Major in Mathematics

As a mathematics major, you’ll start with the fundamentals and then gain progressively advanced knowledge of both pure and applied mathematics.

Mathematics graduates have a highly developed set of quantitative skills and analytical abilities that, combined with other liberal arts courses, position them for careers in fields that may seem removed from the traditional understanding of a major in mathematics. Professional opportunities in teaching, statistical analysis, actuarial work and graduate study are just a few of the options available after graduation.

You’ll also learn sound research methods and technical writing skills, which are essential in any career. Depending on your individual career objective, you’ll choose from a number of elective courses according to the suggested curricula for various concentrations listed below.

Major Requirements

The major consists of nine to nine-and-one-half mathematics course credits at the 200-level or beyond, excluding MTH 325, MTH 326, and MTH 345.

All mathematics majors are required to complete:

  • MTH 251 Calculus III
  • MTH 301 Discrete Mathematics
  • MTH 362 Linear Algebra
  • MTH 400 Research Methods in Mathematics
  • MTH 451 Senior Paper

The remaining major courses are mathematics electives, but should be chosen according to the suggested curricula for various concentrations listed below. Students seeking teacher certification must follow the program listed to meet certification requirements. The final program of courses for all mathematics majors must be approved by the department chair.

In addition to the course work, a senior paper written with the guidance of a faculty member is required. The .50 credit course MTH 400 should be taken during the junior or senior year as preparation for writing the senior paper. Upon completion of MTH 400, students should enroll in MTH 451 as a .50 credit independent study where the senior paper is written with the guidance of a member of the mathematics faculty.

Additional Recommendations for the Major

Supervised internship opportunities are available for mathematics majors seeking to apply their training in a business or industrial setting. Such students may apply up to one course credit in MTH 468 Internship toward major requirements with approval of the department chair.

Ongoing development of communication and language skills is an important component of all major fields, including mathematics. Mathematics students are encouraged to pursue course work in oral communication, written communication, and foreign language.

Mathematics majors are also encouraged to take CS 220 Computer Science I and PHY 121, PHY 122 General Physics I, II as electives (or as part of the general education requirements, if appropriate).

Concentrations

  • MTH 341 Differential Equations
  • MTH 342 Applied Analysis
  • MTH 434 Complex Variables
  • MTH 311 Introduction to Mathematical and Computer-Based Modeling
  • One elective from the remaining courses in the mathematics curriculum
  • MTH 361 Abstract Algebra
  • MTH 381 Advanced Calculus
  • MTH 434 Complex Variables
  • MTH 444 Topology
  • One elective from the remaining courses in the mathematics curriculum

Many graduate schools require a reading knowledge of either German or French. At least one year of study in German or French is recommended.

  • MTH 311 Introduction to Mathematical and Computer-Based Modeling
  • MTH 346 Statistics for Scientists
  • MTH 348 Advanced Statistics/Econometrics
  • MTH 421 Probability Theory
  • One elective from the remaining courses in the mathematics curriculum
  • MTH 468 Internship is recommended

The business/financial concentration should be supplemented with appropriate courses in business and economics chosen in consultation with the student’s academic adviser. A minor in business is recommended, as is one year of study in a foreign language.

Licensure for Secondary Teaching

  • MTH 199 Mathematical Software Tools (.50 credit)
  • MTH 331 Foundations of Geometry
  • MTH 346 Statistics for Scientists
  • MTH 361 Abstract Algebra
  • MTH 381 Advanced Calculus
  • MTH 440 The Teaching of Secondary School Mathematics

See additional licensure requirements in the Department of Education. This concentration is not appropriate for students interested in elementary education. If you’re interested in teaching in elementary schools, visit the elementary education major with a concentration in mathematics website.

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