Mathematics Department

Requirements for the Majors


The mathematics curriculum emphasizes solving problems by rigorous methods that use both calculation and structure. Starting from the first year, students learn to write mathematical arguments. Students discuss the subject intensely with one another outside the classroom.

Requirements for the Major

  1. Mathematics 111 or the equivalent, 112, 211, and 212.
  2. Mathematics 321, 331, and 332.
  3. Four additional units in mathematics courses numbered higher than 300 (excluding Mathematics 470).
  4. Physics 101 and 102 or the equivalent.
  5. Mathematics 470.


The mathematics–economics major gives the student an opportunity to acquire a firm foundation in both fields during the normal four-year college program without sacrificing electives. Increasingly over recent years, economics has become an appropriate field for the application of mathematics. The joint major is particularly useful for students who intend to do graduate work in economics. Early consultation with members of both departments is important for students considering this major.

Requirements for the Major

  1. Eight units of mathematics to include Mathematics 111, 112, 211, 212, 141, 331, and two other mathematics courses chosen from courses numbered higher than 300. Students entering with sufficient background may substitute alternative mathematics courses for 111 and/or 141. Recommended: selections from Mathematics 321, 322, 332, 382, 391, and 392. At the discretion of the Department of Mathematics, Mathematics 111 may be waived for students entering with sufficient background in calculus. Students with adequate background in statistics may substitute an upper-division mathematics course for Mathematics 141.
  2. Six units of economics, including Economics 201, 312, 313 and 314, and two units from among Economics 315-469, excluding Economics 402.
  3. The junior qualifying examination is taken in both departments.
  4. Mathematics–economics 470 (thesis). The thesis is usually jointly supervised.


A program intended to serve the needs of students whose major interests lie in the rich area between applied mathematics and theoretical physics.

Requirements for the Major

  1. Mathematics 111, 112, 211, 212, 322, 331, and two other mathematics courses numbered higher than 310, including at least one of 311 or 321.
  2. Physics 101, 102, 201, 202, 311, 321, 322, 342.
  3. The thesis (Mathematics–Physics 470) must clearly bridge the two fields.

Strongly recommended but not required:

Two from Physics 323, 351, 362, 411, 442.

Recommended but not required:

  1. Mathematics 332, 411.
  2. Working knowledge of a foreign language: Russian, German, or French.

The student planning to major in mathematics–physics should consult with the head of the committee as early as possible to determine if he or she is qualified and, if so, to plan a program. Both departments must approve the application.