Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics offers a standard undergraduate major program in mathematics with concentrations in

  1. pure mathematics
  2. applied mathematics
  3. statistics
  4. teaching mathematics
  5. actuarial science

The B.A. in Mathematics requires 61-65 units in the major, plus 51 units of General Education and 4-8 units of electives.  Each course required in the major must be passed with a C (2.0) or better and may not be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis.

For the latest requirements on the Bachelor's of Arts degree in mathematics, please visit the University catalog.

Learning Goals

The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a degree in Mathematics:

  Broad Concepts

  1. All majors should achieve mastery of basic mathematical ideas and techniques ranging across the following fields – Single and Multivariate Calculus, Algebra, Analysis, Probability/Statistics, Differential Equations and Mathematical Modeling
  2. All majors should achieve an understanding of the nature of proofs

  Specific Skills

  1. Demonstrate the ability to think analytically and critically and to formulate problems, solve them, and interpret their solutions
  2. Demonstrate the ability to use technological tools: e.g., algebraic and visualization software, statistical packages, a high-level programming language
  3. Demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge from one branch of mathematics to another and from mathematics to other disciplines
  4. Demonstrate the ability to communicate mathematics both orally and in writing


Mastery of information competence skills

  1. Determine the nature and extent of information needed
  2. Access information through both print and electronic data systems
  3. Analyze and evaluate the credibility and completeness of information sources
  4. Select, integrate, and synthesize information retrieved to accomplish a purpose
  5. Acknowledge copyrighted material and intellectual property
  6. Communicate the product effectively to others


Core Courses (25 units)

The following are the core courses that all our majors will need to complete:

Math 150A Calculus I  (4 units) 
Math 150B Calculus II  (4 units)
Math 250A Calculus III (4 units)
Math 250B Introduction to Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (4 units)
Math 280 Strategies of Proof (3 units)
Math 307 Linear Algebra (3 units)
Math 350 Advanced Calculus (3 units)

The following are the prerequirement charts for each concentration

  1. pure mathematics chartPDF File Opens in new window
  2. applied mathematics classical track chartPDF File Opens in new window
  3. applied mathematics modeling track chartPDF File Opens in new window
  4. statistics chartPDF File Opens in new window
  5. teaching mathematics chartPDF File Opens in new window
  6. actuarial science chartPDF File Opens in new window


Other Requirements

In addition to the core courses and a concentration, the degree requirements include a 9-11 unit cognate designed to either complement or enhance your math courses. Lastly, there are the campus-wide computer programming and upper division writing requirements (one course each).

  • Cognates (for catalog years Spring 2022 and before): The cognates involve 2 or more courses from a field complementary to mathematics. The cognate you choose will depend on your career goals. There are cognates in Actuarial Science, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, Information Systems and Decision Sciences, and Physics. Alternatively, there is a Mathematics Cognate for those opting to take math courses from a second concentration, and a Research Cognate for those wishing to do a formal undergraduate research project in the form of a thesis. The latter two choices are particularly appropriate for students looking to continue onto graduate school in mathematics. See the Mathematics Department section of the university catalogOpens in new window for course and unit details.
  • Programming Course: One 3 unit course is required. You may choose from either Math 320 Introduction to Mathematical Computation (recommended), CPSC 120 Introduction to Programming, or CPSC 121 Programming Concepts
  • Upper Division Writing Requirement: An upper division writing course is a university requirement. In the math department, we offer the 3 unit Math 380 course, History of Mathematics, to satisfy this requirement.