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Why Major in Mathematics?


The study of mathematics emphasizes careful problem analysis, precision of thought and expression, and the development of mathematical skills needed for work in many other areas. Theoretical mathematicians increase basic knowledge in "pure" fields like abstract algebra, analysis, or topology. Applied mathematicians use tools growing out of calculus, analysis, computing, statistics, and operations research to solve problems in science, industry, government, and other areas.


You Might Like this Program If...

  • You like mathematics, like to think, like a challenge, and like to know why things are true.
  • You want to develop strong problem-solving skills, comprehension of abstract concepts, and creative thinking ability.
  • You want to have access to a wide variety of careers in the fields of science and technology, finance and risk analysis, research and industry, and teaching.


Program Description

Two degrees are offered in mathematics: the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science. Both programs have a common core of mathematics courses; both programs prepare students for graduate work in mathematics. In addition, the Bachelor of Arts degree is oriented toward applications of mathematics in the arts and the humanities. The Bachelor of Science degree has a number of options. These options are oriented toward actuarial science, applied and industrial, computational mathematics, graduate study and systems analysis.

Many of the options are designed for students who want to use mathematics in industry, commerce, or government. In short, the degree requirements have the flexibility to fit many individual interests. The student, with the assistance of a faculty adviser, should select an option by the end of the sophomore year.


Career Paths

Students with an undergraduate degree in mathematics pursue graduate study or careers in business and industry.  Students often choose to continue their studies in graduate programs (MS or PhD) in mathematics or related fields, such as statistics, economics, finance, computer science, or operations research. Mathematicians may work in insurance (as actuaries), economics (as analysts), computer programming, science and engineering, the medical and legal fields, education, and other fields which require sophisticated analytical skills.


Professional Resources


Employment Opportunities for Math Majors

Career-profiles -

Careers for mathematics majors -

Careers in applied mathematics -

Mathematical Association of America (MAA) -

American Mathematical Society,(AMS) Career Information  -

The American Statistical Association (ASA), Career opportunities  -

The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), Operations research placement issues, Summer internship information, and more -

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), offers valuable resources including career information -

The Society of Actuaries, (SOA) -

Material on becoming an actuary -

The Casualty Actuarial Society, (CAS) -

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, (SIAM), Careers -

Association for Computing Machinery, (ACM) Career Resource Centre -

Teach for America, Teaching Opportunities -