Applied Mathematics

Applied Mathematics


Mathematics is the study of pattern, structure, and change. Although it is one of the most ancient disciplines, new mathematics is being created every day. It can be found in everything from Internet security and green energy technology to Wall Street investment strategies.

Classes in Western's Department of Mathematics emphasize analytical thinking and problem-solving skills that will serve you well not just in mathematics, but in many other careers, including law, business, and a range of technical fields. Mathematics students benefit from small class sizes, which allow a high level of interaction with faculty. 

Compared to the BA and BS Mathematics programs, the Applied Mathematics major requires that each student take a carefully selected sequence of courses focusing on a particular area of application of mathematics.

“The Math Department has prepared me for several potential employment fields such as actuarial sciences and teaching, and the program values student interaction with professors and faculty.” –Zac Balonick, student

Beyond the Classroom

Campus Groups

Outside of the classroom, you can stay involved with mathematics by working in the Math Center, joining the Putnam Exam group, or participating in the Math Modeling Competition or the Kryptos cryptography competition.

Research and Internships

You might also work on a research or independent study project with faculty, or participate in an internship. During their studies at Western, students have interned as Software Developers for companies like Attachmate and Emergency Reporting, and have received other internship opportunities through Moss Adams and Cypress Semiconductor.

In 2012, Western students received the highest rating in the International Mathematical Contest in Modeling along with a major award.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Empowered with the critical thinking skills that Mathematics develops, recent Western graduates have obtained positions in a variety of fields including actuarial science, cancer research, computer software development, business management, and the movie industry, among many others.

The skills acquired in our program have prepared graduates for further academic studies in Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Oceanography, and Education.

Recent graduates are employed in the field as DevOps Contractors—Software Developer & IT Operations (at Attachmate), Fiscal Affairs Specialists (through the National Staff Assault Task Force), and as Computer Application Developers (with the Washington State Legislature). Other graduates have received jobs at Microsoft, Google, Premera Blue Cross, Safeco, Milliman, Raytheon, and SAIC, among other companies. Many graduates who are now teachers, and a number of our students, have also gone on to Ph.D. programs throughout the country.


Sample Jobs

  • Actuary 
  • Research Analyst 
  • Statistician 
  • Biostatistician
  • Math Teacher 
  • Demographer 
  • Database Administrator 
  • Information Scientist

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.