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Mathematics

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Undergraduate Study

For the undergraduate curriculum in liberal arts and sciences, major in mathematics, leading to the degree bachelor of science, see Liberal Arts and Sciences, Curriculum.

The program in mathematics offers training suitable for students planning to enter secondary school teaching, to work in mathematics and computation for industry or government, or to continue their studies in graduate school. Students may satisfy the major requirements in several ways, suitable for various career objectives. Graduates can construct rigorous arguments to demonstrate mathematical facts. They can communicate their mathematical methods to others and can justify their assumptions.

Traditional Program

The traditional program of study for mathematics majors gives students a thorough grounding in mathematics. Graduates understand a broad range of mathematical topics and are familiar with a broad range of mathematical models. They have skills for solving problems in diverse situations. The program allows flexibility for specialization, and students are encouraged to steer their education according to career objectives.

MATH 101Orientation in Mathematics1
MATH 165Calculus I4
MATH 166Calculus II4
MATH 201Introduction to Proofs3
MATH 265Calculus III4
One of the following:3-4
Theory of Linear Algebra
Applied Linear Algebra
MATH 301Abstract Algebra I3
MATH 414Analysis I3
One of the following:3-4
Elementary Differential Equations
Elementary Differential Equations and Laplace Transforms
One of the following:2
Undergraduate Seminar
Pre-Student Teaching Experience III: Mathematics 1
Additional Mathematics courses at the 300 level or above15
Total Credits45-47
1

C I 480C is available only for students seeking secondary school certification.

The courses listed above must include one of the sequences:
Abstract Algebra I
and Abstract Algebra II
Introduction to Scientific Computing
and Numerical Methods for Differential Equations
Combinatorics
and Graph Theory
Analysis I
and Analysis II
Geometry I
and Geometry II

Communication Proficiency Requirement:

ENGL 150Critical Thinking and Communication3
ENGL 250Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition 23
One of the following: 33
Business Communication
Free-Lance Writing for Popular Magazines
Creative Writing: Nonfiction
Proposal and Report Writing
Technical Communication
Undergraduate Thesis 4
2

According to the university-wide Communication Proficiency Grade Requirement, students must demonstrate their communication proficiency by earning a grade of C or better in ENGL 250.

3

with grade C- or better

4

with departmental approval

Mathematics Plus

The Mathematics Plus option is for students who wish to establish a clear strength in a field of application of mathematics. They obtain the mathematics major by pursuing study of mathematics, through the upper division level, complementary to their application area. This program makes double majors more feasible and is appropriate for students who plan on employment or graduate study in the application field. It is not intended for students who plan on graduate study in mathematics. For more information, see the mathematics department web site or consult an adviser in mathematics.

Secondary Education

For certification requirements for teaching of mathematics in grades 5-12, see the Mathematics Department and School of Education web sites or consult an adviser. 

Recommendations

The department strongly recommends that each student majoring in mathematics include in the program substantial supporting work beyond the minimum general education requirement of the college in one or more areas of application of mathematics, such as other mathematical sciences, engineering, natural science, economics or finance. Particularly useful are:

COM S 207Fundamentals of Computer Programming3
COM S 208Intermediate Computer Programming3
PHIL 207Introduction to Symbolic Logic3
PHYS 221Introduction to Classical Physics I5
PHYS 222Introduction to Classical Physics II5
STAT 201Introduction to Statistical Concepts and Methods4

It also recommends that students contemplating graduate study in mathematics acquire a reading knowledge of French, German, or Russian.

Credits Not Counted

Credits earned in the following cannot be counted toward graduation by mathematics majors:

MATH 104Introduction to Probability3
MATH 105Introduction to Mathematical Ideas3
MATH 106Discovering Mathematics3
MATH 140College Algebra3
MATH 143Preparation for Calculus4
MATH 145Applied Trigonometry3
MATH 150Discrete Mathematics for Business and Social Sciences3
MATH 151Calculus for Business and Social Sciences3
MATH 160Survey of Calculus4
MATH 181Calculus and Mathematical Modeling for the Life Sciences I4
MATH 195Mathematics for Elementary Education I3
MATH 196Mathematics for Elementary Education II3

Minor in Mathematics

The department offers a minor in mathematics, which may be earned by credit in the following:

MATH 201Introduction to Proofs3
MATH 265Calculus III4
One of the following
MATH 317Theory of Linear Algebra4
MATH 407Applied Linear Algebra3
One of the following
MATH 301Abstract Algebra I3
MATH 304Combinatorics3
MATH 314Graph Theory3
MATH 350Number Theory3
MATH 421Logic for Mathematics and Computer Science3
MATH 435Geometry I3
MATH 436Geometry II3
One of the following
MATH 266Elementary Differential Equations3
MATH 267Elementary Differential Equations and Laplace Transforms4
MATH 331Topology3
MATH 341Introduction to the Theory of Probability and Statistics I4
MATH 365Complex Variables with Applications3
MATH 373Introduction to Scientific Computing3
MATH 414Analysis I3

