Expand mobile version menu
  Skip to main content

Mathematics, General

Program Description

Just the Facts

Mathematics, General. A general program that focuses on the analysis of quantities, magnitudes, forms, and their relationships, using symbolic logic and language. Includes instruction in algebra, calculus, functional analysis, geometry, number theory, logic, topology and other mathematical specializations.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Additional Information

Success in a mathematics degree program requires three things: consistency, discipline and practice.

So says Colin Starr, a professor in the department of mathematics and statistics at Stephen F. Austin University in Texas.

"We prefer students who have taken math throughout high school, have high GPAs [grade point averages], and who have scored well on the mathematics portion of a standardized test," says Starr.

"We look for verbal scores, since so much of mathematics is communicating to others. We like to see evidence of a strong work ethic -- such as not shirking difficult classes during one's senior year! Mathematics is not an easy major, so I want to know that a student is ready to work."

You'll obviously need to take math in high school. "Students should have a strong background in advanced algebra and trigonometry," says Mary Wright, a math professor at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

"Don't be discouraged by mistakes -- expect them regularly as a sign that you're doing what you are supposed to be doing," says math professor Hadi Kharaghani. "Most importantly, enjoy math for itself. Get into ideas, be excited about a thought or an inspiration. Have fun!"

"Learning mathematics is like learning a language, a musical instrument or a sport," says Wright. "There is a certain amount of memorization that has to be done -- the definitions, theorems and proofs of mathematics are [similar to] the vocabulary, grammar and syntax of a language."

Upon graduation, Wright says, students will be able to apply math to problem-solving situations in business and science. They will also have knowledge of probability and statistics, linear programming, math software and abstract reasoning.

"This will depend, in part, on the courses they choose," she says. "Mathematics is a broad field. Just as a music major will graduate with skills in one or two specific instruments and a basic understanding of others, so a mathematics major will graduate with a skill in one or two specific areas and a basic understanding of others."

The main costs are tuition and books.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Mathematicians and Statisticians


  • Email Support

  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


Powered by XAP

OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.