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Undergraduate Programs

Four undergraduate degrees are offered by the Mathematics and Statistics Department, as well as three minors.

B.S. in Mathematics

This program requires a selection of fundamental courses in algebra, statistics, and analysis be taken. It is the most flexible program, in which the greatest number of electives may be chosen. Elective upper division mathematics courses are available which meet the needs of students preparing careers in industry and government, secondary teaching, and graduate study. Students who do not wish to complete the requirements for a declared option in applied mathematics or statistics may wish to elect courses in one or both of these areas as part of this degree program.

B.S. in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics option

This option emphasizes mathematics frequently used in applications. The student may choose one of two suboptions: the first is aimed at applications in science and engineering, the second at applications in economics and management. Students are prepared for careers in industry, business, and government and for graduate study in applied mathematics.

B.S. in Mathematics, Mathematics Education option

This option is for students preparing to teach mathematics at the secondary school level. Completion of this option meets subject matter competence requirements for the Single Subject Teaching Credential Mathematics. Consult the department's Mathematics Education Advisor early to plan the program.

B.S. in Mathematics, Statistics option

This option provides a foundation in statistical methods. The courses required ensure that the student understands how the techniques are mathematically derived and how they are applied. Statistical analysis is an essential part of any scientific investigation and is a vital tool in monitoring the quality of products and services and in forecasting.

Minor in Mathematics

The Minor in Mathematics is available to any student not majoring in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.

Minor in Applied Mathematics

The Minor in Applied Mathematics is available to any student not majoring in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.

Minor in Statistics

The Minor in Statistics is available to any non-Mathematics major.

Additional information can be found in the CSULB Catalog: Mathematics and Statistics.

The following is advice for:

Entering Freshmen Considering a Math Major

High school preparation for a prospective mathematics major should include at least four years of high school mathematics courses, at the most advanced level available to the individual student. The four-year planning guides on our advising sheets presume a student who has taken precalculus (sometimes also called math analysis) in high school and is prepared to take Calculus I (MATH 122) as a first-semester freshman. It is possible to start at an earlier stage and still complete the major - many have done so - but it takes more time.

We recognize the AP calculus exams, so if you have the opportunity to take an AP calculus course, do so. A score of 3 or better on the Calculus AB level exam will earn you credit in MATH 122 and you may begin your studies here with Calculus II (MATH 123). A score of 3 or better on the Calculus BC level exam will earn you credit in both MATH 122 and 123, and you may begin your studies here with Calculus III (MATH 224). Pleae note that the AP statistics exam only earns credit in a course which does not count toward any degree in mathematics.

The rest of your high school courses should be selected to satisfy all CSU entrance requirements. Useful electives might include Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Economics.

A well-prepared freshman who is willing to take 15 to 17 units per semester and who takes at least one appropriate mathematics course in every semester can complete the requirements for a B.S. in Mathematics in four years without the schedule of math classes being crowded or rushed in any way. For such a student, the combination of the mathematics major requirements and the University's general education requirements falls about 20 units short of the 124 units required for a B.S. You should regard this as an opportunity to explore another interest, possibly to complete a minor in another subject.

Community College Transfer Students

First and foremost, take a mathematics course at the appropriate level for you in every semester of your attendance at your community college. Students who have already completed Calculus III before they transfer have a very high success rate in completing the B.S. at CSULB in 4 to 6 subsequent semesters. Students who have not yet taken Calculus I before they transfer face a much lower ultimate success rate, a timetable of 7 or more subsequent semesters, and difficulty in filling out a schedule in the first 2 or 3 semesters.

Community College Courses to Take to Transfer as a Mathematics Major

The most important courses to take are:

  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Calculus III

Other courses that may be helpful are:

  • Linear Algebra - counts toward all five options
  • Discrete Structures - may count toward B. S. in Mathematics ("general option") and Option in Math Education
  • Physics (Calculus-prerequisite) - first semester counts toward B.S. in Mathematics ("general option"); two semesters may count toward Option in Math Education and Option in Statistics; three semesters count toward Option in Applied Mathematics, Suboption in Science and Engineering
  • Computer Programming - all options require some computer-related class; or several options, we now prefer a programming course in C++
  • Economics (Macro- and/or Micro-economics) - counts toward Option in Applied Mathematics, Suboption in Economics and Management; may count toward Option in Statistics
  • Foreign Language - two semesters may count toward Option in Math Education and Option in Statistics.
  • Logic (in the Philosophy Department) - may count toward Option in Math Education and Option in Statistics; in both cases, would require a second semester in Symbolic Logic, which would probably be taken at CSULB as PHIL 270 since it is rare at community colleges

To be sure a course listed above transfers, contact the Undergraduate Associate Chair.

Courses that probably don't transfer for a Mathematics major, but might in a few cases:

  • Differential Equations or "Calculus IV" - most of these courses do not transfer for credit for a CSULB mathematics major; if this is the only mathematics course for you to take, go ahead and take it--the knowledge will help you
  • Statistics - lower division statistics courses do not count for any option of the B.S. in Mathematics. Our required MATH 380 is an upper division course with a Calculus III prerequisite
  • English Composition (second course) - although we do require a second course in English Composition (ENGL 101 or 317), most community college second courses transfer as ENGL 180 and count toward GE category C2. Our intent is to have you take one more course than is required by General Education, and you'll probably have to take it at CSULB. One exception to this is that Long Beach City College ENGL 2 does count as ENGL 101 for the Mathematics major

To ask about exceptions, contact the Undergraduate Associate Chair.

In all of these cases, do not prolong your community college career just to take a course outside the Mathematics Department that might transfer for major credit. If you've run out of Math courses to take, it's time for you to transfer and to take your remaining required courses at CSULB.

New and Continuing Math Majors

Contact our undergraduate advisors if you have any questions.

For an upper division Mathematics major who doesn't work excessive hours, three MATH courses in a semester (and one or two courses in other fields) is a full load; four MATH courses in a semester is an overload, and five MATH courses in a semester is crazy.

Get involved!

Don't get ahead of yourself; take courses in an appropriate order and respect our prerequisites. If you've just taken Calculus III, your next several courses should be selected from the "intermediate level" courses in the department:

  • MATH 233 - Fundamental Concepts for Advanced Mathematics, or "Discrete Structures"
  • MATH 247 - Introduction to Linear Algebra
  • MATH 310 - History of Early Mathematics
  • MATH 364A - Ordinary Differential Equations I
  • MATH 380 - Probability and Statistics

Are you a night student? Many, but not all, of our required courses are offered at night. To complete the requirements for a B.S. in Mathematics, you will need to take a few day classes, but can probably take the majority of the courses at night.

Don't plan on taking upper division MATH classes in summer sessions. The only such course we routinely offer in the summer is MATH 380.