Mathematics Major, B.S.

Mathematics has always been a fundamental component of human thought and culture, and the growth of technology in recent times has further increased its importance.

Students majoring in mathematics may enter either the B.A. or the B.S. program. The B.S. program is more comprehensive; it provides solid preparation for work or for further study in mathematics and related fields. Within the B.S. program there is an applied option, which is designed for students who are primarily interested in using mathematics for the study of other sciences. MATH 521 is a key class in the curriculum and MATH 381 is a key to prepare for it. The degree plan should be built with these classes as the backbone, and they should be taken in the second and third year by most students. Please see the sample plan for additional information and suggestions.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the mathematics program (B.A., B.S.), students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the core of mathematics recognized as essential by national professional mathematics organizations
  • Demonstrate mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrate the ability to construct logical arguments and mathematical proofs
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply mathematical knowledge and skills in context and interpret results

In addition to the program requirements, students must

  • earn a minimum final cumulative GPA of 2.000
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major core requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the major core requirements. Some programs may require higher standards for major or specific courses.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Mathematics Major, B.S.

Core Requirements
One of the following:3
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Programming and Data Science H
Introduction to Scientific Programming
MATH 347Linear Algebra for Applications (preferably before the junior year; previously offered as MATH 547)3
or MATH 577 Linear Algebra
MATH 381Discrete Mathematics 1, H3
MATH 383First Course in Differential Equations H3
MATH 521Advanced Calculus I H3
One of the following:3
Advanced Calculus II H
Functions of a Complex Variable with Applications
Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I
Introduction to Numerical Analysis
One of the following:3
Elementary Theory of Numbers
Elements of Modern Algebra
Algebraic Structures
Combinatorial Mathematics
At least three additional MATH courses numbered above 520, excluding MATH 528L and MATH 529L9
Additional Requirements
MATH 231IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H, F4
MATH 232IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H, F4
MATH 233IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H, F4
Physics course chosen from the following options:4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity (recommended) F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences F
At least four courses in the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (beyond the General Education requirements), but not in mathematics12
Remaining General Education requirements and enough free electives to accumulate 122 academic hours64
Total Hours122
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

1

A current or former major in statistics and analytics may substitute STOR 215 for MATH 381.

Mathematics Major, B.S.–Applied Option

Core Requirements
COMP 110IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Programming and Data Science H3
or COMP 116 Introduction to Scientific Programming
MATH 381Discrete Mathematics 1, H3
MATH 383First Course in Differential Equations H3
MATH 521Advanced Calculus I H3
Five courses chosen from the following list: 215
Advanced Calculus II H
Functions of a Complex Variable with Applications
Elementary Differential Equations
Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I 2
Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences II 2
Introduction to Probability
Combinatorial Mathematics
Optimization with Applications in Machine Learning 2
Mathematical Modeling in the Life Sciences 2
Introduction to Numerical Analysis 2
Scientific Computation I 2
Methods of Applied Mathematics I 2
MATH 347Linear Algebra for Applications3
or MATH 577 Linear Algebra
Additional Requirements
MATH 231IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H, F4
MATH 232IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H, F4
MATH 233IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H, F4
Physics course chosen from the following options:4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity (recommended) F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences F
Strongly recommended:
Introduction to Probability
Mathematical Statistics
At least four courses in the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (beyond the General Education requirements), but not in mathematics. STOR 555 can be counted for this requirement.12
Remaining General Education requirements and enough free electives to accumulate 122 academic hours64
Total Hours122
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

1

A current or former major in statistics and analytics may substitute STOR 215 for MATH 381.

2

with at least three from MATH 528, MATH 529MATH 560MATH 564, MATH 566, MATH 661, MATH 668, sequence MATH 383L + MATH 528L + MATH 529L.

Students must complete either the B.S. or B.S.-Applied Option for a B.S. degree with a major in mathematics. All requirements of the General Education curriculum (except for Supplemental General Education) apply to students in both options. 

Following are suggested course selections (within the degree requirements) for students who have an interest in a particular direction.

Course Suggestions for Pure Mathematics

These courses provide a solid theoretical understanding of central mathematics and excellent preparation for graduate study in mathematics or the mathematical sciences.

