General Information about Major Requirements

Students apply for a major in the middle of the second semester of the sophomore year. By the end of the sophomore year, an applicant should have received credit for, or placement out of, at least four of the following five course groups:

  • Elementary Single-Variable Calculus (MATH 015); 
  • Further Single-Variable Calculus (MATH 025, 026, or 026S); 
  • Linear Algebra (MATH 027, 028, or 028S); 
  • Discrete Mathematics (MATH 029); 
  • Several-Variable Calculus (MATH 033, 034, or 035).

In addition, a candidate should have a grade-point average in mathematics and statistics courses of at least C+. This should include at least one grade at the B level. In some cases, applicants may be deferred, pending successful work in courses to be designated by the department.

Mathematics majors are urged to study in some depth a discipline that makes use of mathematics and to acquire some facility with computers and software. Students bound for graduate work should obtain a reading knowledge of French, German, or Russian.

Details of the Requirements

All majors must complete Linear Algebra and Several-Variable Calculus by the end of the first semester of the junior year. As mentioned above, a candidate should have a grade point average in mathematics and statistics courses to date of at least C+ and should include at least one grade at the B level.

By graduation, a mathematics major must have at least 10 credits in mathematics and statistics courses. At most, 5 of the credits counted in the 10 may be for courses numbered under 036. (Courses numbered under 10 do not to count toward the major in any event.) Furthermore, every major is required to obtain credit for, or place out of, each of the following course groups: MATH 015; MATH 025, 025S, or 026; MATH 027, 028, or 028S; MATH 033, 034, or 035; MATH 063; and MATH 067. The two upper-level core courses, MATH 063 (Introduction to Real Analysis) and MATH 067 (Introduction to Modern Algebra), will be offered at least every fall semester. At least one of these two should be taken no later than the fall semester of the junior year, and both must be taken before the spring semester of the senior year. Finally, course majors must satisfy the departmental comprehensive requirement by passing MATH 097: Senior Conference. Progress of majors will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Students not making satisfactory progress may be dropped from the major.

Special Emphasis

The requirements listed above allow room to choose an optional special emphasis within the mathematics major. For instance:

A student may major in mathematics with an emphasis on statistics by taking the following courses at the advanced level:

  • the core analysis course (Math 063);
  • Mathematical Statistics I (Stat 061);
  • Probability (Math 105) or Mathematical Statistics II (Stat 111);
  • Data Analysis and Visualization (Stat 031);
  • another mathematics course numbered 040 or higher.

Students are encouraged but not required to select the core algebra course (Math 067) if they choose this emphasis.

Students interested in mathematics and computer science should consider a mathematics major with a concentration in computer science or an honors program with a mathematics major and a computer science minor. Details on these options are in the catalog under computer science.

Sample Programs

Sample program for majors thinking of graduate work in social or management science, or an MBA.

  • Modeling (Math 056);
  • at least one of Probability (Math 105), Mathematical Statistics I (Stat 061), and possibly Mathematical Statistics II (Stat 111);
  • at least one of Combinatorics (Math 069) or Operations Research (Econ 032);
  • the two required core courses (Math 063 and Math 067);
  • Differential Equations (Math 043 or 044).

Basic courses: single-variable calculus (two semesters), one or more practical statistics courses (STAT 011 and 031), linear algebra, discrete math, multivariate calculus, and introductory computer science;

Advanced courses: Because this program is heavy (one who hopes to use mathematics in another field must have a good grasp both of relevant mathematics and intended applications), one of the core course requirements may be waived with permission of the Department.

Sample program for students thinking of graduate work in operations research.

  • the two required core courses (Math 063 and Math 067);
  • Combinatorics (Math 069) and Topics in Discrete Math (Math 059 or 079);
  • Mathematical Statistics (Stat 061);
  • at least one of Number Theory (Math 058), Modeling (Math 056), or Probability (Math 105).

Basic courses: same as above.

Advanced courses:

  • the two required core courses (Math 063 and Math 067);
  • Combinatorics (Math 069) and Topics in Discrete Math (Math 059 or 079);
  • Mathematical Statistics (Stat 061);
  • at least one of Number Theory (Math 058), Modeling (Math 056), or Probability (Math 105).