Major: Applied Mathematics

What colleges offer a Major in Applied Mathematics?

Many a math student has asked the question, “Will I ever need this stuff in the real world?” Working on a complicated algebra problem or calculus equation may seem like a pointless exercise, but in fact there are a lot of careers that rely on this sort of math.

If you major in applied math, you’ll indulge your love of equations and proofs while preparing for a career in a field such as computer science, engineering, or science.

Students of applied math learn how to use math and statistics to solve problems in the applied sciences and engineering. Subjects of study include numerical analysis (approximation methods) and optimization theory (a decision-making technique).

“A person with a strong mathematical background is uniquely capable of expanding and changing his or her career path.” James Alexander, Chair, Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University

Are You Ready To...?

  • Join a campus chapter of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics or other math organization
  • Take several high-level math classes at the same time
  • Attend lectures, labs, and computer-based courses
  • Take abstract concepts from your math classes and use them in your application classes
  • Work in two subjects, math and your “application” field, such as engineering

It Helps To Be...

Interested in using abstract ideas to solve real problems and able to make connections between two apparently unrelated topics, such as robotic control and math.

College Checklist

  • Does the program offer application classes in your area of interest?
  • Does the program focus more on math or on application areas?
  • Does the program focus more on preparing students for the work world or for graduate school?
  • Does the school offer an integrated five-year program where you can work toward your bachelor’s and your master’s at the same time?
  • Do professors conduct a lot of research? As an undergrad, will you be able to participate in that research?

Did You Know?

Areas of concentration for this major include statistics and computer science.

Course Spotlight

Computers have become more and more important in making our modern world go. However, even the fastest computers sometimes deal with problems so complex that we must come up with shortcuts.

When you take a course in numerical analysis, you’ll learn clever problem-solving techniques. You’ll also study approximation methods for those times when reaching an exact solution is either impossible or impractical.