University of Connecticut

Mathematics Majors

All students interested in being a math major should take calculus (single variable and multivariable) and linear algebra (Math 2210). After this, the choice of courses depends on the kind of major you want to follow within the mathematics department. We have six tracks, described below.

Descriptions of the Different Math Major Tracks

A plan of study with complete requirements by course number for each math major is here. Note: In the semester before the semester you plan to graduate, apply for graduation using the directions here, and in the semester you plan to graduate prepare your final plan of study electronically here.

  • Mathematics. This track, which is pure mathematics, has courses such as abstract algebra, abstract linear algebra, analysis, differential geometry, and topology. The required upper-level courses in this track all have Math 2710 as a prerequisite. The difference between the BA and the BS is that the BA track requires one semester of analysis (3150) and the BS track requires a full year of analysis (3150 and 3151).
  • Applied Mathematics. The focus is on courses about, or using, differential equations and numerical analysis. Any student planning to do further work in applied math after graduation should study complex variables and (for those interested in mathematical finance) stochastic processes. A difference between the BA and BS degrees in applied math is that the BS requires a semester of analysis (Math 3150), which has Math 2710 as a prerequisite, but the BA does not have this requirement.
  • Actuarial Science. This major prepares students to become actuaries. Courses cover financial math, probability, actuarial mathematics, and actuarial modeling. Additional courses in finance, economics, computer programming, and accounting are required. Unlike the other tracks, students need a 3.2 grade point average both overall and in math courses to be admitted to this major, and are required to maintain an overall 3.2 grade point average to stay in this major. More information is available here.
  • Actuarial Science-Finance. This track combines actuarial skills with finance courses that emphasize security valuation, forecasting, and financial and risk management. It requires seven upper-level finance and actuarial courses in addition to the requirements for the actuarial science track. Students typically start in the actuarial science track and consider transitioning to this track in their junior year.
  • Mathematics-Physics. In this track, which is available only for a BS degree, a student can choose a physics emphasis (Track A, with an advisor in the physics department) or a math emphasis (Track B, with an advisor in the math department). Courses include differential equations, linear algebra, and complex analysis. Students following the math emphasis would choose further courses from areas such as differential geometry, abstract algebra, probability, and analysis (which mostly have Math 2710 as a prerequisite).
  • Mathematics-Statistics. This requires differential equations, mathematical statistics, and a certain number of credits in both the math and statistics departments.

Note: Math majors who want to become a middle school or high school math teacher in Connecticut can follow any of the non-actuarial tracks for a math degree (BA or BS). It is helpful for such majors to find out the math course requirements of the intended teacher certification program in order to take all the necessary math courses en route to the math degree, since such programs may have requirements that are more specific than the state for math teacher certification.

Basic Course Information

  • Courses: All undergraduate courses offered by the department.
  • Prerequisite flow chart for all math courses
  • Related Area Courses: a list of over 200 pre-approved related area courses for the Math and Applied Math tracks can be found in PeopleSoft under Student Center > Academic Requirements > Related Group Category > View Course List. Note: You can request courses not on that list to count as related area courses, but they will require the permission of your advisor. The related area courses listed already in Peoplesoft are automatically accepted and require no advisor permission.
  • Our W courses: Math 2710W, Math 2720W, Math 2974W, Math 3670W, Math 3796W. (In the catalog we also have Math 2194W, but it is not currently offered.)

Elective Course Information

  • Advanced Calculus sequence:
    The Advanced Calculus sequence (Math 2141Q, Math 2142Q, Math 2143Q, Math 2144Q) is designed to introduce the students to mathematical reasoning and proof through rigorous theory-focused single and multivariate calculus, linear algebra and differential equations. Entering students are expected to be familiar with standard first-semester calculus computations. For non-math majors, completion of the sequence satisfies the requirements for a minor in mathematics. The sequence is aimed at entering freshmen and sophomores, and registration requires permission from the instructor.
  • Math Scholars Courses: these courses are meant to be stimulating and challenging for students who have a proven record of achievement in previous math courses. Recent topics include p-adic numbers, dynamical systems, algebraic combinatorics, analysis on fractals, and cryptography. Registration for these courses requires permission of instructor.
  • First-Year Graduate Courses: the following courses offer preparation at the first-year graduate level in the three classical core areas of mathematics: analysis, algebra, and geometry/topology. Students interested in attending graduate school in mathematics are strongly encouraged to take at least one of theses courses.

Senior Thesis

A senior thesis in math could be either a research project or a deeper study of an important mathematical topic that goes beyond what is covered in undergraduate courses. Some faculty who advise a senior thesis will expect the student to begin work on the thesis at the start of the senior year, or during the summer before the senior year, and thereby spend two semester plus perhaps the preceding summer on the thesis. Other faculty who advise a senior thesis only require one semester of work. Therefore we strongly urge students to choose their advisor and topic by spring of the junior year; the student and advisor will determine the scope of the thesis and how much work needs to be done in the summer and fall.

If a student spends more than one semester working on the thesis (mathematical work and the writing), then each semester of thesis work before the last one should be taken as a section of Math 3799, Independent Study, which can be repeated for credit (if the student were to spend more than two semesters on the thesis). Only the final semester of thesis work should be taken as Math 3796W, Senior Thesis in Mathematics, and this usually would be the student’s final semester at UConn. (Honors students will receive honors credit for taking Math 3799 and 3796W as part of thesis work upon submitting the Honors Final Plan of Study.)

Registration for both Math 3799 and 3796W uses the same form, available at the “Independent Study” link on the Registrar’s forms page here. The whole form should be filled out, including signatures from you, your thesis advisor (called Instructor on the form), and your academic advisor, and the topic of the senior thesis, but the section number and the department head signature should be left blank. Bring the otherwise completed form to Rachel D’Antonio in the math department, who will work with the registrar to assign you an appropriate section number for the course. Submit this form during your course registration, rather than waiting until the beginning of the semester you start your thesis work, to make sure you have all the necessary approvals.

Math-Related Activities

  • UConn Math Club
  • Problem solving seminar
  • Putnam Competition (fall semester)
  • Calculus Competition (spring semester)

Contact Information

Inquiries regarding the Math Minor should be directed to:

Rachel D'Antonio
Undergraduate Program Assistant