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Math Requirements

Applicable for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The study of mathematics has always been central to the liberal arts, and mathematics has never been more vital for understanding our world than it is today.  At Colorado College, mathematics courses emphasize both the practical applications of the subject and its inherent beauty.  Majors and minors in mathematics receive a broad perspective on mathematical ideas, working closely with their peers and faculty in small classes.  The department is known for being inclusive and welcoming, and it takes pride in helping each student achieve his or her potential. Students in our department participate in many enriching activities, including the Budapest Semester in Mathematics, the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, the Putnam Exam, Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs), and our own blockly pizza problems.  

Faculty in the department maintain active research programs, and students have ample opportunity to work on research projects in diverse areas of pure and applied mathematics and statistics.  Our alumni have gone on to graduate school and academic careers in mathematics and other disciplines, as well as careers in finance, K-12 education, medicine, law, engineering, and information technology.  A degree in mathematics opens many doors, and closes none.

Major

In addition to the All College Requirements, a student majoring in Mathematics must complete:

  • MA126 Calculus 1 and MA129 Calculus 2 (or equivalent) 
  • MA204 Calculus 3, MA220 Linear Algebra, and MA251 Number Theory (must be completed before declaring the major) 
  • MA321 Abstract Algebra 1 and MA375 Real Analysis 1 
  • One of the following (which should be taken in the same year as its prerequisite whenever possible):
    • MA421 Abstract Algebra 2
    • MA475 Real Analysis 2
    • MA417 Mathematical Statistics
    • OR both MA416 Partial Differential Equations and MA418 Numerical Analysis
  • One of the following sets of electives (Independent Study courses (MA255MA355MA455) cannot be used to satisfy this requirement):
    • Three other 300-400 level one-unit courses in Mathematics, not being used to meet one of the requirements above or the capstone requirement
    • Two other 300-400 level one-unit courses and two 200-level one unit courses in Mathematics, not being used to meet one of the requirements above or the capstone requirement
    • Two other 300-400 level one-unit courses and one 200-level one unit course in Mathematics, not being used to meet one of the requirements above or the capstone requirement, as well as one non-Mathematics course from a list of approved courses on the department’s website.
  • All non-transfer students may count at most three 300-400 level courses taken at other institutions (not to include equivalents of MA321 and MA375) toward their Mathematics major, provided that these courses are approved by the department. 

 A student majoring in Mathematics must also: 

  1. Attend at least four departmental Fearless Friday talks or department-approved talks after declaring the major, and submit a summary of each talk on Canvas within three weeks of the seminar. These write-ups must be submitted by the beginning of Block 7 of the student's senior year. 
  2. Complete a capstone experience intended to give the student an opportunity to engage Mathematics in a deep and meaningful way. The capstone will challenge the student to read, write, and think about mathematics, drawing on the knowledge and skills that they have acquired throughout their studies. There are two ways to complete the capstone requirement:
    1. Pass MA408 History of Mathematics during the senior year. In this case, MA408 will not count as one of the 300-400 level electives needed for the major. 
    2. Complete a senior thesis. The student must enroll in one block of MA499 (Senior Thesis) with his or her thesis advisor during the senior year. Students must submit proposals for their thesis topics in the spring semester of their junior year. 

Please visit the department's website for information about Distinction in Mathematics.

Minor

To minor in Mathematics, a student must either:

Successfully complete one of the eight designated options for a minor in Mathematics listed below.

OR

Successfully complete a Mathematics minor designed in consultation with a department member and approved by the department. A plan for a minor must be approved by the department by the end of the first block of the student’s senior year. 

  • Statistics: MA204, (MA217 or MA218/EV228), MA220, MA313, and MA417 
  • Applied Variations: MA204, MA220, MA315, and two of (MA313, MA416, MA311, or MA418)
    • Including the MA311 option would constitute a mathematical physics minor.
  • Analysis Variations: MA204, MA220, MA251, MA375, and (MA315, MA475, or MA417)
  • Discrete: (MA201 or MA202), MA220, MA251, MA325, and (CP222, or MA321, CS majors must select the MA321 option)
  • Algebra: MA204, MA220, MA251, MA321, and MA421
  • Pure: MA204, MA220, MA251, MA300, and (MA321 or MA375)
  • Mathematical Biology: MA204, MA256, MA220, MA315, and (MA313 or MA416)
  • Modeling: MA204, MA217, MA220, MA313, and MA315

A student minoring in Mathematics must take at least three of the required courses at CC.