Published annually, the Course Catalog sets out the requirements of the academic programs--the majors, minors, and concentrations. Each Bryn Mawr student must declare her major before the end of her sophomore year. Students may also declare a minor or a concentration, but neither is required for the A.B. degree. Students must comply with the requirements published in the Course Catalog at the time when they declare the major, minor and/or concentration.
The Course Catalog also sets out the College requirements. Students must comply with the College requirements published at the time they enter Bryn Mawr College.
The Mathematics curriculum is designed to expose students to a wide spectrum of ideas in modern mathematics, train students in the art of logical reasoning and clear expression, and provide students with an appreciation of the beauty of the subject and of its vast applicability.
Students may complete a major or minor in Mathematics. Within the major, students may complete the requirements for secondary school certification. In addition, there are various programs that, for suitably advanced students, can be combined with the major. These include the combined A.B./M.A. program at Bryn Mawr, and combined degree programs in engineering at the California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
A minimum of 10 semester courses is required for the major, including the six core courses listed below and four electives at or above the 200 level.
MATH B201 Multivariable Calculus (H121 or H216)
MATH B203 Linear Algebra (H215)
MATH B301 Real Analysis I (H317)
MATH B303 Abstract Algebra I (H333)
MATH B302 Real Analysis II (H318) or MATH B304 Abstract Algebra II (H334)
MATH B398 or B399 Senior Conference
The course numbers HXXX refer to Haverford College equivalents. With the exception of Senior Conference, equivalent courses at Haverford or elsewhere may be substituted for Bryn Mawr courses with approval of the major advisor.
MATH B301 and MATH B302 have been designated as Writing Attentive (WA). As the analysis and algebra sequences, MATH 301/302 and MATH 303/304, both have a strong proof writing focus, students often find it useful to take a course such as MATH 206 (Transition to Higher Mathematics) before they enroll in these sequences.
The Department will change the core requirements in coming years. As a transition to this change, with permission of the Mathematics Department certain other 300-level or 500-level math courses may be substituted for MATH B302 or MATH B304. In particular, for the 2021-2022 academic year, these include MATH B322 Functions of Complex Variables, MATH B390 Number Theory, MATH H328 Mathematical Statistics, MATH H335 Topology, MATH H397 Mathematical Modeling, MATH B503 Graduate Algebra I, MATH B522 Complex Analysis, and MATH B530 Differential Topology.
Mathematics majors are encouraged to complete their core requirements other than Senior Conference by the end of their junior year. Senior Conference must be taken during the senior year.
Students considering the possibility of graduate study in mathematics or related fields are urged to go well beyond the minimum requirements of the major. In such cases, a suitable program of study should be designed with the advice of a major advisor.
Any mathematics course at or above the 200-level (including graduate courses) or any course cross-listed as a mathematics course at Bryn Mawr or Haverford can be used as an elective towards the major.
In addition, some Bryn Mawr and Haverford courses from departments other than mathematics that have a substantial mathematical content may also be counted as electives. Currently, courses that count as math electives include:
- CHEM B221: Physical Chemistry I or CHEM H305 Quantum Chemistry;
- CHEM B321: Advanced Physical Chemistry;
- CMSC B231: Discrete Mathematics;
- CMSC B310: Computational Geometry;
- CMSC B340: Analysis of Algorithms;
- ECON B304/ECON H304: Econometrics;
- PHYS B306: Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences;
- PHYS B328: Galactic Dynamics and Mechanics.
A student may also, in consultation with a major advisor, petition the Department to accept additional courses as electives.
At most three courses can be doubled counted for a second major.
Major Writing Requirement
Students will take two writing attentive courses to satisfy the major writing requirement. Courses that are designated as writing attentive are MATH B301 and MATH B303.
A degree with honors in mathematics will be awarded by the Department to students who complete the major in mathematics and also meet the following further requirements:
- at least two additional units of work at the 300 level or above (which may include one or two units of MATH 400 or MATH 403),
- a grade point average of at least 3.6, calculated using the grades from 10 math courses: the six math core courses and the highest grades in four math electives (excluding 400-level),
- grades of 3.7 or 4.0 in all 400-level math courses,
- completion of a commendable project consisting of a written thesis and an oral presentation of the thesis.
Additional guidelines and requirements for an honors level thesis and presentation can be found on the Mathematics Department’s web page.
The math minor requires five courses in mathematics at Bryn Mawr or Haverford.
Two of the mathematics courses must be at the 300-level or higher and the remaining three courses must be at least at the 200-level or higher; the Haverford course, Math H121, Multivariable Calculus, can also be counted towards the math minor as if it were a 200-level course.
Any of the courses from other departments listed in the above Math Electives description can be counted as a mathematics course towards the minor. These courses may only be counted as 200-level courses for the purposes of the math minor, regardless of their course numbers within their own departments. At most one course may double-count towards both your major and the math minor.
It may also be possible to count certain math courses taken at other colleges and universities towards the math minor. This will always require special permission from the Mathematics Department.
Students entering with a 4 or 5 on the Calculus AB advanced placement test will be given credit for MATH 101 and could enroll in MATH 102 or MATH 201 as their first mathematics course. Students entering with a 4 or 5 on the Calculus BC advanced placement test will be given credit for MATH 101 and 102, and should enroll in MATH 201 as their first mathematics course. All other students are strongly encouraged to take the Mathematics Placement Exam so they can be best advised.