Contact this office:

Mathematics Majors

Butske Teaching

A Strong Core, and Flexible Concentrations

The mathematics major combines broad mathematics knowledge with a concentration geared toward your interests and aspirations. The major requires a total of 71 credit hours of coursework; you’ll find full degree requirements in the course catalog, along with more information about program goals.

The curriculum of your freshman and sophomore years will ensure that you’re familiar with basic mathematical and statistical concepts, along with mathematical and statistical reasoning and modeling.

For the mathematics major you’ll complete a common core of 39 credit hours of mathematics coursework, covering the main areas of math, from probability and linear algebra to discrete math and real analysis. These offerings are complemented by courses in computation, which will be essential in later courses.


Another 12 credit hours from one of the following concentrations is required:

  • Mathematics: Ideal for students planning graduate work.
  • Continuous Applied Mathematics: Works well in combination with other majors, especially engineering, computational science, and physical science majors. Also offers excellent preparation for industrial careers or graduate school.
  • Discrete Applied Mathematics: Works well in combination with other majors, especially computer science and software engineering. Also offers excellent preparation for industrial careers or graduate school.
  • Statistics and Operations Research: Works well with other majors, espcially engineering quality assurance, economics, or computer science and software engineering. Excellent choice if you’re considering a career in actuarial science, data science, graduate study in statistics, or employment in a statistical or analytical capacity in business, industry, or government.

You’ll also need 12 more credit hours in free elective mathematics coursework. This offers flexibility and supports a broad, well-rounded education, or they can be selected to strengthen the concentration.

Senior Thesis or Project

The capstone experience of your major is a senior thesis or project, worth eight credit hours. This involves a year of study and research of a mathematical topic for a thesis, or an application area of mathematics for a project, possibly with an external sponsor. The experience spotlights your ability to solve a complex problem from industry or mathematical research.

You’ll discuss your senior thesis or project with your academic advisor during your junior year. A project or thesis advisor will mentor you during the process. If you choose a project, you may work on a multidisciplinary team. Initial planning begins during junior year, with the bulk of the work completed during senior year. Projects and theses are presented publicly as poster sessions, and may be included in the Mathematical Sciences Technical Report Series.

General Studies, Breadth and Depth Outside of Mathematics, and Free Electives

As with all Rose-Hulman programs, math majors are required to take a broad program of studies in the humanities as part of a liberal arts education. Since mathematics is strongly linked to the sciences and the technical disciplines, we require all students to take six courses in basic science and six technical electives in technical areas outside of mathematics.  Our majors are then broadly educated on how mathematics supports the other disciplines. In addition, math majors have seven free elective courses. For math majors considering entering the workforce upon graduation into a BIG (Business, Industry, Government) career, we recommend combining the technical electives and the free electives into a second major. For majors considering graduate education in mathematics, we strongly recommend taking as many advanced math classes as possible using free electives.