Why major in mathematics?

Undergraduate mathematics is essential preparation for graduate study in the mathematical sciences, including mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics, and computer science.  In addition, many employers and other academic disciplines recognize that a BS in mathematics is evidence of high-level training in problem solving.  More information about career opportunities for mathematics majors can be found at the Mathematical Association of America's website.

Mathematics Degree Programs: Majors, Options, and Minors

  • Undergraduates at OSU can pursue a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics or choose one of four specialized options within the degree program.  Many of our mathematics majors are double majors, especially in other sciences or engineering. 
  • The Department of Mathematics also offers minors in Mathematics and in Actuarial Science.  The minor in Actuarial Science includes courses of interest in the Actuarial and Financial industries.
  • Detailed information about these degrees can be found in the Undergraduate Handbook. Official program requirements for all department programs, including the Mathematics major and its options, as well as the minors in Mathematics and in Actuarial Science, are listed in the OSU General Catalog.The sample program shows a possible path through the curriculum for students who are able to start MTH 251, Differential Calculus, in their first term.
  • The upper division requirements for the Mathematics BS degree were revised effective March 2015. Students who have declared a mathematics major during or after Spring 2015 will follow the new degree program as given in the Undergraduate Handbook. Students who entered the program before Spring 2015 can choose between the pre-2015 requirements and the new requirements. See your advisor if you wish to switch to the "new rules." The pre-2015 requirements are given in the Archived Undergraduate Handbook.
  • A new Mathematical Biology option for the Mathematics major was approved effective Winter 2017.

We are happy to talk with you about our programs.  If you have questions about the mathematics undergraduate degrees, including the recent revisions, please email a mathematics advisor at UndergradInfo@math.oregonstate.edu

Programmatic Outcomes for the Mathematics Major, Mathematics Minor and Actuarial Science Minor

The following are the Mathematics Major, Mathematics Minor and Actuarial Science Minor Program Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate mathematical reasoning skills by reading, writing, and explaining formal definitions and theorems, and proofs.
  • Analyze mathematical problems by applying the theory and techniques from a variety of mathematical perspectives.
  • Use computational technology to support problem solving and mathematical understanding.
  • Use mathematical concepts and techniques to recognize, formulate and analyze questions from another discipline.
  • Communicate mathematics effectively.