Selecting Later Courses

The following are course-selection topics we have discussed with many students.

Math Camp, for students considering the math major

All math majors take MATH 221, a course affectionately known as “Math Camp,” which teaches how to think like a mathematician and is a prerequisite to some required higher level courses. It’s best to take this class by the end of your sophomore year. Students who completed MATH s21 have satisfied the requirement for MATH 221.

Courses outside the Mathematics Department that can count toward the math major

According to the College Catalog: “One elective may also be replaced by a departmentally approved course from another department.” The following courses have been approved as electives for the major:

  • ECON 255: Econometrics
  • PHYS 301: Mathematical Methods of Physics

To emphasize, just one of these courses may be used toward the math major. A student may petition the Department for approval of a different course. Courses without a mathematics designation, including ECON 255 and PHYS 301, cannot count toward the math minor.

Scheduling around student teaching

There are particular issues for students seeking certification to teach mathematics in secondary school. The following scheduling issues are of particular importance, since student teaching takes place in the Winter Semester and requires three course credits in the Education Department.

  • The Mathematics major requires that each student successfully complete either MATH 301 (Real Analysis) or MATH 309 (Abstract Algebra). We teach MATH 309 only during the Winter Semester. Because it is often not possible to take MATH 309 at the same time as student teaching, students wishing to both take MATH 309 and also student teach should complete MATH 309 during the Winter Semester of sophomore or junior year.
  • The Mathematics major also requires that each major have a capstone experience. The best options for student teachers are typically a one-semester thesis completed in the Fall, or the Senior Seminar. When a student teacher will take the Senior Seminar, the department takes care to schedule the Senior Seminar at a time that least conflicts with student teaching.