2019-2020 Catalog 
    Jul 31, 2021  
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mathematics Major

Major Requirements

The major in mathematics requires 11 courses, distributed as follows:

2. Focus Area (7 courses)

Complete 1 of the following focus areas:

Pure Mathematics

General Mathematics

  • 1 course in Algebra (courses numbered 170-179)
  • 1 course in Geometry/Topology (courses numbered 140-149)
  • 1 course in Applied Mathematics
  • 1 course in Computer Science/Discrete Mathematics
  • 3 electives in General Mathematics, including 1 with an upper level prerequisite


All electives must be approved by the student’s faculty mathematics advisor or the mathematical sciences department chair. Electives may be taken at any of the Claremont Colleges, provided the course does not duplicate content of a required course or another elective. See your advisor to verify that a particular course can be used.

Pure mathematics electives
  • Analysis (courses numbered 130 to 139)
  • Geometry/Topology (courses numbered 140 to 149)
  • Probability/Statistics (courses numbered 150 to 159)
  • Algebra (courses numbered 170 to 179)

Students in the pure mathematics focus area may also choose one course numbered MATH100 or higher as an elective. Other choices are possible with approval of the department chair or a mathematics advisor.

Applied Mathematics electives

Any course numbered MATH100 or higher, and any course numbered CSCI070 or higher can serve as an Applied Mathematics elective.

General Mathematics electives

Courses with an upper level prerequisite are:

Senior Thesis in Mathematics

The senior thesis is a general education requirement and the capstone experience of a student’s undergraduate education. Students must complete a senior thesis in at least 1 of their majors under supervision of a faculty reader who teaches within that major, unless granted a special exception.

Students interested in a 2-semester thesis project complete a 0.5 credit or 1.0 credit thesis research course in the 1st semester and the senior thesis in the 2nd semester. The senior thesis and the thesis research course may not be counted as courses in the major.

Special Options for Majors

Dual Major

Dual majors may waive 2 electives in the requirements for the major.

Honors in Mathematics

To be eligible for departmental honors in mathematics, students majoring in mathematics, including students with a dual major, must:

  • Earn at least a 10.00 GPA in all major courses
  • Write a senior thesis in mathematics

Study Abroad

Mathematics majors who are interested in studying abroad should consult with the chair of the department no later than the beginning of their sophomore year to review course selections.

The department strongly recommends the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics. This is a program in mathematics and computer science especially designed for American and Canadian undergraduates.

General Education Requirement Information for Mathematics Majors

General Education Requirement in Mathematics/Computer Science

Any course offered by the CMC Department of Mathematical Sciences may satisfy the general education requirement. Any computer science course or calculus couse offered at the other undergraduate Claremont Colleges may also satisfy the general education requirement. Students may take a pre-calculus course either in Claremont or off-campus for credit towards graduation but not for the general education requirement in mathematics.

General Education Requirement in the Social Sciences and the Humanities

For the general education requirement in the social sciences and the humanities, CMC students majoring in mathematics must take designated courses in 3 of the 4 fields of the social sciences (economics, government, history, and psychology), and in 2 of the 4 fields of the humanities (literature, philosophy, religious studies, and literature in a foreign language).

Mathematics majors with a dual or double major in either the humanities or the social sciences will be required to take an additional course in those categories.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes of the Program in Mathematical Sciences

Learning Goals

The learning goals of the program in mathematical sciences are:

  1. Proficiency in fundamental subjects in mathematics such as Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, and Probability Theory.
  2. Knowledge of a range of mathematical subjects chosen from algebra, analysis geometry, discrete and continuous applied mathematics, operations research, computer science, and statistics.
  3. Development of critical thinking in the construction of mathematical proofs and mathematical models.
  4. Development of problem solving skills and techniques.
  5. Facility in all types of quantitative reasoning.
  6. Understanding of connections between various areas of mathematics.
  7. Development of the ability to effectively communicate mathematical ideas.
  8. Knowledge of the applications and relevance of mathematical ideas to other areas of science and to our civilization.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate proficiency in calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, and probability theory.
  2. Students will demonstrate proficiency in one of three areas, pure mathematics, applied mathematics, and general mathematics.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate mathematical concepts and ideas.
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to apply effectively appropriate quantitative analysis and methods.