MATH 521Advanced Calculus I H3
MATH 522Advanced Calculus II H3
MATH 577Linear Algebra3
MATH 578Algebraic Structures3
Enough upper-level mathematics courses to satisfy the degree requirements
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Those planning graduate study in mathematics or the mathematical sciences may consider taking some of MATH 653, MATH 676, MATH 680, or subsequent courses.

Course Suggestions for Mathematical Biology

For students interested in careers or further study in mathematical life sciences.

BIOL 101IDEAs in Action General Education logo Principles of Biology H, F3
CHEM 101IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry I F3
or CHEM 102 IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry II
At least one of:4
Ecology and Evolution H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Molecular Biology and Genetics H, F
Cellular and Developmental Biology H
At least two of:6
Evolutionary Genetics
Computational Genetics H
Comparative Biomechanics
Mathematical and Computational Models in Biology
MATH 521Advanced Calculus I H3
One of:3
Advanced Calculus II H
Functions of a Complex Variable with Applications
Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I
Introduction to Numerical Analysis
One of:3
Elements of Modern Algebra
Combinatorial Mathematics
Algebraic Structures
MATH 347Linear Algebra for Applications3
or MATH 577 Linear Algebra
Three or more mathematics courses numbered above 500. Consider especially MATH 524, MATH 529, MATH 535, and MATH 5649
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans can be used as a guide to identify the courses required to complete the major and other requirements needed for degree completion within the expected eight semesters. The actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Students should meet with their academic advisor to create a degree plan that is specific and unique to their interests. The sample plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UNC–Chapel Hill in the fall term. Some courses may not be offered every term.

In the first two years, students are required to complete the standard calculus sequence, discrete mathematics, linear algebra, and first course in differential equations as well as introductory courses in computer science and physics. At the beginning of their third year, students take advanced courses in mathematics.

Mathematics Major, B.S.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
First-Year Foundation Courses
IDST 101 IDEAs in Action General Education logo College Thriving 1
ENGL 105
IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric (Interdisciplinary)
3
First-Year Seminar or First-Year Launch F 3
Triple-I and Data Literacy 4
Global Language through level 3 varies
Major Courses
COMP 110
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Programming and Data Science H
or Introduction to Scientific Programming
3
Physics course chosen from the following options: 4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity (recommended) F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences F
MATH 231 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H, F 4
MATH 232 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H, F 4
One of 4 courses in Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, but not in mathematics 3
Hours 29
Sophomore Year
MATH 233 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H, F 4
MATH 381 Discrete Mathematics 1, H 3
MATH 383 First Course in Differential Equations H 3
MATH 347 Linear Algebra for Applications 3
One of 4 courses in Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, but not in mathematics 3
Hours 16
Junior Year
MATH 521 Advanced Calculus I H 3
MATH 522
Advanced Calculus II H
or Functions of a Complex Variable with Applications
or Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I
or Introduction to Numerical Analysis
3
MATH 533
Elementary Theory of Numbers
or Elements of Modern Algebra
or Algebraic Structures
or Combinatorial Mathematics
3
One of 4 courses in Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, but not in mathematics 3
Hours 12
Senior Year
At least 3 additional MATH courses numbered above 520, excluding MATH 528L and MATH 529L 9
One of 4 courses in Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, but not in mathematics 3
Hours 12
Total Hours 69
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

1

A current or former major in statistics and analytics may substitute STOR 215 for MATH 381.

Mathematics Major, B.S.–Applied Option

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
First-Year Foundation Courses
IDST 101 IDEAs in Action General Education logo College Thriving 1
ENGL 105
IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric (Interdisciplinary)
3
First-Year Seminar or First-Year Launch F 3
Triple-I and Data Literacy 4
Global Language through level 3 varies
Major Courses
COMP 110
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Programming and Data Science H
or Introduction to Scientific Programming
3
Physics course chosen from the following options: 4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity (recommended) F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences F
MATH 231 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H, F 4
MATH 232 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H, F 4
One of 4 courses in Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, but not in mathematics 3 3
Hours 29
Sophomore Year
MATH 233 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H, F 4
MATH 381 Discrete Mathematics 1, H 3
MATH 383 First Course in Differential Equations H 3
MATH 347 Linear Algebra for Applications 3
One of 4 courses in Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, but not in mathematics 3 3
Hours 16
Junior Year
MATH 521 Advanced Calculus I H 3
Two of the five MATH elective courses (see list) 2 6
One of 4 courses in Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, but not in mathematics 3 3
Hours 12
Senior Year
Three of the five MATH elective courses (see list) 2 9
One of 4 courses in Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, but not in mathematics 3 3
Hours 12
Total Hours 69
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

1

A current or former major in statistics and analytics may substitute STOR 215 for MATH 381.

