LR’s Mathematics program strives for academic excellence by offering rigorous courses designed to challenge the qualified and motivated student and to liberate the mind through an emphasis on quantitative and abstract reasoning, problem solving, critical thinking, and strong communication skills. The courses in Mathematics are designed to convey the logical structure of mathematics and prepare students to apply mathematical models to various areas of problem solving and analysis.
There are three tracks within the Mathematics major, each leading to either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree:
The Actuarial Science track is designed for students preparing for a career as an actuary. The course work combines a strong foundation in mathematics and statistics combined with computing, economics, and business. The Actuarial Science Track leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics.
The Theoretical track is designed for students interested in doing research in mathematics, and provides strong foundation for students planning to continue their education through graduate studies. The program is structured to develop mathematical thinking and proof-writing skills. The Theoretical Track leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics.
The Teacher Education track prepares students to teach mathematics at the secondary school level by combining an assortment of courses in mathematics and education. The Teacher Education track leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and can also smoothly transition into the Masters of Arts in Teaching program in the School of Education. Through LR’s innovative Bridges to Dreams and Alumni Advantage programs, students can complete both their Bachelors and MAT degree in less time and at lower costs than standard programs.
In addition to these major tracks, several minors are provided that provide an excellent supplement to other university majors: Mathematics; Actuarial Science; Mathematics and Scientific Computing; Math for Middle Grades Education; and Statistics.
Learning Outside the Classroom
Due to the generous endowment established by the estate of Donald and Helen Schort, LR’s Mathematics students have access to learning resources and experiences rarely available to undergraduates. Mathematics majors have a number of opportunities to gain firsthand experience outside the classroom. Faculty and students regularly travel to both regional and national professional conferences. Here they learn about mathematics, applications, and career opportunities in the field, as well as interact with professionals and other students from other institutions. Our campus math club, Ursa Mathematica, sponsors numerous math-themed events and activities throughout the school year. In addition, our University hosts several math-related events each year, such as the North Carolina High State School Mathematics Contest, which students help to manage and organize.
A background in mathematics is extremely useful for a wide variety of career options. A major or minor in Mathematics prepares students for positions in business, industry, government, or education, or for entry into graduate programs. In fact, a recent study showed that the top 15 highest earning college degrees all have a common element: significant competency in mathematics. Many professions require mathematical proficiency-particularly in the natural and medical sciences. But in practically all cases, the study of math assists students in building logical, analytical and problem-solving skills that apply to generally any profession.
Accordingly, professional opportunities are substantial for mathematics majors: teaching at the K-12 or college levels; actuarial science, statistics and natural or social scientific research; engineering; operations management; cryptography and security operations; computing sciences; and business and finance. In essence, wherever numerical literacy is necessary in the profession, opportunities will exist for the mathematician.
The Mathematics major can earn either a BS or BA degree depending on the educational track selected. Minors are also available in Mathematics, Actuarial Science, Mathematics and Scientific Computing, Math for Middle Grades Education, and Statistics
Students majoring in Mathematics and judged qualified by the faculty may, upon invitation, elect to pursue honors work in Mathematics. To graduate ”With Honors in Mathematics,” students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, a minimum major GPA of 3.2, and complete nine credits of honors course work in Mathematics, including MAT 498 and MAT 499 . In addition, they must complete an original thesis to be submitted for approval of the faculty, and pass an oral defense of their research.
In order to help students prepare for a variety of career options, Mathematics major has three tracks:
- Actuarial Science-prepares students to enter the actuarial profession. Students will be prepared to take the first two actuarial exams (P, and FM). The major, which leads to a B.S. degree, requires fifty-two credits, of which thirty-seven are in Mathematics.
- Theoretical-prepares students for graduate school, requires a minimum of fifty-three credits, and leads to a B.S. degree.