What to expect when studying math

Being a math major isn't the easiest thing in the world, but it is satisfying and rewarding.  Here's what you can expect if you join us:

Overview of University Courses

  • It takes 120 credits to graduate
  • Classes are 2, 3 or 4 credits, and meet 2, 3 or 4 times per week. The exception is Phys Ed: 1 or 1/2 credit.
  • You should expect to take 4 or 5 classes per semester
  • There are 3 types of classes:
    • Courses required for your major
    • General education requirements
    • Electives to customize your program

Advantages of our program

  • There are nearly 300 undergraduate majors available
  • The cost is lower than that of private schools
  • UA has an international flavor, giving you an opportunity to meet people from different cultures and preparing you for a career in a diverse workforce
  • There are many opportunities for you to get involved in active research

You can enter the Math Department in a variety of ways

  • Traditional 4-year BS programs Applied Mathematics
  • Accelerated 5-year BS/MS program in Applied Mathematics

Many of our majors are also in the Honors College. Many of our majors have a second major in another department

Life in the Department

  • Your first math class will probably be Precalculus or Calculus I.
    • This is based on your placement scores (ACT, SAT and/or COMPASS Math Test).  Visit our Initial Placement page for details.
    • Our classes are taught at a higher level than high school courses, so don’t be surprised if you need to “repeat” a course – you’ll learn what you need to be successful in later math courses.
    • First and second year courses usually have 35-40 students.  Upper level courses often have 10-20 students.
    • There are many research opportunities available to you in a variety of application areas.  Many of these projects result in publications (a great experience to prepare you for graduate school), and some receive funding through grant proposals.

After graduation

  • Math majors get jobs because they have skills employers want – the ability to think, reason, and communicate, with some experience with statistics and computers – and they are easily trained.
  • You probably won’t use a lot of your mathematics in your job. Very few job titles are labeled “mathematician,” but titles with the words “operations,” “management” or “analyst” often involve mathematical skills.

 What to do now

  • Pay attention to your ACT/SAT exam.  These scores matter to us.
  • Take as many AP courses and exams, along with postsecondary classes, as possible.  You may be able to earn bypass credits towards graduation.
  • Visit The University of Akron to sit in a class, meet some faculty and find out what the social environment on campus is like.
  • Visit other schools to compare and contrast them.  Focus on the department you’ll be majoring in – that’s where you’ll spend the most time.  Although it’s hard for you to know exactly what to look for in a department, check the variety of upper level classes and ask about other opportunities.  You’ll be in that department for at least 4 years, so you want to be sure that you’ll be comfortable there.