2

with at least three from MATH 528, MATH 529MATH 560MATH 564, MATH 566, MATH 661, MATH 668, sequence MATH 383L + MATH 528L + MATH 529L.

3

These courses may be completed at any point in the major. However, we recommend starting early especially for sequential courses in another department. STOR 555 can be counted for this requirement and is strongly recommended.

Special Opportunities in Mathematics

Special activities for qualified students include an undergraduate Mathematics Club, problem-solving seminars, the Putnam Mathematical Competition, and the Virginia Tech Mathematics Contest. Students interested in these activities should consult the departmental honors advisor.

Qualified undergraduate students may work as research assistants in the Fluid Laboratory or as tutors in the Math Help Center. Students can conduct original research with the guidance of a faculty member, usually in conjunction with the preparation of an honors project. Study Abroad opportunities include semester or yearlong programs in a variety of countries. The Archibald Henderson Medal and the Alfred Brauer Prize recognize outstanding performance and promise in mathematics.

Undergraduate honors research projects as well as some internships or study abroad programs might qualify for high-impact or experiential education credit in the General Education curriculum. MATH 296 satisfies this requirement.

Honors in Mathematics

Special honors (H) sections are given in some mathematics courses when student demand is sufficient (for example, MATH 62H,MATH 231H, MATH 232HMATH 233H, MATH 381H, MATH 383H).

Promising students are encouraged to work toward a bachelor’s degree with honors in mathematics. This program consists of six or more courses approved by the departmental honors advisor and satisfactory completion of an honors project completed over the two semesters of the senior year. The honors project is conducted in association with a departmental faculty member on a topic approved by the departmental honors advisor, and spans two semesters of independent research, during which time the honors candidate must be enrolled in MATH 691H and MATH 692H. The final report on the project includes both a written description and an oral presentation before a committee of three faculty (including the project advisor) approved by the departmental honors advisor. The committee will then report to the departmental honors advisor, who, in conjunction with a subcommittee of the undergraduate committee, will make the final recommendation on awarding a degree with honors or highest honors. The candidate must have a 3.5 grade point average in mathematics courses to begin an honors project and must maintain the 3.5 average through the completion of the senior year.

UNC–BEST

The UNC Baccalaureate Education in Science and Teaching (UNC–BEST) Program is a collaboration between the School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences and is designed to allow undergraduate mathematics (and science) majors interested in teaching high school mathematics the opportunity to earn their degree and obtain licensure as a North Carolina high school mathematics teacher in four years. UNC–BEST students meet all the degree requirements for their mathematics major and complete a teaching methods class (MATH 410 or EDUC 760). Students also fulfill teaching licensure coursework requirements (see list below) as well as many General Education and elective requirements.

MATH 410IDEAs in Action General Education logo Teaching and Learning Mathematics3-4
or EDUC 760 Methods and Materials for Teaching Secondary/K-12 Subjects I
EDUC 689Foundations of Special Education3
EDUC 532IDEAs in Action General Education logo Human Development and Learning3
or EDUC 501 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Adolescent and Adulthood Development: A Cross-Cultural
EDUC 615Schools and Community Collaboration3
EDUC 593IDEAs in Action General Education logo Internship/Student Teaching12
EDUC 601Education Workshops1
Total Hours25-26

For more details on admission requirements and application processes, visit the School of Education website

Department of Mathematics

Visit Program Website

Phillips Hall, CB# 3250

(919) 962-1294

Chair

Richard McLaughlin

Director of Undergraduate Studies

David Adalsteinsson

david@unc.edu

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies

Elizabeth McLaughlin

eamclaug@email.unc.edu

Undergraduate Student Services Manager

Erin Willis

ewillis3@email.unc.edu