Mathematics, B.S. (Altoona)

Program Code: MTSAL_BS

Program Description

Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in attending to determine which options are offered.

Two degrees are offered in mathematics: the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science. Both programs have a common core of mathematics courses; both programs prepare students for graduate work in mathematics. In addition, the Bachelor of Arts degree is oriented toward applications of mathematics in the arts and the humanities. The Bachelor of Science degree has a number of options. These options are oriented toward actuarial science, applied and industrial, computational mathematics, graduate study and systems analysis.

Many of the options are designed for students who want to use mathematics in industry, commerce, or government. In short, the degree requirements have the flexibility to fit many individual interests. The student, with the assistance of a faculty adviser, should select an option by the end of the sophomore year.

What is Mathematics?

The study of mathematics emphasizes careful problem analysis, precision of thought and expression, and the development of mathematical skills needed for work in many other areas. Theoretical mathematicians increase basic knowledge in "pure" fields like abstract algebra, analysis, or topology. Applied mathematicians use tools growing out of calculus, analysis, computing, statistics, and operations research to solve problems in science, industry, government, and other areas.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You like mathematics, like to think, like a challenge, and like to know why things are true.
  • You want to develop strong problem-solving skills, comprehension of abstract concepts, and creative thinking ability.
  • You want to have access to a wide variety of careers in the fields of science and technology, finance and risk analysis, research and industry, and teaching.

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to the Mathematics major, a student must have:

  1. attained at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average; and
  2. completed MATH 140 and MATH 141 and earned a grade of C or better in each of these courses.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 0-1
Requirements for the Major 80-83

6 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 6 General Education GQ courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Common Requirements for the Major (All Options)

Prescribed Courses
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course4
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 140Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 141Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 220Matrices Keystone/General Education Course2
MATH 230Calculus and Vector Analysis4
MATH 311WConcepts of Discrete Mathematics3-4
MATH 312Concepts of Real Analysis3
Additional Courses
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Programming Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Programming Techniques Keystone/General Education Course
Programming for Engineers with C++ Keystone/General Education Course
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 250Ordinary Differential Equations3-4
or MATH 251 Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations
Requirements for the Option
Select an option50-51

Requirements for the Option

Actuarial Mathematics Option (50-51 credits)

Available at the following campuses: University Park

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
IE 425Stochastic Models in Operations Research3
MATH 414Introduction to Probability Theory3
MATH 415Introduction to Mathematical Statistics3
MATH 416Stochastic Modeling3
MATH 484Linear Programs and Related Problems3
RM 302Risk and Insurance3
RM 410Financial Mathematics for Actuaries3
RM 411Actuarial Mathematics I3
RM 412Actuarial Mathematics II3
STAT 462Applied Regression Analysis3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 451Numerical Computations3
or MATH 486 Mathematical Theory of Games
STAT 463Applied Time Series Analysis (or 400-level MATH course) 13
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 14-15 credits from department list14-15
Applied and Industrial Mathematics Option (50-51 credits)

Available at the following campuses: University Park

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 403Classical Analysis I3
MATH 412Fourier Series and Partial Differential Equations3
MATH 414Introduction to Probability Theory3
MATH 415Introduction to Mathematical Statistics3
MATH 436Linear Algebra3
MATH 450Mathematical Modeling3
MATH 455Introduction to Numerical Analysis I3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 12 credits of the following:12
Ordinary Differential Equations
Stochastic Modeling
Qualitative Theory of Differential Equations
Theoretical Mechanics
Complex Analysis
Introduction to Numerical Analysis II
MATH 461
Factorization and Primality Testing
Mathematical Coding Theory
Special and General Relativity
Linear Programs and Related Problems
Graph Theory
Mathematical Theory of Games
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 17-18 credits from department list17-18
Computational Mathematics Option (50-51 credits)

Available at the following campuses: University Park

Prescribed Courses
CMPSC 122Intermediate Programming3
CMPSC 465Data Structures and Algorithms3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 414Introduction to Probability Theory3
MATH 415Introduction to Mathematical Statistics3
MATH 455Introduction to Numerical Analysis I3
MATH 456Introduction to Numerical Analysis II3
MATH 467Factorization and Primality Testing3
MATH 484Linear Programs and Related Problems3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Ordinary Differential Equations
Fourier Series and Partial Differential Equations
Qualitative Theory of Differential Equations
Select 6 credits of the following:6
Elementary Combinatorics
Mathematical Coding Theory
Graph Theory
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 17-18 credits from department list17-18
General Mathematics Option (50-51 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, University Park

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 403Classical Analysis I3
MATH 414Introduction to Probability Theory3
MATH 415Introduction to Mathematical Statistics3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 435Basic Abstract Algebra3
or MATH 436 Linear Algebra
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Ordinary Differential Equations
Fourier Series and Partial Differential Equations
Qualitative Theory of Differential Equations
Theoretical Mechanics
Complex Analysis
Select 6 credits of 400-level MATH courses 16
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select an approved sequence of 12 credits in MATH or a related area or an area of application12
Select 17-18 credits from department list17-18
Graduate Study Option (50-51 credits)

