits being composed of other approved graduate courses.

Among the nine regular courses, the AIM MLB program additionally requires:

  • at least five courses from the enhanced list of AIM core courses
    • The study program must include at least three 500-level courses from this list. 
    • The study program must also include
      • MATH 404 (Intermediate Differential Equations),
      • MATH 419 (Linear Spaces and Matrix Theory), and
      • MATH 451 (Advanced Calculus I), unless similar courses have been satisfactorily completed as part of the undergraduate degree.
  • at least two courses from a chosen partner field, or another field outside of mathematics.

All courses must be at the graduate level (400 level and above), and with the exception of Math 501 must be graded courses completed with a grade of at least B, with an overall average of B+. The AIM Program Director will supervise coursework selection for AIM MLB students who do not have other mentors.

For students in the Marjorie Lee Browne Scholars Program, the list of AIM core courses from which at least five courses are required is enhanced to include:

  • MATH 404 (Intermediate Differential Equations)
  • MATH 419 (Linear Spaces and Matrix Theory)
  • MATH 451 (Advanced Calculus I)
  • MATH 454 (Boundary Value Problems for Partial Differential Equations)

Research Requirements

The program culminates with an MLB thesis, and a public presentation of that work in the MLB Symposium.

  • The MLB Thesis. MLB students will work closely with a research mentor to study applied and interdisciplinary mathematics topics of mutual interest. The MLB thesis may contain original research, but this is not a requirement. In some cases, it will be acceptable for the thesis to be an expository work on a topic that may eventually become the area of the student’s PhD dissertation research. The length and content of the MLB thesis will be determined by the research mentor and will be approved by the MLB director and the AIM director.

    Students are encouraged to seek out a research mentor for their MLB thesis as early as possible, and these mentor matches are often facilitated by the MLB Director. MLB students are expected to remain on campus the summer between their first and second year to conduct directed reading and/or research, and are provided with a Rackham fellowship for this purpose. 

  • MLB Thesis Proposal. Prior to the beginning of the second academic year of study, MLB students are required to prepare a brief, but technically precise synopsis of their research project and a plan for the upcoming year. The MLB thesis proposal will be read and approved by their research mentor and by the MLB director. 

  • MLB Minisymposium. All finishing MLB scholars will participate in the MLB Symposium, where they will present their MLB thesis work to the wider departmental community.

Additional Requirements

AIM M.S. Students accepted into the Marjorie Lee Browne Scholars Program will have additional opportunities related to the enhanced content of this degree program:

  • Students may participate in the RMF Connection, a summer program that focuses on successful transition to graduate study, access to campus resources, building personal networks, and developing research and scholarly expertise.

Transition to PhD

Students that successfully complete this two year program will be admitted to the AIM Ph.D. program with funding for five additional academic years. This funding includes a Rackham Science Award (RSA), which is part of the graduate school's Rackham Merit Fellowship (RMF) program. This award comes with four academic terms of fellowship support spread out over three years, and one extra term of summer support, among other benefits.