Areas of Emphasis

The mathematics major does not have different tracks, but by designing an Individualized Mathematics Program (IMaP) with the help of a mathematics faculty member, students can complete their majors in a variety of ways. Here are some popular area of emphasis:

Pure Mathematics

Students intending to earn higher degrees in theoretical mathematics should take a broad range of 200-level courses and as many 300-level courses as possible. At the 200-level, the “transition” courses Real Analysis I (Math 244) and Abstract Algebra I (Math 252) are a must. A variety of courses with different perspectives will provide excellent breadth of knowledge. Advanced courses in Real Analysis II (Math 344) and Abstract Algebra II (Math 352) are also a must. Courses in Topology (Math 348), Combinatorics (Math 364), and Complex Analysis (Math 340) are highly recommended. Students should be alert to special topics courses and independent study & research opportunities. More and more graduate programs expect their successful applicants to have had an undergraduate research experience. Students should strive to achieve good scores on the general and mathematics GRE exams.

Applied Mathematics

Students intending to earn higher degrees in applied mathematics should take a broad range of 100- and 200-level courses in mathematics, statistics, computer science and other fields, and as many 300-level courses as possible. At the 200-level, mathematics courses such as Multivariable Calculus (Math 226), Differential Equations (Math 230), Real Analysis I (Math 244), Modern Computational Mathematics (Math 242), Probability (Math 262), and Operations Research (Math 266) teach material that is used in a wide variety of applications to the biological, physical, and social sciences. Advanced mathematics courses in Differential Equations II (Math 330), Complex Analysis (Math 340), Real Analysis II (Math 344), and Mathematics Practicum (Math 390) are highly recommended. Students should be alert to special topics courses and independent study & research opportunities. More and more graduate programs expect their successful applicants to have had an undergraduate research experience. Students should strive to achieve good scores on the general and mathematics GRE exams.

Secondary School Teaching

Students planning to teach secondary school mathematics complete a standard mathematics major (with certain courses prescribed by state certification requirements). In addition, they take several courses in the Department of Education and devote part of one senior semester to student teaching.

General Mathematics Major

Many mathematics majors do not enter graduate school, law school, business school, or medical school right away or even at all. For those students a broad and deep mathematics major can serve them well in a variety of settings: business, technology, the non-profit sector, consulting, actuarial work, etc. Search the alumni directory for mathematics majors and see the kind of professions Oles have entered.

Double Majoring

Many students combine mathematics with another major or concentration. Doubling with majors in the sciences and economics is especially common, as is combining mathematics with a statistics concentration. We also graduate a fair number of students who major in religion, philosophy, art, English, theatre, etc. as well as mathematics.