Importance of advising: There is a good deal of flexibility in the math program, and your exact schedule will be determined only after consultation with your major advisor. Seeking advice on your major plan in your first year is strongly recommended.
The first two years: A typical math major following the Mathematics track is recommended to take the following courses toward the major in the first two years: Math 135, 137, 155, 236, 237, and 279; Comp 120 or 123. Many majors place out of Math 135 and/or 137. If you are looking for further courses to take in the first two years, we want to see you! Come in and meet the Department Chair, or talk to your current MSCS professor. As a starting point for further courses, consider Math 312, 354, 376, 377, 378 and 379. You should make this choice in consultation with the instructor of the course.
Linear algebra’s role in the major: Math 236 is a key course for all math students. The material is central to all areas of math, and learning it well is advantageous for all math students.
Interested in a math major that complements a CS major? You should consider Math 361, 365, 379, and 479.
Interested in a math major that complements a Physics major? You should consider Math 312, 365, 378, 432, 437, and 471.
Interested in a math major that complements an Economics major? You should consider Math 312, 353, 354, 365, 377, 432, and 455.
Interested in graduate school? If you are interested in graduate school in theoretical math, you must take both Math 376 and 377, ideally by the end of your junior year; these are our core proof-based courses. If you want to be a competitive applicant for graduate math programs, then you should take as many as possible from Math 312, 313, 354, 365, 378, 379, 471, 476, 477. You should also seek out research opportunities in your junior and senior years. Talk to a Macalester professor about working on summer research or doing an honors project. Apply for summer math research programs, commonly known as Research Experience for Undergraduate sites (REUs).
Plan ahead for advanced courses: 300 and 400-level courses are offered on a rotating schedule. Many are offered every other year. Please read the catalog carefully and ask your advisor about courses of particular interest to you.
Carefully read the requirements for the Mathematics major as listed in the college catalog. Mathematics Major