The Mathematics Major


Students arrange a major in mathematics by developing an Individualized Mathematics Proposal (IMaP). An IMaP outlines a complete, coherent program of study consistent with the goals of the individual student. The courses included in a student’s IMaP are determined after consultation with an MSCS faculty member and approved by the department chair.

A path through the major as described by a student’s IMaP normally includes two semesters of calculus, one semester of linear algebra, and at least seven intermediate or advanced mathematics courses. The intermediate courses should include two transition courses (from among Math 244, Math 252, and Math 242) and courses from at least three different mathematical perspectives (computation/modeling, continuous/analytic, discrete/combinatorial, axiomatic/algebraic). Students must take at least two Level III courses, at least one of which must be part of a designated Level II–Level III sequence.

An IMaP may include up to two related courses from Statistics or Computer Science; a current listing of such courses is available on the mathematics web page. A student may also find a course outside of MSCS that contributes significantly to a mathematical path of study and may petition to have the course included in his or her IMaP.

Here are some possible paths through the mathematics major. These are not suggestions, just food for thought. Consult with a mathematics faculty member about creating an IMaP and the best possible path through the major for you.

  • For students beginning in Calculus 1
    • First year: Calculus 1 and Calculus 2
    • Sophomore year: Linear Algebra in Semester 1, Number Theory in Budapest during Interim, and another 200-level elective in Semester 2
    • Junior year: Two transition courses and an elective
    • Senior year: Two or more 300-level courses
  • For students beginning in Calculus 2
    • First year: Calculus 2 and Linear Algebra
    • Sophomore year: a 200-level elective in Semester 1, Number Theory in Budapest during Interim, a transition course in Semester 2
    • Junior year: Another transition course and a 200- or 300-level elective
    • Senior year: Two or more 300-level courses
  • For students beginning in Linear Algebra
    • First year: Two 200-level electives
    • Sophomore year: Two transition courses
    • Junior and Senior years: Lots of 200- and 300-level electives
  • For students also majoring in Physics
    • The Physics major requires Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, and Differential Equations
    • It is also recommended that physics majors take Complex Analysis and Differential Equations II
    • Along with the 7 courses listed above, a student can double major in physics and mathematics by completing two transition courses
  • For students also completing a Statistics concentration
    • Up to two Stats courses can count toward both a mathematics major and a statistics concentration.
  • For students planning to earn secondary school teaching licensure
    • Required Math courses: Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Discrete Mathematics*, Linear Algebra, Real Analysis I, Abstract Algebra I, Probability, Geometry
    • Required Stats courses: either Statistics for Sciences or Statistical Theory
    • *Discrete Mathematics may be replaced with the Computer Science course Mathematical Foundations of Computing. These are offered in alternate years.