Mathematics has assumed a significant role in the study of biological systems, in the development of biotechnology, and in advances in medicine. The construction and analysis of mathematical models of biological systems allows for the precise formulation of theoretical ideas, the testing of assumptions that may not be easily accessible experimentally, and the generation of novel predictions that can guide future research. The University of Pittsburgh is known for its excellence in biomedical research, and the Department of Mathematics at Pitt includes prominent faculty with strong records of teaching and research in mathematical biology.

The major in mathematical biology will help students develop an expertise in thinking mathematically about biological systems. Students will acquire fundamental skills in mathematical analysis and simulation, specialized experience in mathematical modeling in biology and neuroscience, and knowledge of particular areas of biology. These tools will prepare students to participate in undergraduate research and to go on to use quantitative methods in biotechnology, medical, and other fields.

## Core Requirements

For the most current course requirements, please refer to the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Studies Department's program requirements sheet for the Mathematical Biology major.

Students pursuing the Mathematical Biology major are encouraged to take CHEM 0110 General Chemistry 1 and CHEM 0120 General Chemistry 2, as these courses will satisfy the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences breadth requirement in natural science and will expand their biology and neuroscience course options. Several of the BIOSC courses that fulfill requirements for this major have prerequisites, but some do not have prerequisites. PHYS 0174 Basic Physics for Science and Engineering 1 and PHYS 0175 Basic Physics for Science and Engineering 2 also carry a high degree of relevance for Mathematical Biology majors.

Mathematical Biology students who plan to continue in graduate studies are advised to take advanced calculus, MATH 1530 Advance Calculus 1 and MATH 1540 Advanced Calculus 2. MATH 1370 Introduction to Computational Neuroscience and MATH 1380 Mathematical Biology introduce students to techniques for independent research; students in these courses are encouraged to pursue research opportunities in Mathematical Biology that are available locally and nationally.

## Departmental Honors in Mathematical Biology

The Department also offers an opportunity for students to graduate with departmental honors in mathematical biology. To qualify for departmental honors in mathematical biology, a student must:

- Fulfill all requirements for a degree in mathematical biology.
- Complete the following courses with a grade of A or A-

a. MATH 1370 Introduction to Computational Neuroscience

b. MATH 1380 Mathematical Biology - Complete the following courses with a grade of at least B

a. MATH 1530 Advanced Calculus 1

b. One 2000 level mathematics course (in lieu of an upper level elective) - Complete one of the following:

a. An honors thesis under the direction of a mathematics faculty member (for students seeking a BPhil degree from the Honors College, this requirement could be satisfied by the Honors College Thesis, and course credit for thesis work will normally be awarded as MATH 1902 Directed Study)

b. A 2000 level mathematics course with a grade of at least B, in addition to the course used for requirement 3

Although not required, it is highly recommended that honors degree candidates take the intermediate honors courses Math 1185 and 0450 during the freshman or sophomore year.

Students interested in the departmental honors program should consult with the undergraduate director or department chairperson as early as possible, preferably during the freshman or sophomore year, even if they have not yet declared a major.

The department's Undergraduate Committee is responsible for certifying students who graduate with departmental honors in mathematical biology. The Undergraduate Committee is empowered to make minor changes in requirements based on individual circumstances.

Notes

1. Qualified students may substitute MATH 0450 (Introduction to Analysis) for MATH 0413 and MATH 0420.

2. MATH 1185 requires instructor approval.

## Sample Plan 1

**Year 1, Fall **

MATH 0220 (4 cr)

BIOSC 0150

CHEM 0110

6 Gen Ed credits

**Year 1, Spring**

MATH 0230 (4 cr)

BIOSC 0160

CHEM 0120

6 Gen Ed credits

**Year 2, Fall**

MATH 0240 (4 cr)

MATH 0413 (W, 4 cr)

BIOSC 0350

PHYSICS 0174

3 Gen Ed credits

**Year 2, Spring**

MATH 1370

MATH 0420

MATH 1180

PHYSICS 0175

3 Gen Ed credits

**Year 3, Fall**

MATH 1270

MATH 1070

STAT 1000

6 Gen Ed credits

**Year 3, Spring**

MATH 1380

MATH 1080

BIOSC 1000‐LEVEL

6 Gen Ed credits

**Year 4, Fall**

MATH 1470

MATH 1530

additional BIOSC course

6 Gen Ed credits

**Year 4, Spring**

MATH 1540

MATH 1560

additional elective

6 Gen Ed credits

## Sample Plan 2

**Year 1, Fall**

MATH 0220 (4 cr)

BIOSC 0150

CHEM 0110

6 Gen Ed credits

**Year 1, Spring**

MATH 0230 (4 cr)

BIOSC 0160

CHEM 0120

6 Gen Ed credits

**Year 2, Fall**

MATH 0240 (4 cr)

MATH 0413 (W, 4 cr)

BIOSC 0350

PHYSICS 0174

3 Gen Ed credits

**Year 2, Spring**

STAT 1000

MATH 0420

MATH 1180

PHYSICS 0175

3 Gen Ed credits

**Year 3, Fall**

MATH 1270

MATH 1070

BIOSC 1000‐level

6 Gen Ed credits

**Year 3, Spring**

MATH 1370

MATH 1080

CHEM 0310/0730

6 Gen Ed credits

**Year 4, Fall**

MATH 1470

MATH 1530

additional BIOSC course

6 Gen Ed credits

**Year 4, Spring**

Math 1380

Math 1540

Math 1560

6 Gen Ed credits