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Mathematics

Department Overview

C138 Padelford

Mathematics is both a science and an art. Like any great art, mathematics has an intrinsic beauty and coherence that has attracted practitioners for centuries. Yet, unlike other arts, mathematics is a surprisingly effective tool for describing the natural world. Indeed, mathematics has come to serve as the foundation of modern science, through its language and results. Some mathematical results were initially developed in order to solve internally generated mathematical problems and only later found application in other disciplines; other mathematical results were inspired by the needs of these other disciplines. The two facets of mathematics -- tool of science and subject of inquiry for its own sake -- have come to be interwoven into a complex fabric.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
C36 Padelford, Box 354350
(206) 543-6830
advising@math.washington.edu

The Department of Mathematics offers the following programs of study:

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in mathematics - standard program
  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in mathematics - philosophy option
  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in mathematics, with an option designed specifically for students who plan to pursue secondary teaching careers
  • The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in mathematics
  • The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in applied and computational mathematical sciences (ACMS). The Department of Mathematics cooperates with the departments of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering, and Statistics in offering this major. (See ACMS for requirements.)
  • A minor in mathematics
  • The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in mathematics - standard option (effective summer quarter 2018, admission suspended until further notice)
  • The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in mathematics - comprehensive option (effective summer quarter 2018, admission suspended until further notice)

Bachelor of Arts

Department Admission Requirements

Admission to all programs is capacity constrained. Completion of minimum requirements described below does not guarantee admission. All applicants have the right to petition and appeal the departmentís admission decision. The application and additional information are available online at www.math.washington.edu/Undergrad.

Addmission Criteria

  1. Minimum Course Requirements: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126 (or MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136), with a minimum 2.0 grade in each of these calculus courses and an overall minimum 2.50 GPA in all mathematics courses.
  2. Determining Factors: Factors considered include performance in all mathematics courses as measured by GPA, difficulty of all mathematics courses completed, frequency of incompletes or withdrawal grades, number of repeated courses, amount and type of AP credit (i.e., AB vs. BC), relevant work and life experience, and record of honors.
  3. When to Apply: Applications are accepted via catalyst twice each year. Deadline is the end of the day on January 15 and September 15.

Major Requirements

Standard Option (51 credits)

Intended for students interested in a versatile degree in mathematics. Students should choose electives to gain more knowledge in a specific area of mathematics.

  1. Core (27 credits): MATH 124,MATH 125 MATH 126,MATH 307, MATH 308 (or MATH 134, MATH 135, and MATH 136); MATH 300; MATH 324
  2. Electives (24 credits): Eight mathematics courses numbered 301 or higher, including three at the 400 level, excluding MATH 398, MATH 399, MATH 497, MATH 498, MATH 499. No more than two courses numbered MATH 380 or MATH 480. MATH 420 cannot be applied toward the three required 400-level classes.
  3. Minimum 2.0 grade in all courses presented to satisfy major requirements. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in all mathematics courses at the University, including course repeats
  4. Minimum 18 credits of graded mathematics courses numbered 300 or higher taken in residence through UW, Seattle.
  5. Students may pursue either the general mathematics major or one of the two options shown below.

Philosophy Option (58 credits)

  1. MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 308 (or MATH 134, MATH 135, and MATH 136); MATH 300; MATH 327; MATH 328; five additional mathematics courses at the 300 or 400 level, including at least one two-quarter sequence at the 400 level other than MATH 407, MATH 408, MATH 409, or MATH 421, MATH 422
  2. PHIL 120 or an upper-level course in logic; PHIL 100, PHIL 160, or PHIL 240; one philosophy course at the 300 level; one philosophy course at the 400 level
  3. Minimum 2.0 grade in all courses presented to satisfy mathematics major requirements. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in all mathematics courses at the University, including course repeats.
  4. Minimum 18 credits of graded mathematics courses numbered 300 or higher taken in residence through the UW.

