Mathematics majors take the five foundational courses in calculus, linear algebra and discrete mathematics, and then choose six advanced level courses from a wide range of offerings. The major is structured to provide depth in at least one area of mathematics as well as breadth by requiring a range of course areas. So a student interested in pure mathematics might take courses in Abstract Algebra, Number Theory, Topology, and Real Analysis, while another more focused on applied mathematics might pursue studies in Differential Equations, Probability and Statistics, and Modeling. These courses provide majors with experience in reading and presenting more advanced mathematical material as well as formulating substantial proofs on their own.

Mathematics majors are also expected to demonstrate mathematical maturity in their ability to read and grasp new mathematical concepts and proofs independently of a course structure. Thus each major researches a new topic of mathematics with a faculty advisor and delivers a public talk on this material in the senior year.

The emphasis in the mathematics major on sound reasoning and effective communication of complex and detailed ideas provides students with skills that are used in almost any endeavor. Graduates of Sewanee’s mathematics program have gone on to master’s and Ph.D. programs in mathematics, computer science or statistics at Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Illinois. Alumni have pursued graduate studies in fields as wide-ranging as medicine, actuarial science, finance, law, and theology. Graduates have also gone directly into education, consulting, and governmental service at the federal level.