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Double Major

Add Value By Adding Another Major

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What’s even more valuable than a Rose-Hulman degree? More than one Rose-Hulman degree, or one with a double major. Many of our students, particularly those who arrive with AP or transfer credits, can find room in their class schedules to accommodate a double major. Every year more than 10 percent of the graduating class graduates with either a double major or two separate degrees.

Why? Here’s what students tell us about having a double major that includes mathematics. “I like a challenge.” “I think it will help me with my career.” “I want to broaden my degree.” “I love math, but want to major in something else.” “I want to go to graduate school, but am not yet sure whether I’ll continue my studies in math or my other major.”

These sentiments match what we often share with students considering their options:

  • Having a second major in math can help with the analytical courses in graduate school.
  • When you’re seeking a job, a stronger mathematics background will open the door to more research-intensive, analytic work.
  • A job in quality assurance will benefit from a second major in math, with a concentration in statistics.
  • A financial or actuarial career will get a boost from a double major in mathematics and economics.
  • A double major in math and computer science is great for careers in cryptography, computer security, data mining or analytics.
  • Adding a math major can add skills in mathematical modeling and modeling software.
  • With about eight additional courses beyond a standard degree, it’s possible to not just double major but add a second degree. That can enhance job opportunities or flow smoothly into graduate school in both areas.

Mathematics is one of the most compatible degrees for a double major, especially when combined with computer science, software engineering, economics or physics. Mathematics double majors are a large portion of the more than 10 percent of the graduating class with double majors.

Second Major in Computational Science

Computational science is available specifically as a second major, intended to boost your knowledge and skills in applied scientific and engineering computation. It’s a multidisciplinary second major supported primarily by the mathematics department, and it has three broad components: applied mathematics (including freshman and sophomore math courses); advanced computing courses; and application-area courses from engineering and science.

Some of the problems that computational science can address include computational fluid and thermal flow, optimization of systems such as chemical processes, electromagnetic modeling, computational chemistry and computational physics problems. The field has made great progress by modeling complex systems on supercomputer clusters consisting of tens of thousands of commodity computers, similar to those used by Google and Amazon. You’ll find this kind of research being done at the national laboratories such as Sandia and Los Alamos.

Getting Your Double Major Approved

  1. Schedule a meeting with an adviser to discuss the process and consider the courses you’ll need.
  2. Get a planning spreadsheet from the registrar’s office.
  3. Collect the required signatures and return the form to the registrar’s office.
  4. Revisit steps 1 and 3 as needed, as you refine your plans or change your mind about courses.

To achieve a double major, in most cases you’ll need to take nine or more “extra courses,” including five or six that would normally be required for a minor. Most often, you can complete these “extra courses” through technical and free electives as well as AP credits. Check this chart listing AP credits and overloads needed for completing a double major.

Need More Information?

There are three different double-major or two-degree opportunities available through the mathematics department. Here are the options, the catalog entries and advisers for each option, and information about the senior thesis.

 

Requirements

Adviser

Senior thesis/project

Mathematics as primary or second major

Double major requirements

Dr. Allen Broughton

Combine with primary major

Mathematics in a two-degree program

Two-degree requirements

Dr. Allen Broughton

Separate thesis or project or make up with extra courses

Computational science second major

Computational science requirements

Dr. Jeffery Leader

None required

You can find more information through the Math Majors and Minors Moodle Group for math majors, double majors and minors. It’s open to Rose-Hulman students only.

Mathematics Double Majors in the Real World

A recent Rose-Hulman alum graduated with degrees in both mechanicalengineering and mathematics. He is now studying for a Ph.D. in applied mathematics at Cornell University. Another mechanical engineering and math graduate did his math thesis on discovering an optimal fuel strategy for the Rose-Hulman efficient vehicle team.

A math and computer science double major did her concentration in statistics. After an initial position as junior actuary, she landed a job with a data analytics firm. A computer science and mathematics major went to a Ph.D. program in theoretical computer science at Georgia Tech, and eventually hopes to join the National Security Agency. One mathematics and economics major started off her career as a purchasing analyst for the U.S. Navy. And there are students who completed double majors in math and computer science who now work in development labs such as MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Metron.