Undergraduate Degree Programs and Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Mathematics

The requirements for this major are flexible to enable students to follow their interests. After calculus and a sequence of three basic theoretical courses, students complete the major with six or more upper-level courses.

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The Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics

The basic major in applied mathematics consists of at least 40 credits of mathematics and statistics courses. Because different program emphases are possible, students should consult with their advisors as soon as possible concerning the alternatives.

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The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Mathematics

This program has become an attractive option for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in mathematical or quantitative finance and master's degrees in business administration, as well as in securing employment in the banking and insurance industries. This multidisciplinary course of study concentrates on applied mathematics with a focus on financial models. In addition to a core curriculum of mathematics courses, students are required to complete specific courses in statistics, economics, and computer science. The capstone courses in the program, Math 0470, Math 1119 and MATH 1121, follow the most recent syllabi approved by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society for the societies’ professional examinations in probability, financial mathematics, investment and financial management and life contingencies. The department organizes seminars to prepare students for taking these professional society examinations.

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The Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Biology

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.

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The Bachelor of Science in Mathematics-Economics

This joint major provides a program of study for students who seek the option of taking a quantitatively oriented job in industry or who intend to enter graduate school in applied mathematics, statistics, economics, business, or a related area such as operations research or management science. The program is advantageous to students who otherwise would take a double major or a single major in mathematics and/or economics. The joint major provides not only a set of requirements but also suggested course sequences of mathematics and economics courses that are compatible with each other and prepare students for various specialties.

There are three areas in economics that are very closely related to mathematics: economic theory, stat-econometrics, and mathematical economics. A mathematics-economics joint major includes courses in each of the three areas. In order to acquire the appropriate mathematical background to take courses in these areas, as well as to develop a good foundation in mathematics relative to the careers mentioned earlier, joint majors take appropriate basic mathematics courses. For students in the joint major, the basic mathematics courses replace the economics "mathematics for economists" prerequisites.

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Minor in Mathematics

Students with majors in other departments can earn a minor in mathematics.

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