Degree Options in Mathematics

At Virginia Tech you can choose four different paths to follow to a BS degree in Mathematics: the Traditional Option, the Applied Computational Mathematics Option (ACM), the Applied Discrete Mathematics Option (ADM), and the Mathematics Education Option (MAED).

The Traditional Option, as its name implies, yields a broad and flexible background in mathematics. The other three options are more specialized. The ACM is designed for students who are confident that they want to have an applied mathematics career in an area closely associated with physics or some form of engineering. The ADM is designed for students who are confident that they want to have an applied mathematics career in an area closely associated with computer science, statistics, or actuarial science. The MAED is designed for students who want to teach high school or junior high mathematics. Each option not only focuses on a different applications area, but also on different forms of mathematics which are best suited to work problems arising in that area.

Often students will begin their studies in the Traditional Option and later change to one of the other three options when they become more sure of the path they wish to pursue. The four options vary only slightly until the end of the sophomore year, so this time period gives plenty of opportunity to investigate different career possibilities. For example, students are encouraged to be involved with the Cooperative Education Program where they alternate semesters between our campus and a job site. Professional summer employment will also help you evaluate career possibilities. The Career Services and the Mathematics Career Advisor will also assist students to find other individual summer jobs.

Each of the four options provides an excellent foundation for graduate study in mathematics or in an applications area. Links to handbooks for each of the options are provided below.

Applied Computational Option

Are you interested in applying math to physics and engineering problems?

Applied Discrete Option

Are you interested in applying math to problems in computer science, statistics, or actuarial science?

Mathematics Education Option

Do you want to teach junior high or high school mathematics?

Traditional Option

Do you want a broader preparation for a mathematical career?