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  • Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Mathematics Major & Minor

The Mathematics curriculum gives students technical knowledge along with a broad foundation of reasoning and analytical skills that can be applied to many fields. Graduates can pursue graduate work in computer science or mathematics, teach in secondary schools, work as professionals in government and industry, or use quantitative and computing techniques in the natural sciences or social sciences. All students must master the relevant basic mechanical concepts necessary to perform the fundamental operations related to mathematics or computer programming. The learning environment places emphasis on reasoning, problem-solving, and communications skills. Students are required to make oral presentations in classes and at seminars and to write detailed papers and reports for regular classes and for their Senior Capstone projects.
 

Points of Distinction

  • Students do very well landing jobs in their field after graduation.
  • Students leave well prepared for graduate studies in mathematics.
  • We offer excellent preparation for secondary school teaching alongside the Education Department.
  • Our major has built-in flexibility that allows students to more-easily double major in Computer Science, Economics, Chemistry, or Physics. We also have many students double major in Music, Art, Philosophy, and other disciplines outside of the Natural Science and Mathematics Division.
  • Student input guides our special topic course offering. We recently taught History of Math by student request!

 

Opportunities in math in your first year    

     

I'm a first-year student. I might want to major in math. Which courses should I take?

You should make every effort to take at least MAT 201 and MAT 202 during your first year. If your schedule allows, or if you have AP credit, you might also take CSI 201, MAT 120, or MAT/CSI 240. Each of these three courses could be taken along with calculus or as a break from calculus if you have AP credit. Of course, if you have AP credit, you could also take the third semester of calculus, MAT 203.

 

I took the AP Calculus exam. For which courses can I get credit?

A score of 4 on the AB exam gives you credit for MAT 201. A score of 4 or higher on the BC exam gives you credit for MAT 201 and MAT 202.

If you don't have your AP grade by the start of classes, and you think you did well, here is our adivse for summer registration.  Since you can change classes during the first week of the semester, the main thing to keep in mind is to leave openings in your schedule in case you need to change classes. In most semesters, we offer a section of MAT 201 and a section of MAT 202 at the same time. Sign up for one of those sections to make the change easier.

 

I don’t like math, but I need to take a course for distribution. Which course should I take?

The most popular courses for distribution are CSI 201 and MAT 109. CSI 201 is “Computer Science I”. It's a first course in computer programming that many students find both interesting and useful. MAT 109 is “Statistics”, which can also be very useful, especially for social science majors. Some majors, like Business, have courses that are taught within that department that count for distribution. Be sure to check with your advisor and with faculty in the areas you might like to study to see which courses they recommend for distribution. This is also a something to talk to other students about.