Undergraduate Degree Options
The Department of Mathematics and Statistical Science offers a wide variety of majors and minors, each having distinct objectives. Details about our majors and minors, including degree requirements, can be found in the U of I Catalog.
In addition to the degree options described below, many students pursue joint majors in other disciplines that utilize mathematics or statistical science. The most popular of these are mathematics/computer science and mathematics/physics.
Mathematics: General Option
This is the traditional curriculum in mathematics. It is more rigorous than the other options. It is especially good for secondary education majors and students intending to go to graduate school in mathematics, engineering, or science.
Secondary Teaching: Students seeking certification as a secondary math teacher earn a general option math major and meet additional requirements through the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. They often double major with Curriculum and Instruction 47-credit Math Major.
Mathematics: Applied-Computation Option
This option emphasizes the mathematics related to computer science and technology. It is designed to mesh well with a computer science major or minor provides good preparation for work in the computer industry.
Mathematics: Applied-Quantitative Modeling Option
This option is designed to fit well with majors in physics or engineering and matches particularly well with the electrical engineering curriculum. It is ideal as a second major for students planning to pursue graduate study in science or engineering.
Mathematics: Applied-Mathematical Biology Option
This option combines courses in biology and mathematics for a future in the growing fields of computational biology and bioinformatics.
Statistics: General Option
This option includes course work in designing and analyzing experiments, planning and interpreting surveys, and exploring relationships among variables. The field of Statistics is a major part of the emerging area of Data Science, and the General Option includes coursework in computing that is another major aspect of this area. This option includes flexibility to allow the student to emphasize different aspects of Statistics such as statistical theory, computing, or application to specialized fields such as the sciences, engineering, agriculture, natural resources, or business.
Statistics: Actuarial Science & Finance Option
An actuary applies mathematics and statistics to forecasting problems. Actuaries are employed by financial institutions, government, insurance companies, and international corporations. They address problems as diverse as economic fluctuations, population demographics, resource consumption, medical insurance rates, and retirement needs. Actuaries are in great demand and have many interesting career opportunities often leading to high-level management positions. Admission to the actuarial profession is governed by a series of examinations administered by the actuarial societies. The first two examinations can be taken by undergraduates and are given locally, while the remaining exams are usually taken while working in the industry. Our Actuarial Science and Finance Option, review seminars, and summer internship program with actuarial companies prepare students for these exams.