Available at the following campuses: University Park

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 403Classical Analysis I3
MATH 404Classical Analysis II3
MATH 414Introduction to Probability Theory3
MATH 415Introduction to Mathematical Statistics3
MATH 421Complex Analysis3
MATH 429Introduction to Topology3
MATH 435Basic Abstract Algebra3
MATH 436Linear Algebra3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits of 400-level MATH courses 19
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 17-18 credits from department list17-18
Systems Analysis Option (50-51 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, University Park

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 414Introduction to Probability Theory3
MATH 415Introduction to Mathematical Statistics3
MATH 436Linear Algebra3
MATH 484Linear Programs and Related Problems3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6 credits of the following:6
Elementary Combinatorics
Numerical Computations
Graph Theory
Mathematical Theory of Games
Select 3 credits from 400-level MATH courses 13
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select an approved sequence of 12 credits in an area of application; possible areas include business, economics, industrial engineering, social sciences 12
Select 17-18 credits from department list17-18

Program Learning Objectives

  • Students should be able to demonstrate a strong understanding of the core concepts of differential and integral calculus, elementary linear algebra, and differential equations, and to use these concepts to describe physical problems mathematically.
  • Students should develop an understanding of mathematical proof techniques, and demonstrate skill in the effective communication of mathematical concepts and proofs, especially in written form.
  • Students should demonstrate an understanding of advanced mathematical concepts and their use to solve problems both from within mathematics and from applied areas.
  • Graduating students should be prepared to cope with the mathematical challenges they meet in continuing their mathematical education or at the workplace.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Altoona

Michael D. Weiner
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Hawthorn Building 115
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5558
mdw8@psu.edu

University Park

Undergraduate Mathematics Office
Academic Advising

104 McAllister Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-7528
undergrad@math.psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

General Mathematics Option: Mathematics, B.S. at Altoona Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 1404MATH 1414
PSU 31ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15‡†3
STAT 2004General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
General Education Course (GHW)1.5 
 16.5 14.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 220*2-3MATH 250 or 2513-4
MATH 230*4MATH 311W*3
General Education Course3CMPSC 101, 121, or 2013
General Education Course3Supporting Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative3
CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C3ENGL 202C3
 15-16 15-16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 312*3MATH 414 or STAT 4143
MATH 435 or 436*3MATH 403*3
Area of Application (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3Area of Application Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3
Supporting Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3General Education Course3
General Education Course3Supporting Course (Chose in consultation with your academic advisor)3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 411, 412, 417, 419, or 421*3400-Level MATH course except MATH 401, 405, 406, 470, 4713
400-level MATH course except MATH 401, 405, 406, 470 and 471*3Area of Applicaiton Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3
Area of Application Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3Supporting Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options3
Supporting Course (Chosen in consultation with your academic advisor)3Supporting Course (Consult with an academic adviser for altnerative options)3
Supporting Course (Chosen in consultation with your academic advisor)3400-Level MATH3
 15 15
Total Credits 121-123

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Systems Analysis Option: Mathematics, B.S. at Altoona Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 1404MATH 1414
PSU 31ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 153
STAT 2004General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
General Education Course (GHW)1.5 
 16.5 14.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 220*2-3MATH 250 or 251*3-4
MATH 2304MATH 311W*3
General Education 3CMPSC 101, 121, or 2013
General Education3Supporting Couse (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3
CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C3ENGL 202C3
 15-16 15-16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 312*3MATH 414 or STAT 4153
MATH 436 or 484*3MATH 310, 451, 485, or 486*3
Area of Application Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3Area of Application Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3
Supporting Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3General Education Course3
General Educaiton3Supporting Course (Chosen in consultation with your academic advisor)3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 415 or STAT 415*3MATH 310, 451, 485, or 4863
MATH 436 or 484*3400-Level MATH Course expet MATH 401, 405, 406, 470, 4713
Area of Application Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3Area of Application (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3
Supporting Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3Supporting Course (Consult with an academic adviser for alternative options)3
General Education Course3Supporting Course (Consult with an academic adviser for altnernative options)3
 15 15
Total Credits 121-123

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Career Paths

Students with an undergraduate degree in mathematics pursue graduate study or careers in business and industry. Mathematicians may work in insurance (as actuaries), economics (as analysts), computer programming, science and engineering, the medical and legal fields, education, and other fields which require sophisticated analytical skills.

Careers

Students with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics pursue careers in the fields of science and technology, business and consulting, research and industry, and teaching.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE MATHEMATICS PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Graduates of the undergraduate degree program in Mathematics often choose to continue their studies in graduate programs (MS or PhD) in mathematics or related fields, such as statistics, economics, finance, computer science, or operations research.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

Altoona

DIVISION OF MATHEMATICS AND NATURAL SCIENCES
Hawthorn Building 115
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5558
mdw8@psu.edu

http://altoona.psu.edu/academics/bachelors-degrees/mathematics/request-information

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS
104 McAllister Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-7528
undergrad@math.psu.edu

http://math.psu.edu/