Requirements for a Math Major or Minor


For information on the math major, minor and the departmental honors program please click on the following link
The definitive official requirements for a math major or minor are specified in the Undergraduate Catalog. The following link takes you to them.


General policy

If you need to deviate from the stated requirements in the catalog, please discuss your situation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). The DUS will submit a “variance request” to the College of Arts and Science, which oversees the math major and minor (even if you are not an A&S student). When the College approves the variance request, appropriate notes will be made in your online degree audit.

Sometimes a variance request is needed even for situations where you satisfy the catalog requirements (for example, for students taking Math 2400, as described below).

Including Math 2400 in a math major or minor

Math 2400 is a combined differential equations/linear algebra course restricted to certain engineering students. It does not go as deeply into the linear algebra material as our separate linear algebra courses.

As of Fall 2008, Math 2400 is an official part of the Program II math major and the math minor. It counts for the differential equations requirement, but not for the linear algebra requirement.

For students who took Math 2400 before Fall 2010, the linear algebra requirement can be satisfied by Math 2600, Math 2500/2501, or by Math 3620, Math 3320, Math 4620. Students who have taken Math 2400 before Fall 2010 need to have the Director of Undergraduate Studies submit a “variance request” so that it will be counted correctly towards their math program.

Students who have taken Math 2400 during or after Fall 2010 need to take Math 2600 or Math 2500/2501 in order to satisfy the linear algebra requirement for the math major or minor.

Including Math 2410 or 2420 in Program I and III of the math major

Program I (Standard Track) and Program III (Honors Track) of the math major specifies ONLY Math 2600 or 2500/2501 for the linear algebra requirement, and ONLY Math 2610 for the differential equations requirement. Once you have declared a math major, you CANNOT satisfy these requirements with Math 2410 or Math 2420, respectively.

However, sometimes students take Math 2410 or 2420 before they declare a math major, because they were not originally planning to major in math. If you take Math 2410 before you declare your math major, we will permit you to count it for the linear algebra requirement in Program I, and if you take Math 2420 before you declare your math major, we will permit you to count it for the differential equations requirement in Program I.

Anyone intending to pursue Program I or III of the math major should plan to take 2600 (or 2500/2501) and 2610, NOT 2410 and 2420.

Non-math courses counting toward Program II of the math major

Program II requires students to take at least 6 hours of advanced, mathematically-based science or engineering courses approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS).

If you complete a major in physics or any engineering discipline, you automatically satisfy this requirement.

In other cases you should discuss your situation with the DUS, and have the DUS submit a variance request to take care of this. Some courses that the DUS may be prepared to count towards this requirement include:

  • Chem 2100 (analytical chemistry), 3300, or 3310 (physical chemistry I and II).
  • Econ 3050 (econometrics), 4220 (Social Choice Theory) and 4260 (game theory).

However, individual approval from the DUS for your specific situation is still required: you do not automatically qualify by taking at least 6 hours from these courses.


Updated JR, Nov 11, 2013