Without Teacher Certification

Freshman
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 1011MATH 1664
MATH 1654Social Science Choice3
ENGL 1503Arts & Humanities Choice3
LIB 1601Natural Science Choice3
Natural Science Choice3Electives2
Electives3 
 15 15
Sophomore
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 2013MATH 2674
MATH 2654MATH 3174
Social Science Choice3ENGL 2503
Arts & Humanities Choice3Social Science Choice3
Electives2Electives1
 15 15
Junior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH Two-Course Sequence13MATH Two-Course Sequence13
MATH 301 or 4143MATH 301 or 4143
Arts & Humanities Choice3Communication Choice23
Foreign Language/Electives4Foreign Language/Electives 
Natural Science Choice Electives2
 13 11
Senior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH Choice, Level 300+3MATH Choice, Level 300+3
MATH 492 or MATH Choice, Level 300+2-3MATH 492 or MATH Choice, Level 300+2-3
Arts & Humanitites Choice3Electives9-10
Electives6-7 
 14-16 14-16

Students in all ISU majors must complete a three-credit course in U.S. diversity and a three-credit course in international perspectives. Check http://www.registrar.iastate.edu/courses/div-ip-guide.html for a list of approved courses. These courses may be courses that apply to other requirements. Discuss with your adviser how the two courses that you select can be applied to your graduation plan.

The LAS General Education requirements for Mathematics majors are 12 credits Arts and Humanities, 8 credits Natural Science, and 9 credits Social Science from the approved lists. See https://las.iastate.edu/students/academics/general-education/.

LAS majors require a minimum of 120 credits, including a minimum of 45 credits at the 300/400 level, and including at least 8 credits in the major at the 300/400 level with grade C or better. Three of the required 45 300+ level credits must be earned in a general educational group outside the group of the major. Students must also meet the LAS foreign-language requirement and complete any unmet admission requirements.

1

Every mathematics major must complete at least one of the following sequences:

   a.  Algebra -- MATH 301 and MATH 302
   b.  Analysis -- MATH 414 and MATH 415
   c.  Discrete -- MATH 304 and MATH 314
   d.  Geometry -- MATH 435 and MATH 436
   e.  Numerical -- MATH 373 and MATH 481

If you use 301/302 or 414/415, then add an additional MATH Elective (300+).

Note that some courses are taught only in fall or only in spring, so plan appropriately.

2

ENGL 302, 303, 305, 309, 314, or MATH 491 with departmental approval.

With 5-12 Teacher Certification

Freshman
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 1503MATH 1664
LIB 1601STAT 2014
MATH 1011C I 2043
MATH 1654C I 2191
PSYCH 2303C I 280L0.5
General Education6General Education6
 18 18.5
Sophomore
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 2013MATH 266 or 267 - Differential Equations3-4
MATH 2654MATH 3174
ENGL 2503C I 3333
C I 2023COM S 107 or 207 - Programming3
General Education4General Education3
Take Praxis-I by October 1 2.5 GPA for Admission to Teacher Ed 
 17 16-17
Junior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 3013MATH 34224
MATH 3414MATH 3973
MATH 4353MATH 4363
C I 4063C I 280A2
Communication Choice13C I 4263
General Education3C I 3953
 19 18
Senior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 4143C I 417C14
MATH 4973 
C I 480C2 
SP ED 4013 
General Education4 
 15 14

Students in all ISU majors must complete a three-credit course in U.S. diversity and a three-credit course in international perspectives. Check http://www.registrar.iastate.edu/courses/div-ip-guide.html for a list of approved courses. These courses may be courses that apply to other requirements. Discuss with your adviser how the two courses that you select can be applied to your graduation plan.

The LAS General Education requirements for Mathematics majors are 12 credits Arts and Humanities, 8 credits Natural Science, and 9 credits Social Science from the approved lists. See https://las.iastate.edu/students/academics/general-education/.

LAS majors require a minimum of 120 credits, including a minimum of 45 credits at the 300/400 level, and including at least 8 credits in the major at the 300/400 level with grade C or better. Three of the required 45 300+ level credits must be earned in a general educational group outside the group of the major. Students must also meet the LAS foreign-language requirement and complete any unmet admission requirements.

Students pursuing licensure to teach grades 5 – 12 must meet the professional teacher education requirements established by the University Teacher Education Program.  See http://www.education.iastate.edu/undergraduate-studies/secondary-education/.

1

ENGL 302, 303, 305, 309, 314, or MATH 491 with departmental approval.

2

Recommended

Graduate Study

The department offers programs leading to a Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degree in mathematics or applied mathematics, as well as minor work for students whose major is in another department. The department also offers a program leading to the degree of Master of School Mathematics (M.S.M.).

Students desiring to undertake graduate work leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree should prepare themselves by taking several upper division mathematics courses.

The M.S. degree requires a student to take at least 30 credit hours and to write a creative component or thesis. Additionally, students must pass a comprehensive oral examination over their coursework and their creative component or thesis. See the online Mathematics Graduate Handbook for specific requirements.

The Ph.D. degree requires a student to take 48 credit hours of coursework in addition to research hours, pass written qualifying examinations, pass an oral preliminary exam, and perform an original research project culminating in a dissertation which is defended by an oral exam. Ph.D. candidates must have at least one year of supervised teaching experience. See the on-line Mathematics Graduate Handbook for specific requirements.

The M.S.M. degree is primarily for in-service secondary mathematics teachers. Students desiring to pursue the M.S.M degree should present some undergraduate work in mathematics beyond calculus. Candidates for the M.S.M. degree must write an approved creative component and pass a comprehensive oral examination over their course work and their creative component.