Teacher Preparation Option (52-59 credits)

  1. MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 307, MATH 308 (or MATH 134, MATH 135, and MATH 136); MATH 300; MATH 394, MATH 411, MATH 412, MATH 444, MATH 445; either STAT 311, MATH 390/STAT 390; or Q SCI 381; 15 credits of approved electives at the 300 level in MATH, AMATH, or STAT, or PHYS 407, PHYS 408, and PHYS 409. Minimum 6 credits of electives from the Mathematics Department.
  2. Minimum 2.0 grade in all courses presented to satisfy the program requirements. Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in all mathematics courses at the University, including course repeats
  3. Minimum 18 credits of graded mathematics courses numbered 300 or higher taken in residence through the UW

Bachelor of Science

Department Admission Requirements

Same as for bachelor of arts programs, shown above.

Major Requirements

69 credits

  1. Core (33 credits): MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 307, MATH 308 (or MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136); MATH 300; MATH 324; MATH 327; MATH 328
  2. Advanced Mathematics (18 credits): At least six courses from the following, either in two three-quarter sequences or three two-quarter sequences, with at least one sequence from items a. through d.
    1. Modern Algebra: MATH 402, MATH 403, MATH 404
    2. Concepts of Analysis: MATH 424, MATH 425, MATH 426
    3. Complex Analysis: MATH 427, MATH 428
    4. Topology & Geometry: MATH 441, MATH 442, MATH 443
    5. Optimization: MATH 407, MATH 408, MATH 409
    6. Combinatories: MATH 461, MATH 462
    7. Numerical Analysis: MATH 464, MATH 465
    8. Probability: MATH 491, MATH 492

    Proficiency in items a. and b. is generally expected for graduate study in mathematics. In addition, items c. and d. are recommended for PhD programs in pure mathematics. Alternative combinations may be preferred for graduate study in other areas of the mathematical sciences and for industry careers. Consult Mathematics Student Services for more information.

  1. Electives (18 credits): Six additional mathematics courses at the 300- or 400-level, excluding MATH 398, MATH 399, MATH 411, MATH 412, MATH 444, MATH 445, MATH 497, MATH 498, MATH 499. No more than two courses numbered MATH 380 or MATH 480 may be counted. With approval, two of the six courses may be chosen from appropriate courses offered by other departments. Courses from the Advanced Mathematics core sequences not used to fulfill that requirement may be used to fulfill the elective requirement.
  2. Minimum 2.0 grade in all courses presented to satisfy mathematics major requirements. Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in all mathematics courses at the University, including course repeats.
  3. Minimum 18 credits of graded mathematics courses numbered 300 or higher taken in residence through the UW Seattle campus.

Continuation Policy

All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy, contact the departmental adviser or refer to the department website.

Minor

Minor requirements (minimum 30 credits)

  1. Core (24-25 credits): MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 307, MATH 308, and MATH 309; or MATH 134, MATH 135, and MATH 136 (25 credits, including 10 advanced-placement credits)
  2. Electives (6 credits): mathematics courses numbered 301 or higher
  3. At least 9 credits of courses numbered 301 or higher taken in residence through the UW. Minimum 2.0 grade required for each course offered as part of the minor.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The study of mathematics emphasizes exposure to the core foundational areas of analysis, modern algebra, and geometry. A mathematician's skill set includes the technical tools specific to each area as well as the development of critical thinking skills necessary for logical reasoning. Graduates have pursued careers in teaching, finance, science, engineering, and professional fields such as law and medicine.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: Mathematical Research Library and Math Sciences Computing Center
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors core curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: When available, internship opportunities are passed on to students.
  • Department Scholarships: None offered.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: MAA Student Chapter, Actuarial Club, Math Club.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
C36 Padelford, Box 354350
(206) 543-6830
grads@math.washington.edu

The department offers the master of arts, master of science, and doctor of philosophy. Opportunities are available for study of abstract and applied mathematics for each degree program. The MAis appropriate for students who need a broad background in advanced mathematics and who expect to continue working with mathematics of approximately the same level in their careers. The MS is appropriate for students who expect to be working with more specialized mathematics of increasing order of complexity in their careers. The PhD is appropriate for students who plan on a career of research and/or teaching of mathematics at the highest levels.

