With a large number of supporting courses and free electives, the mathematics major at Behrend provides our students the opportunity to tailor their degree to suit their personal career goals. To help achieve their objectives, students can choose one of several options within the mathematics major. Each option is described below. For complete requirements, please refer to the University Bulletin.
Graduate Studies (aka: Pure Mathematics)
The Graduate Studies option is the most traditional and flexible version of the Behrend mathematics major. In addition to providing a solid foundation in analysis, algebra, and statistics, this option includes additional coursework designed to prepare students for graduate studies in the mathematical sciences. This is the typical option for those who desire a dual degree in mathematics and mathematics education. Graduates of this option have found employment as research analysts, mathematicians, consultants, and information architects.
The Applied Mathematics option is designed for students whose interests are in the application of mathematics to problems from other fields including engineering, biology, chemistry, and physics. Along with mathematics courses involving analysis, modeling, and problem solving, students choose supporting courses that are tailored to suit their interests in these other fields. Graduates of this option have found employment as systems engineers, aerospace engineers, operations research analysts, and telecommunications analysts, and have also gone on to pursue advanced degrees in mathematics-related fields.
The national and global need for graduates with strong quantitative and data analysis skills coupled with a solid background in finance and economics is increasing as the business climate changes. Many students who graduate in business have insufficient mathematical background to analyze employers’ complex problems. The Business option is designed for those who enjoy and value mathematics as their primary goal and also see excitement and potential in the business applications. With careful planning, students in this option can also earn the Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics certificate and/or a minor in Statistics. Similarly, it is possible for students in this option to earn the mathematics degree and an MBA in only five years. Graduates of this option have found employment in business and as actuaries, statisticians, and portfolio analysts.
The Computer Science option is designed for students whose interests lie at the interface of mathematics and computer science. In this option, much emphasis is given to the use of the computer as a tool to solve mathematical models of real-world problems. Often, majors in this option earn a double major in mathematics and computer science. Graduates of the Computer Science option have found employment as computer programmers, computer analysts, and software engineers and, in some cases, have started their own software companies.
Typical Course Sequence
Below is a typical course sequence for the Mathematics bachelor's degree program. Schedules will vary by student, depending on areas of interest as well as their chosen option. Courses indicated as "Approved supporting course" below are those that are required by the student's particular option. Students also choose a sequence of courses in biology, chemistry or physics (indicated as "Science Sequence course" below).
|Semester 1||Credits||Semester 2||Credits|
|Introduction to Programming Techniques||3||Matrices||2|
|Calculus with Analytic Geometry I||4||Calculus with Analytic Geometry II||4|
|Science Sequence course||4||Science Sequence course||4|
|Rhetoric and Composition||3||Intermediate Programming Techniques||3|
|First-Year Seminar||1||Arts course||3|
|Total Credits||15||Total Credits||16|
|Semester 3||Semester 4|
|Effective Speech||3||Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations||4|
|Statistical Analysis I||3||Concepts of Discrete Mathematics||4|
|Health and Physical Activity||1.5||Experimental Methods||3|
|Calculus and Vector Analysis||4||Science Sequence course||3|
|Humanities Course||3||Health and Physical Activity||1.5|
|Total Credits||14.5||Total Credits||15.5|
|Semester 5||Semester 6|
|Concepts of Real Analysis||3||Applied Nonparametric Statistics||3|
|Applied Regression Analysis||3||Applied Ordinary Differential Equations||3|
Mathematical Methods of Operations
|3||Effective Writing: Technical Writing||3|
|Complex Analysis||3||Introduction to Numerical Analysis I||3|
|Social and Behavioral Science course||3||Arts Course||3|
|Total Credits||15||Total Credits||15|
|Semester 7||Semester 8|
Fourier Series and Partial Differential
|3||Approved supporting course||3|
|Introduction to Topology||3||Approved supporting course||3|
|Introduction to Numerical Analysis II||3||Social and Behavioral Science course||3|
|Approved supporting course||3||Elective||3|
|Total Credits||15||Total Credits||15|