Curriculum

Curriculum

Current Students: 

With a large number of supporting courses and free electives, the mathematics major at Penn State Behrend provides our students the opportunity to tailor their degree to suit their personal career goals. To help achieve their objectives, students can choose one of several options within the mathematics major. Each option is described below. For complete requirements, please refer to the University Bulletin.

Mathematics Options

The mathematics major consists of four options: (1) Pure Mathematics (2) Applied Mathematics (3) Business (4) Computer Science.

Prospective Students: 

Below is a typical course sequence for the Mathematics bachelor's degree program. 

Semester 1

  • First-Year Seminar (1 credit)
  • Introduction to Programming Techniques (3 credits)
  • Calculus with Analytic Geometry I (4 credits)
  • Science Course (4 credits)
  • English Composition (3 credits)

Total Credits: 15

Semester 2

  • Matrices (2 credits)
  • Calculus with Analytic Geometry II (4 credits)
  • Intermediate Programming (3 credits)
  • Science Course (4 credits)
  • Arts Course (3 credits)

Total Credits: 16

Semester 3

  • Statistical Analysis I (3 credits)
  • Calculus and Vector Analysis (4 credits)
  • Effective Speech (3 credits)
  • Humanities Course (3 credits)
  • Health and Physical Activity (1.5 credits)

Total Credits: 14.5

Semester 4

  • Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations (4 credits)
  • Concepts of Discrete Mathematics (4 credits)
  • Experimental Methods (3 credits)
  • Science Course (3 credits)
  • Health and Physical Activity (1.5 credits)

Total Credits: 15.5

Semesters 5, 6, 7, and 8

A range of Penn State Behrend courses is available to you in your third and fourth years. Your schedule will depend on your areas of focus and your interests.

  • Upper-Division Required Courses
    Concepts of Real Analysis; Effective Writing: Technical Writing
  • Supporting Courses for the Applied Mathematics Option
    Object Oriented Programming with Web-Based Applications; Intermediate Visual Programming; Introduction to Systems Programming; Computer Organization and Architecture; Assembly Language Programming; Fundamentals of Communication Networks; UNIX and C; Net-centric Computing; Object-Oriented Design; Database Design; Artificial Intelligence; Introduction to Computer and Network Security; Secure Programming; Scientific Visualization; Data Structures; Elementary Combinatorics; Fourier Series and Partial Differential Equations; Introduction to Numerical Analysis I and II; Mathematical Methods of Operations Research; Complex Analysis; Introduction to Modern Geometry; Introduction to Topology; Linear Algebra; Number Theory; Introduction to Probability Theory; Analysis of Variance; Applied Nonparametric Statistics
  • Supporting Courses for the Business Option
    Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making; Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy; Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy; Introduction to Business Information Systems; Business Forecasting Techniques; Corporation Finance; Advanced Financial Management; Investment and Portfolio Analysis; Derivative Securities; Basic Management Concepts; Management and Organization; Principles of Marketing; Supply Chain Management; Database Management Systems; Systems Design and Implementation; Business Intelligence; Mathematical Methods of Operations Research; Foundations of Geometry; Introduction to Topology; Basic Abstract Algebra; Linear Algebra; Number Theory; Introduction to Probability Theory; Analysis of Variance; Applied Regression Analysis; Survey Sampling
  • Supporting Courses for the Computer Science Option
    Introduction to Numerical Analysis I; Data Structures and Algorithms; Object Oriented Programming with Web-Based Applications; Computer Organization and Architecture; Microprocessors; Object-Oriented Software Design and Construction; Object Oriented Programming with Web-Based Applications; Intermediate Visual Programming; Introduction to Systems Programming; Computer Organization and Architecture; Assembly Language Programming; Fundamentals of Communication Networks; UNIX and C; Data Structures Lab; Net-centric Computing; Object-Oriented Design; Database Design; Artificial Intelligence; Introduction to Computer and Network Security; Secure Programming; Scientific Visualization
  • Supporting Courses for the Pure Mathematics Option
    Elementary Combinatorics; Fourier Series and Partial Differential Equations; Complex Analysis; Introduction to Modern Geometry; Foundations of Geometry; Introduction to Topology; Basic Abstract Algebra; Linear Algebra; Introduction to Numerical Analysis I and II; Number Theory; Mathematical Methods of Operations Research; Classical Analysis I; Complex Analysis; Introduction to Probability Theory; Analysis of Variance; Applied Regression Analysis; Applied Nonparametric Statistics; Survey Sampling

This represents a typical course sequence; your schedule will vary depending on your interests. It is recommended that you consult your academic adviser before scheduling any courses. See bulletins.psu.edu for detailed degree requirements and course descriptions.

Additional Details about Options

  • Pure Mathematics: Recommended Academic Plan - Checksheet (PDF)
    The Graduate Studies option is the most traditional and flexible version of the Behrend mathematics major. In addition to providing a solid foundation in analysis, algebra, and statistics, this option includes additional coursework designed to prepare students for graduate studies in the mathematical sciences. This is the typical option for those who desire a dual degree in mathematics and mathematics education. Graduates of this option have found employment as research analysts, mathematicians, consultants, and information architects.
  • Applied Mathematics: Recommended Academic Plan - Checksheet (PDF)
    The Applied Mathematics option is designed for students whose interests are in the application of mathematics to problems from other fields including engineering, biology, chemistry, and physics. Along with mathematics courses involving analysis, modeling, and problem solving, students choose supporting courses that are tailored to suit their interests in these other fields. Graduates of this option have found employment as systems engineers, aerospace engineers, operations research analysts, and telecommunications analysts, and have also gone on to pursue advanced degrees in mathematics-related fields. 
  • Business: Recommended Academic Plan - Checksheet (PDF)
    The national and global need for graduates with strong quantitative and data analysis skills coupled with a solid background in finance and economics is increasing as the business climate changes. Many students who graduate in business have insufficient mathematical background to analyze employers’ complex problems. The Business option is designed for those who enjoy and value mathematics as their primary goal and also see excitement and potential in the business applications. With careful planning, students in this option can also earn the Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics certificate and/or a minor in Statistics. Similarly, it is possible for students in this option to earn the mathematics degree and an MBA in only five years. Graduates of this option have found employment in business and as actuaries, statisticians, and portfolio analysts. 
  • Computer Science: Recommended Academic Plan - Checksheet (PDF)
    The Computer Science option is designed for students whose interests lie at the interface of mathematics and computer science. In this option, much emphasis is given to the use of the computer as a tool to solve mathematical models of real-world problems. Often, majors in this option earn a double major in mathematics and computer science. Graduates of the Computer Science option have found employment as computer programmers, computer analysts, and software engineers and, in some cases, have started their own software companies.