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  Jul 23, 2024
2010-2011 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin (Frozen) 
2010-2011 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin (Frozen) [Archived Catalog]

Mathematics, B.S.

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Learning Outcomes Department of Mathematics 
Curriculum College of Arts and Sciences 

Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates will demonstrate their knowledge in a broad core of mathematical topics, including discrete mathematics, linear algebra, abstract algebra, analysis and differential equations.
  • Students will utilize their mathematical preparation to successfully complete the upper-division MATH courses.
  • As students progress through the upper-division MATH courses, they will increase their awareness and their skill in the use of foundational mathematical principles.
  • Graduates will be skilled in the use of probability and statistics and increasingly cognizant of the role of probability and statistics within the general field of mathematics.
  • Graduates will select and utilize appropriate computational tools within the context of mathematical problem solving.
  • Graduates will be able to make effective use of modern mathematical software as a tool for visualization and problem solving.
  • Graduates will utilize appropriate methods of communicating mathematical information at a level of sophistication appropriate for the intended audience.


Basic Degree Requirements for Majors in Curricula Section II (128 Hours)

  1. General Education Requirements
  2. Major
  3. Cognate or Minor Requirements
  4. Electives


1. General Education Requirements - Curricula II

Group I–Competency (12-21 Hours)

Students are encouraged to demonstrate the level of accomplishment represented by Group I courses by means of advanced placement examinations. See the section on advanced placement under “Admissions Policies and Procedures .”

Writing (6 Hours)

Must be passed with grade of C or better.

Foreign Languages (0-9 Hours)

Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required for all baccalaureate degrees.

It is strongly recommended that students continuing the study of a foreign language begin college-level study of that language in their first semester and continue in that language until their particular foreign language requirement is completed.

History (6 Hours)

  • Two courses in History (HIST), at the 100 level, at least one non-U.S. history.

Group II–Quantitative (A Minimum of 12 Hours)

Group III–Humanities (6 Hours)

Each student must pass at least 6 additional hours of study in the humanities; at least one course must be in fine arts.

Fine Arts

A course or courses dealing with the study and/or practice of the visual and performing arts. Students may take courses in art studio, art design, art history and appreciation, film, media arts, music history and appreciation, music theory and performance, theatre history and appreciation, acting, stagecraft, theatre design, and dance to fulfill this requirement. Courses in speech (SPCH) do NOT satisfy the fine arts requirement. Theatre production laboratories (THEA 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 219, 220, 221), one-hour credits for participation in music organizations (band, chorus, orchestra), and MART 302 do NOT apply to the fine arts requirement or to the humanities requirement.


African American Studies (AFRO)
Classical Studies (CLAS) 230 
English (ENGL) 280 or higher, excluding 450, 460, 461, 462, and 463
Foreign Language 201 or higher
History (HIST) 201 or higher
Philosophy (PHIL) excluding 110, 111, and 511
Religious Studies (RELG)
Women and Gender Studies (WGST) 111 


Group IV–Social Sciences (6 Hours)

Complete 6 hours from the following:

Anthropology (ANTH)
Criminology and Criminal Justice (CRJU)
Economics (ECON)
Geography (GEOG)
Political Science (POLI)
Psychology (PSYC)
excluding 227, 594, and 599
Sociology (SOCY) excluding 220
Women and Gender Studies (WGST) 112  only

Group V–Laboratory Science (8 Hours)

Complete two 4-credit hour laboratory science courses from the following:

Astronomy (ASTR) 111 , 111A , 211 , 211A 
Biology (BIOL) 101 1, 102 1, 110 2, 200 2, 200L 2, 270 2, 270L 2, 243 2, 243L 2, 244 2, 244L 2
Chemistry (CHEM) 102 3, 105 3, 105L3, 106 3, and 106L 3, 111 , 112 
Environmental Studies (ENVR) 200 
Geological sciences (GEOL) 101 , 102 , 103 , 105
Marine science (MSCI) 210 , 210L , 215 , 215L 
Physics (PHYS) 151 4, 151L 4, 153 4, 153L 4, 155 4, 155L 4, 201 , 201L , 202 , 202L ; or 211 , 211L , 212 , 212L 

1 Biology and Pre-Med majors only
2 Non- Biology majors only
3 Mathematics and Statistics majors only
4 Non-Physics majors only

2. Major

Major Prerequisites

The following courses fulfill some of the general education requirements, as well as some of the requirements of certain cognates and minors. These courses must be completed for the B.S. degree in mathematics:


Students may enroll in each math course, including MATH 141, 142, and 241, a maximum of two times.

