Undergraduate Programs

Linear algebra students solving a problem

Degree Options 

The strength of the mathematics program at Virginia Tech is in its strong career orientation, where there are four different graduation paths that you may follow, and in its faculty, where there is a strong emphasis in both teaching excellence and research. Both of these features are essential toward the development of your potential in mathematics, and you should analyze them carefully in any college or university that you are considering.

The Traditional option is the most flexible of our degree options. It ensures a comprehensive, well-rounded curriculum of foundational courses in analysis and algebra, while allowing the student the largest range of choices at the advanced level. Accordingly, students find the traditional option great preparation for graduate study, and it can also be adapted to a wide range of careers.

The Applied Computational Mathematics (ACM) option focuses on advanced courses in numerical analysis, scientific computing, and differential equations. This reflects its original development in collaboration with engineers, but in fact, these required courses are the core mathematical concepts behind a wide and growing collection of applied sciences.

Techniques which employ combinatorics and discrete mathematics are being used in almost every area where mathematical computations are found. In response to this area's increased importance and utility, the Department has developed the ADM (Applied Discrete Mathematics) Option, in which the student is given exposure to fundamental ideas and techniques in discrete mathematics and combinatorics. Since computers are central in these applications we also require the students in this option to develop a strong foundation in Computer Science.

The mathematics education option (MSTR) is a five-year program that leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Master of Arts in Education degree. The program is designed to prepare future teachers of mathematics in secondary grades 6 - 12. The program is open to all students admitted into the Department of Mathematics. The winners of the 2018 competition, Arianna Krinos and Aimee Maurais, are pictured on the Undergraduate Research page.

Why mathematics?

Choosing a career direction is obviously one of the most important decisions of your life. Millions of people hate to go to work on Monday morning; only a relative few like their work so well that they hate to break away from it. Following your heart and mind in choosing your major will go a long way to place you in this happy second category.

Please check out CNN Financial Network's report "Applied math becomes more popular among students" and American Mathematical Society's article "Mathematical Sciences Career Information". These sites will give you a perspective on how mathematics is used professionally, and will allow you to examine the many diverse career areas that mathematicians have used to structure successful lives. 

Why Virginia Tech?

It is very important to choose the right school. Many respected experts have conducted detailed research and compiled thorough comparisons among the best colleges. Some of their findings about Virginia Tech include:

US News ranks Virginia Tech 33rd on the Best Graduate Schools in Applied Mathematics
Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranks Virginia Tech 10th of the best values in public higher education (in-state)
Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranks Virginia Tech 20th of the best values in public higher education (out of state)

In terms of the of opportunities that you would expect at a large research university combined with the personal attention to students that you would expect at a small liberal arts school, you cannot make a better choice than Virginia Tech . 

Opportunities in Mathematics at Virginia Tech

The Mathematics Department offers an accelerated program permitting up to 12 credit hours to be counted towards both B.S. and M.S. requirements (but hours meeting B.S. requirements cannot also be used later to meet Ph.D. requirements).

Putnam Mathematical Competition

The Putnam Mathematical competition began in 1938 and is designed to stimulate a healthful rivalry in mathematical studies in the colleges and universities of the United States and Canada. The competition is open only to regularly enrolled undergraduates who have not yet received a college degree. Prizes will be awarded to the departments of mathematics of the institutions with the five winning teams. In addition, there will be prizes awarded to each of the members of the teams. A Va Tech team is trained for the national Putnam Competition each December.

 

Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest

The Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest is sponsored each fall by the Mathematics Department at Virginia Tech. More than 120 colleges and universities throughout VA, NC, MD, WV, TN, and DC are invited to participate each year. Now approaching its 26th year, the contest began in 1979 and has grown to the point where over 40 schools with over 200 contestants participate in a typical year. The Va Tech Regional Mathematics Contest is conducted each fall, usually near the end of October.

 

Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM)

The handbook linked below provides detailed information on this prestigious competition, in which Virginia Tech teams have done very well in recent years. Outstanding Winners from the 2018 competition, Arianna Krinos and Aimee Maurais, are pictured at the top of the Undergraduate Research page.

