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Declaring a Mathematics Major

A student who is considering a degree in mathematics should begin learning about the requirements early in the sophomore year or before. This is also a good time to make an initial appointment with a Departmental advisor. Note that inappropriate course election decisions made at an early stage may result in missed opportunities to take infrequently offered courses or their prerequisites. The decision to major or minor in mathematics should be made by the end of the sophomore year and officially registered by filling out a Declaration Form with a Departmental Advisor. During your first counseling session as a declared student of mathematics, you should plan a possible sequence of courses to fulfill your degree's requirements. Of course, as you progress through the program, you may make many changes to this initial plan. Before you register for courses for each subsequent semester, you should make an advising appointment to review your progress with an advisor and revise your plan for the remaining semesters. Regular advising is your best guarantee for completing the program in a timely manner.

Subplan Programs

There are six distinct major programs in mathematics: Pure Mathematics, Honors Mathematics, Mathematical Sciences, Actuarial Mathematics, Mathematics of Finance and Risk Management, and the Secondary Mathematics Teaching Certificate. The Mathematical Sciences Major is designed for the student interested in mathematics and its applications and splits up into eight subprograms depending on the particular applications.  Although each of these programs has its own requirements and conditions, the prerequisites and basic courses are the same throughout. 

A student may pursue 2 (or more) majors.  However, unless precluded by requirements, for any pair of majors the set of courses used to satisfy conditions III and IV for either major must be distinct from the set of courses used to fulfill requirements I-IV of the other major (requirements listed later in this section). Exception: this rule does not apply if one of the pair is the Secondary Mathematics Teaching Certificate Program.

Students are urged to discuss their ultimate career goals with an advisor at an early stage to ensure that an appropriate program is planned.

All mathematics students are strongly encouraged to use Physics 140-240 as their Natural Science distribution requirement and to acquire a working knowledge of computers and their languages.  Many of the careers open to mathematics majors involve heavy use of computing, and students preparing for such a career should take several computing courses, including EECS 280 and EECS 281.

Upper-level courses taken at another college or university can be used to satisfy major requirements only with written permission of the Director of Undergraduate Programs.  Documentation (syllabus and text in English) is required to verify the equivalence of the external course.  Any course that will count towards the degree must meet the math department's general standards for transfer credit (no on-line courses from non-Covid terms). Transfer courses do not count towards the student's GPA.

In particular, per LSA rules, students are required to complete at least 24 credit hours for the mathematics major (parts I-V). The Mathematics Department requires that a minimum of 18 mathematics credits should be taken in residency (at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus). Six of these credits must come from the basic courses (part II) and nine from the core courses (part III) and/or cognate courses (part IV). The 18 credits for residency may include pre-requisites taken in Math.

All prerequisite courses must be satisfied with a grade of C- or above. Students with lower grades in prerequisite courses must receive permission of the instructor to enroll in subsequent courses. Students who intend to major in mathematics and receive a grade of C- or lower in Math 217 should repeat this course before proceeding further.   Math 217 students who wish to receive additional practice with reading and writing mathematical proofs should consider taking Math 201 concurrently with Math 217.  

By LSA rules, to be awarded a degree in Mathematics a student must maintain an average grade point average of at least 2.0 (a C average) in all mathematics courses and other courses used to fulfill concentration requirements. Moreover, the Pass/Fail option may not be used to meet major/minor program requirements. If a course was taken in residence and a grade of A+ through C, P, CR, or S was earned, then repetition of this course results in no additional credit or honor points.  The course and grade appear on the transcript with the notation "NFC" or "Not for Credit." 

A student repeating a course in which a C- through D- was previously earned will receive honor points but no additional credit towards a degree. The course appears on the transcript with the notation "Repetition." Repetition of a course in which an E, F, or U grade was originally earned produces both credit towards a degree and honor points for courses elected on the graded pattern; there is no special transcript notation. In all such cases, the first election and grade earned remain on the transcript. The grades earned by repetition of courses are not averaged and posted as a single entry, but they are posted as separate elections.

Releasing a Mathematics Degree

The Departmental requirements for each of the degree programs are described in detail elsewhere on this web site. The final certification that you have satisfied the requirements for your program is provided by an official Release Form. The form lists current and future courses and declares that if these courses are completed satisfactorily, the degree requirements will be satisfied. Students pursuing a Mathematics major must complete the Release Form (available by meeting with a Departmental Advisor) before the beginning of their final semester in the program. Early submission of this form is very important to allow time for any required adjustments.

To have a minor released, a meeting with a Departmental Advisor is not necessary.  To request a Mathematics minor release, e-mail and include your UMID number and your major.  You must also include all courses you intend to use for your minor, what term you intend to take those classes (if they are not already completed), and whether or not any of those classes will be shared with your minor (for LSA majors). 

At the same time the major or minor is released, students should use Wolverine Access to apply for graduation electronically. Each College has a number of further requirements which must be satisfied before a student can graduate. General Counselors in the LSA Newnan Academic Advising Center (1255 Angell Hall/ 734.764.0332), Engineering Advising Center, and Ross School of Business are trained in the administration of these regulations and should be consulted regularly to ensure that all requirements will be satisfied.