Advice to Math Majors on Fulfilling Core Requirements

Core requirements account for 60 of the 120 credit hours needed for graduation. There are three sources of these requirements, with significant overlap between the three sources:

System wide (see the Undergraduate Bulletin).


  • Area I     (FOUNDATION COURSES: 9 hours)
  • Area II    (SCIENCES: 7-8 hours)
  • Area III   (QUANTITIVE REASONING:  3-4 hours)
  • Area V    (SOCIAL SCIENCES: 9 hours)

Franklin College Requirements :

  • Foreign Language- proficiency through the third semester of study- overlap with Area IV
  • Literature –overlap with Area IV
  • Fine Arts/Philosophy/Religion (two courses)- overlap with Area IV
  • Biological Science –overlap with Area II
  • Physical Science- overlap with Area II
  • History- overlap with Area V
  • Social Sciences (two courses)- overlap with Area V
  • Multicultural 

Departmental (as in the Bulletin):

  • preferred courses for Core Areas II and III and constraints on Area VI choices.

Math majors will automatically fulfill the "basic math skills" requirement of Area I.  Three free elective hours will result if this is met by advanced placement or a course used in another core area.

Students should meet with their advisor to plan their coursework for fulfilling core and Franklin College requirements.

Core Area VI includes math and math-related courses that will prepare you for major-level classes. It comprises five courses which will typically break down as follows:

  • Calculus II (MATH 2260 or MATH 2310H)
  • Multivariable Calculus or Calculus III (MATH 2270, MATH 2500, or MATH 3500 and 3510)
  • Differential Equations (MATH 2700)
  • 2 additional courses chosen from the set {PHYS 1211, PHYS 1212, PHYS 1311, PHYS 1312, CSCI 1301, CSCI 1302, CSCI 2670, CSCI 2720, or STAT 4210}.

We recommend that you do more than the minimum in the last category. There are several reasons for this:

  1. These courses provide opportunities to broaden and apply your mathematics experience.
  2. They prepare you for upper division courses to be used in satisfying the 39 hour rule.
  3. They add an extra dimension to your employability after graduation.

In particular, we recommend that most math majors desiring a "real world" job acquire experience with computer programming. The new physics sequence PHYS 1311(L)-1312(L) is particularly designed for students with a good mathematics background who want a more substantial, truly calculus-based experience with physics. As of now, the two-semester sequence starts in the spring semester.

The 39 hour rule states that you must take at least 39 semester hours of upper division courses to graduate. Since the Mathematics Major requires only 24 semester hours of MATH courses, this means that you will need to find 15 additional hours of upper division classes.

The easiest way to fulfill this requirement is to earn a minor in some other discipline. Of course, we encourage you to take mathematics courses beyond the required 24 hours and some students do. However, if you cannot handle that much math or are interested in a broader experience, you should explore other options.