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Mathematics Advising


The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers a major and a minor in mathematics, and a breadth of courses in pure and applied mathematics and statistics. Mathematics courses are required or recommended by many departments and programs, including economics, quantitative economics, physics, chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology, computer science, data analytics, environmental science, environmental studies, earth sciences, biology, pre-engineering, and pre-health. A student interested in majoring in mathematics, pursuing a course of study that requires mathematics, or merely taking college-level mathematics should start this pursuit in the fall of their first year.

Courses appropriate for prospective majors

MATH 151, Introduction to Calculus (fall and spring semesters)
MATH 170, Single Variable Calculus (fall and spring semesters)
MATH 171, Multivariable Calculus (fall and spring semesters)
MATH 211, Foundations of Higher Mathematics (fall and spring semesters)
MATH 270, Integration and Infinite Series (spring semester only)

To determine placement, we recommend visiting the online, interactive placement guide.

For course descriptions and requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: Mathematics.

Courses that fulfill distribution requirements

Quantitative Reasoning (QR):
Every introductory course in the mathematics department satisfies the QR requirement.

Writing in the Discipline (WID):
MATH 211 (Foundations of Higher Mathematics) satisfies the WID requirement.

Suggested curricular flow through the major

There are many possible paths through the mathematics major. Which path to take depends on the student’s prior coursework and placement. We present four models here. With careful planning, all four models allow the possibility for students to spend a semester or a year abroad.

Model 1 - MATH 151 as entry point (for students who place into 151)
First Year: 151, 170
Sophomore Year: 171, 211, 270, 262
Junior and Senior Years: 351, 361, MATH electives

Model 2 - MATH 170 as entry point (for students with suitable pre-calculus preparation)
First Year: 170, 171
Sophomore Year: 211, 262, 270
Junior and Senior Years: 351, 361, MATH electives

Model 3 - MATH 171 as entry point (for students with 170 credit)
First Year: 171, 270
Sophomore Year: 211, 262
Junior and Senior Years: 351, 361, MATH electives

Model 4 - MATH 171 as entry point (for students with 170 and 270 credits)
First Year [Option 1]: 171, 211
First Year [Option 2]: 211, 262
Sophomore Year [Option 1]: 262, MATH elective
Sophomore Year [Option 2]: 171, MATH elective
Junior and Senior Years: 351, 361, MATH electives

Students who are interested in applied mathematics should consider the electives 225, 241, 325, and 331 during their third and fourth years.

Note: Mathematics and Computer Science are one department but have been filed individually and alphabetically for ease of access.


A student wishing to declare a major should contact the department chair; detailed instructions for declaring a Mathematics major are available on a separate page. Based on the student’s preferences and interests and current faculty advising loads, the chair will assign one of the department faculty as the major advisor. Students are encouraged to meet with their major advisor at least once per term prior to course selection to discuss directions of study and how they align with future goals and plans.


Departmental honors is the highest distinction that the Department can award to a Major. Majors who receive departmental honors will be those who demonstrate a broad mastery of the discipline as well as an ability to complete and present high quality research. A broad mastery of the discipline is demonstrated by a GPA of 3.40 or higher in all courses related to the major. The ability to complete high quality research is demonstrated by the completion of a yearlong research project. This project will be characterized by an independent and in-depth study of an advanced topic including a literature search, reading of original sources and a novel formulation of results. Finally, the ability to present such research is demonstrated by the preparation of an honors thesis, a public presentation and a successful defense of the work to the department faculty. Detailed guidelines can be found on the departmental web page.