A set of foundational courses must be completed before acceptance into the major.  The major requires eight courses of which three are core courses and five are advanced courses. In addition, students must satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

Special Tracks

The department has some suggested courses for students with interests in Financial Mathematics, Teaching, Mathematical Biology, or Actuarial Science.

Foundational Course Requirement

The following foundational courses must be completed before acceptance into the major:

  • MTH 161.  Analysis I
  • MTH 162.  Analysis II
  • MTH 164.  Multidimensional Analysis
  • MTH 165.  Linear Algebra with Differential Equations

Equivalent courses may be substituted for the above. In particular, any of the mathematics honors courses MTH 171, 172, and 172, and 174 may be substituted for the equivalent MTH 161, 162, and 164 courses and MTH 173 may be substituted for MTH 165.  The sequence MTH 141-143 may be substituted for the sequence MTH 161-162. Credit granted for AP courses may be used to satisfy¬†foundational requirements.

Core Course Requirement

Students must satisfy the following three requirements. An Honors version of a course can always be substituted for the listed course.


  • MTH 235.  Linear Algebra

The requirement that MTH 235 be taken can also be satisfied by completing MTH 173Q.  MTH 235 should be taken early in the student's major program.

II.  One of

  • MTH 236.  Introduction to Algebra
  • MTH 240.  Introduction to Topology

III.  One of

  • MTH 201.  Introduction to Probability
  • MTH 255.  Differential Geometry
  • MTH 265.  Functions of a Real Variable I
  • MTH 263.  Ordinary Differential Equations I
  • MTH 282.  Introduction to Complex Variables with Applications
  • MTH 285.  Methods of Applied Mathematics

Advanced Course Requirement

In addition to the core courses, students must complete five 4-credit advanced courses as follows:

  • Three advanced mathematics courses.

Any mathematics course numbered 200 or above (excepting courses used to satisfy the Core Course Requirement) qualifies as an advanced mathematics course.  

  • Two additional advanced courses with substantial mathematical content.

Courses that employ mathematical language, reasoning or methodology qualify.  Any mathematics course numbered 200 or above qualifies, as do certain non-introductory courses in other departments. The most common courses in other departments that qualify are courses of a quantitative nature from the social and physical sciences, engineering, computer science or statistics, but there are other possibilities.  Selections must be approved by the student's departmental advisor. See Advanced Courses with Substantial Mathematical Content.

Sample Programs and Advice

Students intending graduate work in mathematics should consider MTH 236, 237, 240, 265, 282, and suitable 400-level graduate courses as electives.  Students who plan to use mathematics in a physical science or engineering are urged to consider MTH 201, 255, 281, and 282 as electives.  Students intending graduate work in economics, business administration, or operational mathematics, or work in a field such as systems analysis, are urged to consider MTH 201, 202, 208, and 210.

The courses constituting a major in mathematics do not exhaust the student's time in the junior and senior years.  Prospective graduate students in mathematics would do well to learn to read a foreign language (French, German, or Russian). Other mathematical careers might involve a background in areas such as physics, biology, engineering, economics, and computer science.

Below are some typical examples of major programs. These are intended as suggestive, not prescriptive.

1. Pure Mathematics intending graduate study: MTH 201, 235, 236, 237, 240, 265, 282, plus one additional 200 level course.

2. Pure Mathematics with interest in physical science: MTH 235, 236, 240, 255, 265, 281, 282, 285.

3. Applied Mathematics, economics: MTH 201, 208, 210, 235, 236, 285, ECO 207, ECO 209.

4. Applied Mathematics, biology: MTH 201, 218, 235, 236, 263, 285, BIO 263, plus one additional 200 level course.

5. Applied Mathematics, physics: MTH 201, 235, 236, 265, 280, 281, 282, 285.

Upper Level Writing Requirement.

All majors must also satisfy the mathematics upper-level writing requirement.