Mathematics - FAQ's

What skills and abilities do I need to excel in this major?

Reading comprehension is very important in this field. The ability to sort through facts and information to identify that which is pertinent is also required. Attention to details is absolutely required. An interest in patterns and solving puzzles is a plus.


What will I learn?

Through a series of mathematics courses, students will hone their skills of processing information in the world around them in an effort to produce a mathematical model from which reasonable solutions can be obtained.

Generally; students will learn to better read, speak and understand the language of mathematics in oral, written and symbolic form. Specifically; this is achieved by acquiring and/or honing the following skills:

  • To analyze and to think critically
  • To think and communicate mathematically
  • To problem solve
  • To use higher level mathematical concepts
  • To use the currently available technology for mathematical applications


What opportunities are there for internships or other hands-on learning experiences?

Internships and research opportunities change from year to year. Positions are posted as they are received from other universities and businesses. Certain skill sets must be met for some of these positions, others are an opportunity to expand subject knowledge in a particular field of mathematics.

Each CMU mathematics major is required to complete an individual research project before graduating.


What are some possible entry-level careers with a degree in this field?

A student who successfully earns a mathematics degree at CMU is prepared to work in industry or to complete further study in engineering and/or surveying, in actuarial sciences, in statistics, or in specific areas of mathematics. They would also be a valuable research assistant.

A student who combines a mathematics major with a business, accounting, or computer science minor, further increases his/her career opportunities in business or as a systems analyst. A minor in one of the sciences will help the student to secure a job in research and development.

Many mathematics majors choose to minor in education in preparation to teach in middle and secondary schools. Mathematics education is presently undergoing exciting reforms. Mathematics education majors will find themselves on the cutting edge of this reform movement.


What are some CMU graduates with this degree doing?

During the past few years, our graduates have been successful in obtaining employment as teachers and actuaries. Those that have applied have been accepted into graduate programs and have been awarded assistantships and fellowships. And, they have graduated from their graduate programs with advanced mathematics degrees.


Want more information? Check out the Major Resources provided by the Career Development Center.


Testimonials from our graduates:

T. Muzerewa '10, Doctoral Student, Drexel University

"The environment at CMU fosters curiosity and allows for personal growth. I was offered unique opportunities that I would not have had as a math major at any other university."


Cody Wallingford '12, Pre-engineering

"My professors in math and science encouraged me to learn more every day. They have instilled in me the confidence to be successful."