Why Study Mathematics?

Mathematical researchers puzzle over problems of consistency, the nature of truth, and problems of logic. Learning these skills gives you the ability to transfer mathematical methods to many different applications, which expands your life and career opportunities in the field of mathematics and beyond. The mission of the mathematics program at Wheaton College is to prepare students to be transforming agents of Christ in a needy world beset by difficult problems.

majors - mathematics and applied mathematics
full-time faculty

Why Study Mathematics at Wheaton?

Located on the main floor of Wheaton’s science building, mathematics students and faculty interact with physical and biological scientists, geologists, and social scientists, as well as other disciplines at the intellectual crossroads of Wheaton’s curriculum to develop cross-disciplinary approaches to problem-solving.

The mathematics curriculum presents the basic concepts and methods in modern mathematics, develops your ability to think critically and logically, and gives you the ability to apply these ideas to other disciplines.

Our faculty are experts in their fields of specialization, such as the history and foundation of mathematics, theoretical statistics, math modeling, discrete math, cryptography, fractal geometry, and chaos theory, to name a few. In addition to their vast expertise, faculty cultivate relationships with each of their students. Professors in the mathematics program are committed to helping you succeed.

Recent graduates have undertaken careers in actuarial science, teaching, finance, economics, business, and statistics. No matter their eventual fields of service, all are prepared to apply their problem-solving and analytical skills to a world filled with complex problems. Alumni have attended top graduate schools in mathematics, statistics, biostatistics, education, computer science, physics or other related disciplines.

You'll have various opportunities for growth at Wheaton, including

  • Funded summer research and internships
  • Faculty mentoring relationships
  • Tutoring local middle school and high school students
  • Student employment as a teaching assistant
  • Participate in local, national, and international mathematics competitions (Putnam Exam, The Mathematical Contest in Modeling, The ACCA Calculus contest)
  • Study Abroad: Budapest Semester in Mathematics
  • Arithmos, our student-sponsored a math club, which hosts weekly dinners, social events, training for math competitions, guest speakers and more

What Will I Learn?

  • The traditional Mathematics major offers excellent preparation for a career in industry (such as finance or actuarial science), graduate school in mathematics or statistics, or secondary education. The mathematics major is well suited to be combined with other majors such as computer science, physics, or economics.
  • The Applied Mathematics major offers a thorough mathematics program combined with related courses that address developing world problems within the context of redemptive ministry. The program is flexible and allows you to choose an applied field of emphasis.

You can complete a Mathematics minor by taking 20 hours of select mathematics courses listed 200-level and above.


Consult the course catalog for full listing of current courses available in this field.

Possible Careers for Mathematicians

Professional mathematicians are rarely called “mathematicians.” Instead, their titles usually refer to the fields where they work and apply their mathematical training, for example “computational pharmacologist,” “mathematical neurobiologist,” or “financial numerical analyst.” The Center for Vocation and Career will be happy to help you explore the many career options available to you with this flexible degree.

  • Chemical and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
  • Communications Services Providers
  • E-commerce and Internet-Related Systems Providers
  • Engineering Research Organizations
  • Federally Funded Contractors
  • Financial Service and Investment Management Firms
  • Government Labs, Research Offices, and Agencies
  • Insurance Agencies
  • Medical Device Companies
  • Transportation Service Providers

Although the job descriptions vary widely, applied mathematicians are primarily involved in problem-solving, using existing mathematical techniques or designing and creating new mathematical tools. The demand for professionals with a deep mathematical knowledge is growing in many industries, and particularly in some emerging fields, such as:

  • Climatology
  • Computer Animation and Digital Imaging
  • Data Mining and Data Privacy
  • Ecology, Epidemiology, Environment
  • Finance and Economics
  • Systems Biology and Computational Pharmacology
  • Duke University
  • Harvard University
  • Indiana University
  • Northwestern University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Vanderbilt University
Being a Teaching Assistant for the Math Department provides opportunities to better master material from classes I have taken while giving me invaluable experience for graduate school. It also helps me to learn how to better communicate ideas to the other students I work with. — Erica Swain '17, Houston, Texas
At Wheaton I found my community in the Math department where our professors fostered an environment of teamwork, encouraging us to work through difficult material with our peers. — Amanda Hug '10