Of the master's degrees, the MS non-thesis program has the most demanding course requirements and most closely matches the early stages of the PhD program. Most students in the department begin their studies with the PhD or MS non-thesis program in mind. The MS programs with options in numerical analysis or optimization provide more focused training in these directions, which can be useful for students seeking employment in certain industries; however, students intending to do research in these areas would normally follow the requirements of the PhD program. The department does not offer a master's degree in mathematics education.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

BA degree with major in mathematics or equivalent background (minimum 45 quarter credits or 30 semester credits of mathematics beyond college algebra)

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts, Non-Thesis (36 credits): Twelve approved one-quarter courses at the 400 or 500 level, including two courses each in algebra, analysis, and one other field. Must include six courses chosen from designated core graduate courses or, with prior approval, from other 500-level sequences. 500-level courses distributed over no more than three sequences. Transfer credits not accepted at the 400 level; other transfer credits and substitutions accepted at the discretion of the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Written examination. Oral examination may be substituted with prior approval.

Master of Science

Admission Requirements

BS degree with major in mathematics, BA degree with strong major in mathematics or equivalent background. At least one senior-level course in abstract algebra or real analysis.

Degree Requirements

  1. Master of Science, Thesis (36 credits): Twelve numerically graded one-quarter courses from MATH 402, MATH 403, MATH 404; MATH 424, MATH 425, MATH 426; MATH 427, MATH 428, MATH 429; MATH 441, MATH 442, MATH 443; any 500-level mathematics course; AMATH 507; AMATH 584, AMATH 585, AMATH 586; plus 9 thesis credits (MATH 700). Other courses may be included with prior approval. At least two quarters from each of two designated core graduate courses and one other 500-level sequence. Transfer credits not accepted at the 400 level; other transfer credits and substitutions accepted at the discretion of the Graduate Program Coordinator.

    The thesis, defended in an oral examination, should demonstrate ability to do independent research.

  2. Master of Science, Non-Thesis (45 credits): Fifteen numerically graded one-quarter courses from MATH 402, MATH 403, MATH 404; MATH 424, MATH 425, MATH 426; MATH 427, MATH 428, MATH 429; MATH 441, MATH 442, MATH 443; any 500-level mathematics course; AMATH 507; AMATH 584, AMATH 585, AMATH 586. Other courses may be included with prior approval. At least two quarters from each of two designated core graduate courses, and one three-quarter sequence of 500-level mathematics courses in an approved area of specialization. Transfer credits not accepted at the 400 level; other transfer credits and substitutions accepted at the discretion of the Graduate Program Coordinator.

    Oral examination in the area of specialization on a topic agreed upon by the student and the chair of the examining committee, or the general examination for the PhD degree.

  3. Master of Science, Numerical Analysis and Optimization Options, Non-thesis (45 credits): Fifteen one-quarter courses, at least six of which are at the 500 level, chosen from MATH 424, MATH 425, MATH 426; MATH 427, MATH 428, MATH 429; MATH 438, MATH 439; MATH 441, MATH 442, MATH 443; MATH 461, MATH 462; MATH 491, MATH 492; any 500-level mathematics course; AMATH 507; AMATH 584, AMATH 585, AMATH 586. Other approved courses may be included. Four from AMATH 584, AMATH 585, AMATH 586 and MATH 594, MATH 595, and MATH 596. Transfer credits not accepted at the 400 level; other transfer credits and substitutions accepted at the discretion of the Graduate Program Coordinator.

    Oral examination in a special topic agreed upon by the student and the chair of the student's examining committee.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Mathematical training equivalent to a bachelor's degree with strong major in mathematics, including rigorous coursework in real analysis and abstract algebra.

Degree Requirements

Minimum 90 credits

  1. Core Courses: Two three-quarter sequences from MATH 504, MATH 505, MATH 506 ; MATH 524, MATH 525, MATH 526 ; MATH 534, MATH 535, MATH 536 ; MATH 544, MATH 545, MATH 546 ; A passing performance in a preliminary examination substitutes for satisfactory completion of the corresponding designated core course. Twelve quarters of 500-level numerically graded courses in mathematics, applied mathematics, or statistics. Approved courses from other departments may be included.
  2. Preliminary Examinations: Two preliminary examinations. At least one must be in algebra or topology and geometry of manifolds.
  3. Foreign Language/Computer Requirement: Either one foreign language examination or one computer programming examination, passed by the end of summer quarter after the third year.
  4. General Examination: Given only after two years of graduate study. Normally taken by the middle of the fourth year.
  5. Thesis: 27 credits of MATH 800
  6. Final Examination:

Financial Support

Most graduate students in mathematics are supported by fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships. The workload of teaching assistants allows ample time for graduate courses and thesis work.