- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Mathematics is the foundation of physical and social sciences and an essential tool for scientific research. Modern industries and technology rely on advanced mathematical theory. Mathematics itself has also been a special art throughout the development of human civilization.
Bachelor of science in mathematics
- Actuarial Sciences
- Applied Mathematics
- Mathematics Teaching
- Theoretical Mathematics
Specialization tracks available
- Strengths of the program
- WSU’s internship program places students at Boeing Corporation, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, and other national labs and companies.
- Work with department faculty on research projects.
- Join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
- The Owen Science and Engineering Library subscribes to more than 200 math journals and there are 15,000 volumes in the math section of the library.
- The department maintains strong computing facilities that are readily available for students.
- Several math department scholarships are available.
- Study options
You can focus your degree by choosing one of these option areas:
- Actuarial sciences - Prepares actuaries to do research, planning, forecasting, and decision-making as regards risk and contingency in financial and insurance programs.
- Applied Mathematics - Prepares you to use theories and techniques, such as mathematical modeling and computational methods, to formulate and solve practical problems in business, government, engineering, and physical, biological, and social sciences.
- Theoretical Mathematics - Prepares you for graduate studies in the mathematical sciences or related fields such as economics, law, and business, where a strong analytical background is a great asset.
- Mathematics Teaching - Includes Washington state secondary teaching certification. Leads to positions in secondary education; as math consultants for districts or states; textbook or media authors; or continuing education teachers. Demand is high both regionally and nationally for math teachers. The teaching option is also available without certification. The curriculum is nearly identical, except that certification will need to be obtained separately if you want to teach at the secondary school level. If you plan to pursue a graduate degree in education, the teaching option without certification may be ideal.
Students usually choose study options in the junior year.
If you're interested in math but don't want a degree in it, consider a minor in mathematics. A math minor can be added to nearly any major. And math study is a perfect complement to science, engineering, business, and economics majors.
For complete information about the math major, please visit the Department of Mathematics Undergraduate Studies page. You will find detailed information and course requirements for each available option in the Mathematics Guide for the Undergraduate.
- Campus organizations and activities
Math Club: You don’t have to be a math major to join. The club gives both graduate and undergraduate students an opportunity to use and improve their mathematics skills and to learn more about advancements and opportunities in the fields of mathematics. The group invites guest speakers to talk about interesting aspects of mathematics, or provide career advice.
PreToM Club: The Preservice Teachers of Mathematics Club gives WSU students studying math education an opportunity to use and improve their teaching and mathematical skills, learn about the profession, and attend teachers' conferences.
WSU National Math Modeling Team: Prepare and compete as part of interdisciplinary teams in regional and international math modeling competitions.
Putnam Team: Students work with faculty to prepare for the annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition — an annual competional for undergraduate students in North America.
Actuarial Science Club: Students work together to prepare for the actuarial exams, edit their resumes, practice job interviews, and network. Students travel to visit insurance companies and financial institutions.
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
For all students at WSU
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, you'll need to do these two things:
- Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration, including departmental awards.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need. Get started here.
For math majors
The College of Arts and Sciences awards more than $50,000 in scholarships each year. For more information, see the CAS scholarships page. Visit the Department of Mathematics scholarship page for a list of endowed scholarship funds.
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
Students planning to major in mathematics at WSU should take four years of mathematics in high school through at least pre-calculus.
Most mathematics majors begin with first or second semester calculus at WSU (Math 171 or 172/182).
Other reasons to study mathematics
- Mathematics is excellent preparation for law school. In fact, mathematics majors are the highest scorers on the LSAT.
- Mathematics majors have high acceptance rates to medical school.
- Mathematics is excellent preparation for business school: mathematics majors are the highest scorers on the GMAT.
- Mathematician, Actuary, Data Scientist, and Statistician are often ranked among the top ten jobs.
- In many surveys, Mathematician is ranked first as the career with the greatest job satisfaction.
- Careers in mathematics
What you can do with a degree in mathematics
- Business management
- Mathematics research and education
- Law enforcement
- Operations research
- Computer scientist
Skills you can market with a degree in mathematics
- Ability to formulate, model, and solve problems from physical and social sciences
- Flexibility to apply knowledge across many applications
- Computational skills and ability to work well with colleagues
- Ability to research, collect, and interpret data
- Ability to predict various probable outcomes