Major Requirements

Select one option from the following:

General Mathematics Option

The general mathematics track is the traditional course work leading to the B.S. in Mathematics. The mathematics education track is intended for students planning to pursue the five-year M.T. program and a career in secondary mathematics teaching.

Applied Mathematics Option (24-25 Hours)

This option is most appropriate for students interested in the sciences, engineering, business, or other fields that make significant use of mathematics.

Actuarial Mathematics Option (24-25 Hours)

This option is intended for students interested in combining mathematics, statistics, and business, in particular students intending to become actuaries.

B.S. with Distinction

 Available to students majoring in mathematics who wish to participate in significant research with a faculty mentor.


A minimum GPA of 3.60 in upper division (500 and above) major courses and 3.30 overall when the student applies to enter the departmental undergraduate research track.


The student should apply to enter the departmental undergraduate research track and choose the members of the thesis committee as early as possible, but in all cases at least one year before committee will consist of a thesis advisor, who must be a tenure-track faculty member in mathematics, and one or two other tenure-track or research faculty members in Mathematics or any other department, as approved by the Undergraduate Advisory Council. The senior thesis will produce a piece of original research and a public presentation of the research in a venue approved by the research advisor. The student may use their senior thesis to simultaneously fulfill other requirements as well (e.g., Magellan Scholarship,Honors College Thesis, etc.), at the discretion of the thesis advisor.

By the end of the semester in which the student is admitted into the research track, a brief researchplan must be agreed upon by the thesis committee and the student, and filed in the Department of Mathematics and College of Arts and Sciences.Before submitting and defending the thesis, the student must have completed three credit hours of MATH 499 (Undergraduate Research) under the supervision of the thesis advisor, and at least 12 hours of upper-level (500 and above) mathematics credit beyond their major requirements approved by the Undergraduate Director.

By the end of the student’s last semester, the student must present and defend the senior thesis before the thesis committee. The defense must be announced at least one week in advance and be open to the general public. A certificate attesting to a successful defense, signed by the committee,must be placed on file with both the Department of Mathematics and the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, prior to graduation the student must have either (a) presented the research at a national meeting of a professional society (such as AMS, MAA, SIAM, etc.), at Discovery Day at
USC, or at a comparable venue; or (b) prepared a manuscript on their thesis work and had it accepted for publication at an undergraduate or professional journal.

Students who successfully fulfill all of these requirements with a GPA of at least 3.60 in upper division (500 and above) major courses and 3.30 overall, will be awarded their degree with “Distinction in Mathematics” upon graduation.

3. Cognate or Minor Requirements (12-18 Hours) for B.S. Degrees - Curricula II


The cognate is intended to support the course work in the major. Cognate courses may all be in one outside department or in several departments, depending on the individual interests and requirements of the student as judged by the student’s academic advisor. A cognate differs from a minor in that the courses must be above sophomore level and may be distributed over more than one subject area. For degrees in Curricula Section II, grades of D are acceptable for completion of the cognate requirement. Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the cognate.

Courses offered by departments in the College of Arts and Sciences that are acceptable for cognate credit for the Bachelor of Science (Curricula Section II) are outlined below; for cognate course offerings in other departments or colleges, consult the appropriate sections of this bulletin. In general, 399 courses are not used for fulfilling the cognate requirement. Some major programs have specific cognate requirements.

Courses Offered by Departments in the College of Arts and Sciences Acceptable for Cognate Credit 

It should be emphasized that the cognate is not a second set of elective courses to be chosen at random by the student. The cognate must be approved by the advisor as being related to the major field of study.


In place of the cognate a student in the College of Arts and Sciences may choose a minor consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. The subject area of the minor may be related to the major. Students pursuing interdisciplinary minors who wish to use courses in their major department for minor credit must petition the College Committee on Scholastic Standards and Petitions for permission to do so. The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. It differs from the cognate inasmuch as the courses must be concentrated in one area and must follow a structured sequence. Interdisciplinary minors can be designed with the approval of the dean. Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. At least half of the courses in the minor must be completed in residence at the University.

A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs of Study A-Z.

4. Electives for B.S. Degrees - Curricula II

No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, vocational nature or physical education courses involving substantial content in pedagogy may apply towards the elective requirement. The College of Arts and Sciences allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification of inapplicable courses can be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences.


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