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, to green energy technology, to Wall Street investment strategies. 

Classes in the Department of Mathematics emphasize the analytical thinking and problem-solving skills that create a strong foundation not just in mathematics, but in many other careers including law, business, and a range of technical fields.

Western offers both a BS and BA in Mathematics. In comparison, the BS Mathematics major has more advanced requirements while the BA offers more flexibility in creating a course schedule. 

Western’s Mathematics Department is part of the College of Sciences and Engineering.

“We have small classes and strive for active involvement of students in their learning. Our graduates are extremely well prepared for the workplace and for more advanced studies in math and related fields.” 

–Tjalling Ypma, Faculty

Beyond the Classroom

Outside of the classroom, you can stay involved with mathematics by working in the Math Center (staffed by undergraduate Math Fellows, it is a great place to get help with homework, meet other students, and form study groups), joining the Putnam Exam group, or participating in the Math Modeling Competition or the Kryptos Cryptography Competition. You might also work on a research or independent study project with faculty.

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 Mathematics graduates from Western 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
  • Modeler

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.