Majoring in Mathematics
The Mathematics Department at NU is dedicated to providing its majors with the highest level of education and training in a setting that maintains a positive outlook on learning, and encourages individual growth. While a student at NU you will get personal attention both in the classroom and through the advising process. As part of summer orientation you will meet individually with the Mathematics Department Head Advisor to choose your courses. During your first semester you will attend, together with all new math majors, an informal course called “Math at NU” where you will be introduced to faculty engaged in a variety of activities at NU, and you will learn about the many opportunities and resources the department and the University have to offer.
Our curriculum is designed to be both comprehensive and flexible. The degree requirements for the math major devote about half of the University's required 32 courses to math courses; the rest is divided about equally between general electives (which must be chosen in certain core areas) and free electives (which can be used, for example, to pursue a minor). Depending upon your career objectives, math electives are generally selected from one of four tracks: pure math, applied math, actuarial science, or education; students may also minor in elementary or secondary education, which includes certification and student teaching. In each track, undergraduate students may choose to take graduate math courses; for course descriptions of undergraduate and graduate math courses, use the University's Banner system: select the term you are interested in, then select "Mathematics", then select "Undergraduate" or "Graduate" (not "CPS-"), and finally "Get Courses" to see the course descriptions.
Many of our math majors participate in our Math Club, which is sponsored by one of our faculty members. Many others work with a faculty member to prepare to take the Putnam Exam, which is held each December. During your later years as a math major, you may have the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research. Although it is not required for math majors, many choose to participate in the University's Co-op program because it offers excellent preparation for eventual careers in mathematics. In addition, you may decide to pursue graduate study after getting your undergraduate degree in mathematics.
Whatever are your educational and career goals, our math major program is designed to help you achieve them.
Sol Jekel, Head Advisor