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math degree options

Degree Options 

The mathematics program at Virginia Tech has a strong career orientation, with four different graduation paths that you may follow. Across all four paths, our faculty emphasize both teaching excellence and research innovation. Both of these features are essential toward the development of your potential in mathematics.

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. Students who have graduated from our program have received numerous awards, scholarships, and recognition for their excellence in teaching mathematics, such as the Edward A. Anderson Scholarship, which our students have won six years in a row.

Master of Arts in Education program

Why VT Math Might Be Right for You

What does it mean to have a degree in mathematics? You know a lot of math! Well, of course, and that’s undeniably valuable to a range of jobs and careers. But, it’s important to note that a mathematics degree also means you have all the pieces to see the big picture:

Puzzle pieces linking teachable, creative, clear communicator, and problem solver

¨   We offer four degree options that allow you to choose courses in an applied area that supports your mathematical abilities and interests, making you an even better job or graduate school candidate.

¨   We offer a 5-year accelerated B.S./M.S. degree program.

¨   The first-year experience course for math majors allows you to connect with fellow math majors, meet faculty and academic advisors in the department, learn about the breadth of mathematics, dive into projects, and experience some research. All during your first year at VT.

¨   Our academic advisors are faculty advisors, who can not only advise on traditional advising matters, but can also discuss course and career advise throughout your undergraduate career.

¨   Best of Both Worlds: The Math Department offers a small, personal feel where you can get to know your professors and advisors while having the opportunities that a large research university can offer.

The words I would use to describe VT mathematics are creative, challenging, and flexible. Through this program, I was able to choose classes that interested me and related to my future career in education. In every class I found fascinating concepts and professors who encouraged me to think more deeply about the material and really push my creativity. A few highlights were researching kinesthetic learning of mathematics, discovering Egyptian and Babylonian number systems, and exploring how to use technology to teach mathematics. Looking back on my years in school, I realized how comforting it was to have a smaller program where I could recognize faces as I walked through the mathematics building and felt supported in my classes. It was a wonderful few years and I would recommend the program to anyone considering mathematics!

- VT Math 2019 Alum

 

As a current math teacher, I am so proud to have graduated from Virginia Tech. It was the perfect place to combine my love for math and teaching and to grow as a learner. The math department’s instructors and professors are super supportive and furthered my love for learning!

- VT Math 2015 Alum

 

I chose math at Virginia Tech because I liked that the department had multiple options with focuses in different areas of mathematics.  Throughout my time as an undergrad, the professors and advisors have been very helpful in providing me with opportunities to pursue my future academic and career goals.  There have been many opportunities for me to get involved within the department though undergraduate research, mentoring younger undergraduate students, and helping at recruitment events for current high schoolers. The math department has given me a smaller school feeling inside a very large university as I have enjoyed my time getting to know many of the faculty, staff, and students.

- VT Math 2020 Alum

 

I could not be happier that I landed in Math at VT. The faculty are friendly and accessible, and there is ample opportunity to get involved in research and service. It is a wonderful place to learn, grow, and serve.

- VT Math 2019 Alum

 

I am incredibly grateful for the professors and mentors in the Math Department who helped me develop into a mathematician and a contributor to the university. I am so glad I had the opportunities to conduct research, serve in roles where I helped other students, and learn from and be mentored by top-notch people.

- VT Math 2019 Alum


To explore information about mathematical careers, you may also want to consult the Career Resources from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), Career Advice for Students from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and Career Information from the American Mathematical Society (AMS).

Opportunities for VT Math Students

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.

To be considered for a university scholarship, students must complete an application in Scholarship Central: https://vt.academicworks.com. All students are encouraged to submit an application, which allows consideration for all scholarships across the university, including Math Department and College of Science scholarships. Applications should be completed by the end of January. Decisions will be made either at the end of the spring semester or at the beginning of the fall semester.

The Math Department has several scholarship programs, listd below. Through these scholarships, in a typical year the Mathematics Department awards over $65,000 to 30+ students with a majority going to continuing students.

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 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: