Mathematics
The Department prepares its students for advanced study and research as well as for careers in business, industry, government and teaching. Students are encouraged to seek the advice of their faculty advisor in the selection of a concentration and elective courses that will best prepare them for their career choices. Mathematics is the language of science and also plays a key role in many of the social sciences. An understanding of mathematics provides a powerful approach to solving problems through organization, simplification, and abstraction. In today's job market, individuals with highly developed analytical and problem-solving skills are in great demand. Therefore, there are numerous career options for students who choose to major in mathematics. The Mathematics Department offers two majors. One is a Mathematics Major with three possible concentrations: Traditional, Secondary Education and Statistics and Modeling. The other is Mathematics for Elementary Education: 1-6 which requires a student to also complete the Elementary Education Major. Computer software is used in many courses. These programs include Maple, Geogebra, Sage, SPSS, Matlab, Geometer's Sketchpad, and DPGraph.
The Mathematics Major
Admission Requirements for the Mathematics Major: Rigorous high school coursework and strong SAT scores with above average grades in mathematics and computer science courses.
Requirements for a Major in Mathematics: Students must complete a core of six mathematics courses and one computer science class and in addition select one of three concentrations.
Core Courses: 24 credits
- MA 200 Calculus I
- MA 201 Calculus II
- MA 240 Theory of Proof
- MA 260 Linear Algebra
- MA 310 Calculus III
- CS 135 Programming for Non-CS Majors
- MA 470 Capstone Experience
MA 200, MA 201 and MA 240 must be completed with grades of at least C- by the end of the sophomore year. A student may only retake any of these courses at most once to increase a grade below C-; and may retake at most two of these courses to increase a grade below C-.
Requirements for the Concentration in Traditional Mathematics: 18 credits
- MA 320 Ordinary Differential Equations
- MA 405 Abstract Algebra
- MA 410 Real Analysis
Nine additional credits of mathematics at the MA 290-level or above, to be chosen in consultation with the academic advisor.
Requirements for the Concentration in Secondary Education: 18 credits
- MA 302 Probability and Statistics
- MA 340 Modern Geometry
- MA 405 Abstract Algebra or MA 410 Real Analysis
- MA 360 Number Theory
- MA 303 Mathematical Modeling
Three additional credits of mathematics at the MA 290-level or above, to be chosen in consultation with the academic advisor.
It is recommended that students planning to take the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) for high school certification also complete a physics course.
Requirements for the Concentration in Statistics and Modeling: 18 credits
- MA 302 Probability and Statistics
- MA 303 Mathematical Modeling
- MA 304 Data Analysis
- MA 380 Probability Theory
- MA 410 Real Analysis
Three additional credits of mathematics at the MA 290-level or above, to be chosen in consultation with the academic advisor
Once LASC requirements are satisfied, students may select general requirements. Students are required to meet with their department advisor to review their upcoming semester academic choices. A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation.
The Mathematics Elementary Education; 1-6 Major
This major serves as a second major for Elementary Education majors. It prepares pre-service teachers to be mathematical leaders in elementary schools.
Requirements for the Mathematics for Elementary Education; 1-6 Major: 33 math credits and 12 education credits.
- MA 130 Numbers and Operations for Teachers
- MA 131 Patterns, Relations, Functions and Algebra for Teachers
- MA 132 Geometry, Measurement, Statistics and Probability for Teachers
- MA 190 Pre-calculus
- MA 200 Calculus I
- MA 201 Calculus II
- MA 240 Theory of Proof
- MA 302 Probability and Statistics
- MA 303 Mathematical Modeling
- MA 360 Number Theory
- ED 425 Seminar: Applying Educational Principles
- ED 435 Student Teaching in Elementary School
Requirements for a Traditional Minor in Mathematics: 18 credits
- MA 200 Calculus I
- MA 201 Calculus II
- MA 220 Discrete Mathematics I or MA 240 Theory of Proof Electives: minimum of 7 credits in mathematics 290 and above
Requirements for a Financial Mathematics Minor: 18 credits
- MA 200 Calculus I
- MA 201 Calculus II
- MA 310 Calculus III
- MA 380 Probability Theory
- MA 381 Probability Theory II for Actuarial Science
Requirements for a Middle School Mathematics Minor: 20-21 credits
- MA 130 Number and Operations for Teachers
- MA 131 Patterns, Functions, and Algebra for Teachers
- MA 132 Geometry, Measurement, Probability, and Statistics for Teachers
- MA 200 Calculus I
- MA 201 Calculus II
- MA 220 Discrete Mathematics or MA 240: Theory of Proof or MA 303 Math Modeling
Mathematics Placement
All new students must take the Accuplacer Arithmetic test followed by the Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test. Those who score well on these two basic tests will take an Algebra II/Pre-Calculus test called the College Level Math test. In order to take a mathematics course at Worcester State University, a student must complete the placement test process prior to registration. Results will be used to determine appropriate course placement.