The official source of the curriculum for each Department of Mathematics undergraduate major is the UC San Diego General Catalog. The same portion of the Catalog has ample information about department policies pertaining to undergraduate education. Every student should be aware of these policies.

All majors must obtain a minimum 2.0 grade point average in the upper-division courses used to satisfy the major requirements. Further, the student must receive a grade of C– or better in any course to be counted toward fulfillment of the major requirements. MATH 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, and 199H cannot be used toward any mathematics major. All courses used to fulfill the major must be taken for a letter grade. No more than three upper-division courses taken externally from UC San Diego can be counted toward any major. Special exceptions may be considered via petition.

Here are more detailed descriptions of each major (along with the applicable degree and campus major code):

(1) “Major in Mathematics” (commonly known as pure mathematics), B.S., MA29

B.S. effective Fall 2010.

Faculty advisors: Daniel Rogalski, Steven Sam

This major provides a foundation in analysis and algebra. It is good partial preparation for people planning to attend graduate school in mathematics including those who want to become researchers in mathematics or teach the subject at the post-secondary level. Although the major is adaptable in that most of its upper division mathematics coursework is chosen by the student, taking random electives according to what will enable you to graduate soonest will leave you with an academic record in your major that shows a lack of emphasis and might even be taken to mean that you lack self-discipline. Instead, it is recommended that your upper division electives be focused on one or two areas of mathematics. If you intend to go to graduate school, your chosen electives and grades earned should convince graduate admissions committees that you can handle challenging sequences of courses. With instructor approval, you can even take graduate level mathematics courses, and you can have these applied toward the requirements of your major with an approved petition (submitted to the Department).

(2) “Major in Applied Mathematics”, B.S., MA27

B.S. effective Fall 2010.

Faculty advisors: Li-Tien Cheng,  Xiaochuan Tian

Course requirements for this major include upper division linear algebra, real analysis, and statistics. Students have the option to take additional courses in probability, numerical analysis, and other areas of mathematics. Up to 12 units of upper division courses may be taken from outside the department in a mathematical area if approved by petition. If the curriculum is planned well, this major could be preparation for graduate school in mathematics and teaching at the post-secondary level.

(3) “Major in Mathematical Biology”, B.S., MA36 

B.S. effective Fall 2023.

Faculty advisors: Bo Li, Natalia Komarova

This major is intended to provide a sound grounding in a core set of mathematical, statistical, and computational subjects relevant to biology, and to give students experience with applications of these subjects to biology. Students graduating with this major may go to graduate school or research institutes and organizations in biomathematics, bioengineering, biophysics or biology; or go to industry or government, working in teams that use mathematical and statistical modeling and analysis, along with rigorous computational methods, to solve bioscience and bioengineering problems. Students in the Mathematical Biology major will be expected to have their individual elective plan approved by a faculty advisor.

(4) “Major in Probability and Statistics”, B.S., MA35

B.S. effective Winter 2007.

Faculty advisors: Jason Schweinsberg, Dimitris Politis

Course requirements include real analysis, numerical methods, probability, statistics, and computational statistics. Up to 8 units of upper division courses may be taken from outside the department in an applied mathematical area if approved by petition. (By optionally taking additional rigorous courses in real analysis, this major can be good preparation for those students who want to study probability and statistics in graduate school.)

(5) “Major in Mathematics—Applied Science”, B.S., MA31

B.S. effective Winter 2012.

Faculty advisor: Rayan Saab

Half of this major’s upper division coursework includes linear algebra, real analysis, and other mathematics courses chosen by the student, and half is selected by the student for approval from one or two other departments (such as physics, chemistry, economics, cognitive science, computer science, or any in engineering). This makes the major act as a joint major in mathematics and applied science. The curriculum allows the flexibility of completing a cohesive program designed around a student’s academic interests.

(6) “Major in Mathematics—Computer Science”, B.S., MA30

B.S. effective Fall 2010.

Faculty advisors: Sam BussDaniel KaneJonathan Novak, Andrew Suk

This major gives mathematically minded students a specialization in theoretical computer science. It is not equivalent to an undergraduate degree in computer science nor is it meant to substitute for such. However, since computing applications often require a strong foundation in mathematics, this major could help to prepare someone to work in such a setting. (An internship could provide additional valuable training.) Course requirements include abstract algebra, statistics or probability, combinatorics, numerical analysis, and at least three of each of lower division and upper division courses in computer science. Up to 16 additional units of upper division coursework from approved course lists in mathematics and/or computer science are required.

(7) “Joint Major in Mathematics and Economics”, B.S., MA33

B.S. effective Fall 2010.

Faculty advisors: Dimitris PolitisTianyi Zheng

This major prepares mathematically focused students for graduate studies in economics. (A major of identical name and curriculum is offered by the UC San Diego Economics Department.) At least seven upper division courses from each department (mathematics and economics) must be taken. They include advanced courses in linear algebra, real analysis, econometrics, and microeconomics.

(8) “Major in Mathematics—Secondary Education”, B.A., MA32

B.A. effective Fall 1997.

Faculty advisor:  Guershon Harel

This major is partial preparation for teaching mathematics at the secondary school level. (To learn about various paths for earning a California teaching credential and teaching in California high schools, contact the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, or the UC San Diego Department of Education Studies.) Students take introductory courses in number theory, history of mathematics, mathematical computing, statistics/probability, geometry, abstract algebra, and real analysis. Although a student in this major COULD attempt to embark on a career path outside of lower level academia, that might be difficult to successfully accomplish given the name of the major and associated perceptions.