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Special Interest Tracks

Special interest tracks

Students with special interests in teaching, applied mathematics, statistics, and/or graduate school may wish to supplement the basic major with additional coursework. The Dept has some suggested program tracks emphasizing these interests. 

Groups of courses designed to include the major requirements along with courses that support certain special interests. 

General track

We recommend making choices and supplementing the standard major from among the following:

  • CP 122 Computer Science I

  • One of
    • MA 217 Probability and Statistical Modeling

    • MA 313 Probability

  • One of
  • Two related courses from a field outside mathematics that makes substantial use of mathematics (For example, PC 241 and PC 242)

Statistics track

Ideally, the major should complete these courses by the end of the indicated year.

First year:

  • MA 126 Calculus 1

  • MA 129 Calculus 2

  • (Optional) One of:
    • EC 215 Economics and Social Statistics
    • BY 220 Statistical Analysis 

Second year:

Third year:

  • MA 217 Probability and Statistical Modeling

  • MA 313 Probability

  • MA 321 Abstract Algebra I

Fourth year:

  • MA 375 Introduction to Mathematical Analysis

  • MA 417 Mathematical Statistics

  • One of the two following pairs of courses:
    • Classical Inference Emphasis:
    • Numerical Approximation Emphasis:

In addition, we strongly encourage statistics students to take one or more of the following courses from outside mathematics:

  • EC 450 Econometrics
  • PY 201 Research Design in Psychology
  • SO 412 Qualitative and Quantitative Methods of Social Research

Applied Math track

We recommend that students interested in this track choose MA 417 from the options listed in the section describing the standard major. Students who plan to study engineering are advised to consider their math electives from the suggested courses in this track.

To meet and supplement the remaining 300 and 400 level requirements we recommend:

  • MA 313 Probability

  • MA 315 Differential Equations

  • A minimum of one course from the following list:
    • MA 311 Vector Analysis (taught by physics faculty)

    • MA 416 PDE

    • MA 318 Numerical Analysis

    • MA 325 Graph Theory

    • MA 340 Topics in Mathematics: Mathematical Modeling

    • MA 410 Complex Analysis

In addition, we recommend the following 200 level courses:

  • MA 217 Probability and Statistical Modeling

Also, we advise that applied math students take (at least) two courses in a department of natural science outside mathematics, or in economics. Here are some suggestions:

  • Biology:

    • BY 208 Ecology
    • BY 210 Cell Biology
    • BY 212 Plant Diversity and Evolution
  • Chemistry:

    • CH 107 General Chemistry I
    • CH 108 General Chemistry II
  • Environmental Science:

    • EV 211 Quantitative Methods in Environmental Science
    • Check course offerings for an additional course
  • Geology:

    • GY 130 Introductory Geology (2 units)
  • Physics:

    • PC 241 Introduction to Classical Physics
    • PC 242 Introduction to Classical Physics
  • Psychology:

    • PY 100 Introduction to Psychology
    • PY 201 Research Design in Psychology
    • PY 312 Neuroscience
    • PY 324 Perception
    • PY 332 Learning and Adaptive Behavior
  • Economics:

    • EC 203 Principles of Economics (2 units)
    • EC 204 Principles of Microeconomics
    • EC 205 Principles of Macroeconomics
    • EC 450 Econometrics

Secondary Teaching track

Ideally, the major should complete these courses by the end of the indicated year:

First year:

  • MA 126 Calculus 1

  • MA 129 Calculus 2

  • One of:
    • EC 215 Economics and Social Statistics
    • BY 220 Statistical Analysis
    • MA 117 Probability and Statistics

Second year:

  • MA 204 Calculus 3

  • MA 251 Number Theory
  • MA 220 Linear Algebra

  • One sequence from among:
    • PC 141, PC 142 Introductory Physics I and II
    • PC 241, PC 242 Introductory Classical Physics I and II

Third year:

  • MA 321MA 421 Abstract Algebra I and II (omit MA 421 if you plan to take MA 475)

  • MA 217 Probability and Statistical Modeling (alternatively, take an introductory statistics course in another department.)

  • CP 122 Computer Science I 

  • One of:
  • One of:

Fourth year:



Graduate School track

We recommend supplementing the standard major by completing all of the following:

  • MA 322 Abstract Algebra II

  • MA 475 Real Analysis II

  • MA 345 Research in Mathematics

  • MA 410 Complex Analysis

  • MA 399 Seminar in Mathematics (1/2 unit)

  • One other 400 level mathematics course

The material in the first three courses is important to meet entrance requirements and also for the subject GRE. MA 345 allows a chance to see if you enjoy mathematical research. The second 400 level course helps develop the depth necessary for a transition to graduate school.

We also recommend a beginning in either German, French or Russian. Most Ph.D. and many master's programs require one or two of these languages for graduation (but not for admission).

Graduate school track in statistics, applied math or computer science

We suggest following the relevant track and supplementing it with an additional 400 level course (to develop mathematical depth) and other courses tailored to suit your interests and the entrance requirements of the graduate programs you are considering. Your advisor can help you plan your coursework. MA 345 (Research in mathematics), MA 355 and MA455 (Independent Study) provide opportunities for students to investigate topics not offered in courses. These may involve research, interdisciplinary projects, or supervised internships off campus.

In addition, as most graduate programs in math and science require a reading knowledge of French, Russian or German, we recommend you study one of these languages while you are at CC.