Mathematics Major

The Mathematics Major and its Requirements

The mathematics degree at Wheaton provides a broad exposure to the core themes in mathematics and statistics, while allowing students to specialize in an area of concentration based on their career goals and interests.  Rigorous courses in mathematics and statistics combined with experiences in mathematical modelling and computing (using Java, MATLAB, and R) provide our majors with opportunities in industry, graduate school, or secondary education.  Math majors select one of the following four concentrations: pure mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics, or secondary education. The math major is well-suited to be combined with other majors such as business, economics, physics, computer science, engineering, or chemistry.  

Four concentrations

Pure Mathematics Concentration: The concentration in pure mathematics emphasizes the theoretical and abstract foundations of mathematics.  A variety of courses provide depth in the branches of algebra, analysis, geometry, or number theory. As graduate schools and some employers expect applicants to have research experience, students are encouraged to pursue advanced topics courses and research opportunities.  Students selecting a concentration in pure mathematics will be prepared for a variety of careers in the mathematical sciences as well as for graduate work in mathematics.

Applied Mathematics Concentration:  The applied math concentration emphasizes rigorous study of mathematical modeling, analytical and numerical methods, and computing.  Students learn how to apply theoretical concepts to solve real-world problems from the natural and social sciences. This concentration offers excellent preparation for quantitative careers in research, industry, government, and business, or graduate work in applied mathematics and related fields.

Statistics Concentration:  The statistics concentration emphasizes evidence-based decision-making through modern statistical techniques.  Students learn to analyze and interpret data utilizing a deep mathematical foundation and current computational methods.  Students are prepared for careers in statistics/data analytics/data science/biostatistics and are provided an excellent foundation for graduate work in these fields.

Secondary Education Concentration:  The secondary education concentration emphasizes the mathematical content (including geometry, calculus, analysis, algebra, and statistics) required for teaching mathematics in grades 9-12.  Students also complete a second major in Secondary Education or enroll in the MAT program.