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The Major

Mathematicians today are engaged in a wide variety of activities. Research mathematicians create new theories and techniques. Applied mathematicians use that theory and mathematical modeling to solve problems in economics, science, medicine, engineering, and management. Teachers of mathematics develop new ways to teach mathematical concepts to children and adults.

University-level mathematics involves more than algorithms and computational techniques. Mathematics majors also learn to construct proofs and how to approach a real life problem from a mathematical point of view.


Math majors tend to be highly satisfied with the jobs they get after college. The pay is generally good and the work is usually strongly related to mathematics. The best five jobs listed in a recent Jobs Rated Almanac - software engineer, actuary, computer systems analyst, computer programmer, and mathematician - all require a very strong background in mathematics. In fact, almost every one of the top fifty jobs involves a significant amount of mathematical reasoning and knowledge.

For more information on the program, see the 2002-2004 University Catalog.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree

It is assumed that the student has a facility in mathematics normally gained by recent completion of four years of high school mathematics through trigonometry and "Mathematical Analysis." Because of the variation in curriculum at the high school level it is necessary to obtain a satisfactory score on the Mathematics Placement Test to enter the first course in the program. Without a satisfactory score a student may have to complete additional courses.

Residency Requirement

In addition to University residence requirements for a bachelor's degree, the student must complete a minimum of 18 units of upper division mathematics in residence at Cal State Northridge with the approval of a mathematics advisor.

Course Requirement

The student must complete the following course requirements and must have at least a 2.0 grade point average for all upper division units required in the major.

Lower Division Required Courses (31-32 Units)

MATH 150A Mathematical Analysis I (5)

MATH 150B Mathematical Analysis II (5)

MATH 150AL OR 150BL Calculus Computer Lab (1)

MATH 250 Mathematical Analysis III (3)

MATH 262 Introduction to Linear Algebra (3)

COMP 106/106L Computing in Engineering and Science (3)
110/110L Introduction to Algorithms and Programming (4)

PHYS 220A Mechanics (3)

PHYS 220AL Mechanics Laboratory (1)

PHYS 220B Electricity and Magnetism (3)

PHYS 220BL Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory (1)

PHIL 230 Symbolic Logic I (3)

Upper Division Required Courses (18 Units)

MATH 320 Foundations of Higher Math (3)

MATH 340 Introductory Probability (3)

MATH 350 Advanced Calculus I (3)

MATH 351 Differential Equations (3)

MATH 364 Elementary Modern Algebra (3)

MATH 462 Advanced Linear Algebra (3)

Upper Division Electives (12 units)

Upper division math courses (excluding Math 310, 310L, 311, 312, and 331).

Total Units in Option I (61-62 Units)

General Education (37 Units)

Subsection A.2, Critical Reasoning, is satisfied by PHIL 230.

Subsection A.3, Mathematics, is satisfied by Math 150A.

Section B, Natural Sciences, is partially satisfied by the lower division Physics courses required in the major.

Section E, Applied Arts and Sciences, is satisfied by either Computer Science course required in the major.

Title 5 (6 Units)

Additional Units (15-16 Units)

Total Units Required for the BA Degree: 120