The Undergraduate Major in Mathematics

The mathematics major adapts to a number of purposes. It can emphasize the theoretical or the applied. It can be appropriate for professionals and nonprofessionals alike, and can be broad or narrow. It can also be combined easily with serious study in another subject in the physical, biological, or social sciences by means of a double major and/or concentration. Undergraduates who major in mathematics at Cornell are enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences and awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree upon graduation.

Prerequisites for the Major

Students are admitted to the mathematics major after successfully completing a semester of multivariable calculus and a semester of linear algebra. (These prerequisites will fulfill the MQR distribution requirement.) The department recommends:

  • MATH 2210-2220 or MATH 2230-2240 with grades of B– or better.

MATH 1920 with a grade of B– or better may be substituted for MATH 2220. MATH 2940 with a grade of B– or better may be substituted for MATH 2210.  Although MATH 2130 and MATH 2310 are not recommended for students planning a math major, MATH 2130 with a grade of B+ or better may be accepted as a substitute for MATH 2220, and MATH 2310 with a grade of B+ or better may be accepted as a substitute for MATH 2210.

A 3- or 4-credit computer programming course with a grade of C– or better is also required for acceptance to the major.  Eligible courses include:  CS 1110, 1112, 1114, 1115, 2110, and 2112. AP credit is also accepted.

How to Apply

Applications are available in 310A Malott Hall. Please bring along a copy of your transcript; you can get one in B-7 Day Hall. Students may be provisionally admitted to the major when the last prerequisite course is in progress.

Applying to the Math Major as a Transfer Student

Requirements for the Major

A mathematics major interested in a concentration in a subject different from those listed below may develop a suitable individual program in consultation with his/her major advisor.

Double Majors

A double major with computer science, economics, or physics can be facilitated by the corresponding concentrations. The Departments of Computer Science and Economics permit double majors to use courses in the corresponding concentrations to satisfy the requirements of both majors. The Physics Department also permits double counting, but only if the student completes the physics major with an inside concentration. Students should consult the appropriate departments for any further conditions.

Additional Information

Questions? Contact Michelle Klinger (Undergraduate Coordinator).