Undergraduate Programs

This document contains the answers to many of the questions students have about majoring in math and statistics. Browse at will! If you don't see the answer to your question here, send an e-mail to one of us! See the directory link above.

Why should I major in the mathematical sciences?

Creative problem solvers, analytical thinkers, effective computer users, creators of mathematical models, experts at dealing with data, proficient speakers and writers -- we want these things and more to be said of our graduates. In our department, majors will hone these skills.

Each year CareerCast.com rates the best jobs. In its results for 2017:

As the world becomes more quantitative and data-focused, mathematics takes center stage, with Statistician topping the best jobs of 2017. Applying the Jobs Rated criteria – evaluating income, growth outlook, stress and environmental factors – this hot field ranked No. 1.

In fact, many of top 10 jobs are math and/or computation related!

What will a graduate be trained for? Past graduates have been employed in many areas related to education, business, and science, including: middle school and high school teaching; actuarial science and insurance; applications programming; statistics and data analysis; manufacturing quality control; engineering tech; medical data analysis; management; and college teaching. Also look at Dr. Jeff Hirst's career options page for more links and info on math careers.

Which math program is right for me?

There are several programs in the mathematical sciences at Appalachian: bachelor of science (BS) degrees in actuarial sciences, mathematics, and statistics, and a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in mathematics.

  • Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Sciences: Mainly for students interested in careers in actuarial sciences, financial analysis, the insurance and banking industries, and government agencies such as the Census Bureau.

  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics: The range of careers available to mathematics majors is very broad. The BS program is designed to be flexible to allow you to concentrate on an area particular to your own interests. In addition to a strong mathematics core of courses, you would take 18-25 hours in a career-related field, such as Business, Computation, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Secondary Education, Statistics.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics: Designed for students focused on a liberal arts education. Some of the mathematics requirements are replaced with more humanities, in particular, a foreign language and a minor outside of the mathematical sciences are both required.

To learn more about the programs of study for these majors, follow the links in the left sidebar.

What are my Options?

Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Arts


How can I get ahead start on graduate work?

Students who are approaching their senior year (90 or more hours complete) and who have a 3.4 GPA can request to be nominated for the Accelerated Admission program. This program allows strong seniors to take graduate courses for some of their undergraduate electives and double count up to 12 hours at both the undergraduate and graduate level. [more information]

Are you a computer science or physics major thinking about a minor or double major in math?

Why would I want to?

  • We have heard back from students who were told that they were chosen for interviews because they had a strong math background.
  • More flexibility for career paths: engineering, business, operations research, management science
  • Students with strong math backgrounds can choose a wider range of majors in graduate school: engineering, operations research, management science, computer science.

What would I need to do for a minor?

  • Computer Science majors: You already need Linear Algebra, so just 2 more courses (for example, Calculus 3 and Numerical Methods - which can count as a CS elective!) is all you would need.
  • Physics majors: You already need Calculus 3 and Differential Equations, so just one more course (for example, Linear Algebra or Advanced Differential Equations) is all you would need.

What would I need for a double major?

The most likely choice for you would be the Mathematics/Computation or Mathematics/Physical Sciences options. THINK ABOUT IT!!! Come to the department office in 342 Walker Hall and ask for an advisor to get more information!