Students can obtain a Minor in Mathematics with seventeen (17) credits of required courses in calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations, plus an additional nine (9) elective credits. The elective courses must all be MATH courses. Some restrictions apply.

If you would like to send a request for a private tutor to the entire list of available math tutors, please send an email to math_tutors-g@vt.edu with your contact information and request. Please indicate the course in the subject line of your email. Interested tutors will respond directly to you.

The Hatcher Scholarship

This award is open to all undergraduate mathematics majors, both incoming freshmen and continuing students. This is a merit scholarship based on academic performance. Students do not need to apply for Hatcher Scholarships. We, however, welcome any additional information that any student wishes to submit, e.g., participation in mathematical/scientific competitions, publications, references, etc. Without additional information, we will use the information bank common to all university students, i.e., level of courses taken and grade performance, standardized test scores, etc. We are happy to have you submit anything you feel may impress our committee. The number and amount of awards can vary each year depending on the endowment and its earnings. Recently we have been giving about 25 Hatcher Scholarships of $200 to $500 to continuing students , and about five $1000 Hatcher Scholarships to incoming freshmen in mathematics.

Source: the Thomas Watkins Hatcher Endowment Fund in the Virginia Tech Educational Foundation. This fund was first established anonymously by a substantial gift from the late Professor T. Hatcher and receives the continuing support of his family.

The Dean's Scholarship

This award is open to all incoming freshmen majoring in mathematics. Once again, students need not apply for the scholarship, but we are happy to consider any material that you wish us to see. Each spring semester the scholarship committee of the Mathematics Department will select one student based on the strength of the material at hand.

Source: the College of Science

The Roselle Scholarship

This award is open to all rising seniors majoring in mathematics. Students do not need to apply for this award. Each spring semester the scholarship committee of the Mathematics Department will select one rising senior based on academic performance.

The amount of award is $500.

Source: Virginia Tech Foundation Endowment

The Caldwell Scholarship

This award is open to all out-of-state female undergraduate students majoring in mathematics. Students do not need to apply for this award, but once again, we are happy to consider any material that you wish us to see. Each spring semester the scholarship committee of the Mathematics Department will select one student based on academic and personal achievement .

The amount of award is $500.

Source: The Patricia Ann Caldwell Endowed Scholarship Fund in the Virginia Tech Foundation. This fund was established by Ms Patricia Ann Caldwell.

The John C. and Elsie M. Layman Scholarships

These awards are open to all undergraduate mathematics majors, both incoming freshmen and continuing students, as specified yearly by the donors. These are merit scholarships based on academic performance. Preference is also given to incoming freshmen from rural Virginia areas and to continuing students with interests and abilities in undergraduate mathematical research. Scholarship totals for the 2000-2001 academic year are $2600; a $1000 freshman scholarship, three $500 scholarships for continuing students, and $100 in discretionary funds.

Source: Gifts from Emeritus John W. Layman and Jane B. Layman

The Oehring Textbook Scholarship

This is open to all undergraduate mathematics majors.

Selection is based on academic performance and financial need.

Details of application procedure are announced in January, and the scholarship committee selects about 5 students in February.

The amount of each award is between $80 and $120.

Source: Annual gift from the family of the late Professor Charles Oehring.

The Ling Scholarship

This is open to all graduate students in Ph.D. program in mathematics.

No application is necessary.

Each September the graduate program committee of the Mathematics Department selects one Ph.D student based on research.

The amount of award is about $700, which can vary depending on the availability of fund.

Source: The C.B.Ling Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund in the Virginia Tech Foundation. This fund was established by the family of the late Professor C.B.Ling.

There are numerous opportunities for students to study abroad, some of them specific to mathematics. For example, check out the Math in Moscow program lninked below, or visit VT's Global Education Office.

For more information, or to schedule a visit to the Mathematics Department at Virginia Tech, please contact our Undergraduate Programs Coordinator: