Major & Minor Details

Majors and Minors in Mathematics and Statistics

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics has seven five options and a minors.

  • Major and minor requirements can be found at the Washington University Bulletin.
  • Most students will follow the newest major or minor requirements found at the bulletin above.
    If the requirements have changed, students can also follow the requirements in their Wash U entry year: Washington University Bulletin Prior editions
  • In 2024-2025, courses previously offered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics were split between the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Statistics and Data Science (SDS). For students who matriculated in 2023-2024 or earlier, upper-level SDS courses may be counted as Mathematics courses for purposes of fulfilling upper-level unit and elective requirements.
  • To declare your major, request a major on WebStac and then finalize your major with a 15 minute meeting with Prof. Blake Thornton.
  • If you do not finalize your major, then your major request will eventually be deleted and you will have to apply again.

Major in Mathematical Sciences

This is the basic math major, designed to fit with a wide variety of interests and career plans.  It features a broad survey of mathematical thinking, problem solving, and numerical literacy, as well as an in-depth exploration of at least one of the main subfields of mathematics.  While Mathematical Sciences can be a stand-alone major, we recommend that it be paired with a second major in another department.  Students who will not have a second major should strongly consider one of the more specialized programs in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, or Statistics.

Major in Mathematics

The traditional math major is probably the best choice for students who plan on regularly using serious mathematics (for example, going to graduate school in mathematics or studying a heavily mathematical area of theoretical physics). Even if a student plans graduate work in statistics or "applied mathematics," a good graduate program will require a strong theoretical background. The traditional mathematics major is also a great choice for students who simply enjoy the rigor and beauty of more advanced mathematics.

Major in Applied Mathematics

The Major in Applied Mathematics has much in common with the Major in Mathematics, but it places particular emphasis on those areas of mathematics that are important for applications in science, engineering, and computing. This is an excellent choice for students who plan to pursue graduate work in applied mathematics, as well as for those interested in pursuing career paths requiring a strong foundation in mathematical analysis and scientific computing.

Major in Statistics

This major provides useful general knowledge and skills in statistics for students who will be looking for a job after the undergraduate degree. In conjunction with some economics and finance courses, it provides an excellent background for entry into the actuarial profession. Students planning on graduate work in statistics should talk with their advisors about the possibility of also taking Math 4111-4121.

Major in Mathematics & Computer Science

The School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS) and the College of Arts & Sciences (A&S) developed a major that efficiently captures the intersection of the complementary studies of computer science and math.

SEAS students who declare this major must fulfill the distribution and all other requirements for the "Applied Science" degree in the School of Engineering & Applied Science. A&S students who declare this major must fulfill the distribution and all other requirements for an AB degree in addition to the specific requirements.

Major in Mathematics and Economics

Mathematics and statistics are essential in all aspects of economics. At the same time, Economics is a natural application outlet for statisticians and mathematicians. The joint major in Mathematics & Economics will allow students interested in both disciplines to efficiently combine them without pursuing them as two separate majors. Upon completion, majors will be able to follow career paths in economics that require solid quantitative training. The combination of the two fields could also provide a well-grounded basis to pursue doctoral studies in other areas in the social sciences and public policy, business, and law school.

Students majoring in Mathematics and Economics are eligible to earn a Certificate in Financial Economics.

Major in Data Science

We are living in an era of data revolution where an unprecedented amount of data is being collected in every field, including science, engineering, and business! Data Science provides analytical and computational tools to extract meaningful information from the data. The College of Arts & Sciences and the McKelvey School of Engineering developed a new major to address the burgeoning demand for data scientists in industry and academia by efficiently capturing  the intersection of mathematics and statistics with computer science for data science. The Bachelor of Science in Data Science (BSDS) will give students the formal foundation needed to understand the applicability and consequences of the various approaches to analyzing data with a focus on statistical modeling and machine learning. This program of study is a collaboration between the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in Arts & Sciences and the Department of Computer Science & Engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering.

Minor in Mathematics

This is a great option for students whose main interests are outside of mathematics but are still interested in learning some advanced mathematics.

Minor in Statistics

A Minor in Statistics is a great option for students who want to learn some basics of statistics and data science but have prime interests outside of statistics.

Have questions? 

For more information, please contact Math Advising