Mathematics and Computer Science

All Majors & Minors

Requirements

  • The Ursinus Mathematics and Computer Science Department offers majors in both mathematics and computer science. It also offers minors in computer science, mathematics, statistics, biostatistics and scientific computing. The mathematical sciences make significant contributions to society, engineering, medicine, physics, economics, and politics, and to other fields in the sciences and social sciences. The programs in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department provide students with the tools for analyzing and organizing data, as well as the theoretical underpinnings for modeling important and interesting concepts. These programs provide strong backgrounds in logical reasoning, excellent analytical skills, and the ability to learn new techniques and technologies. All of these attributes are sought after in current and emerging fields and careers.

    For students majoring in mathematics or computer science, the department aims to provide preparation for (1) continued study at the graduate level; or (2) effective teaching in the secondary schools; or (3) employment in business, industry, statistics, computing, or actuarial sciences. For other majors, it seeks to provide the mathematical competence required by the increasing quantitative and analytical emphasis required in many disciplines and careers.

    Computer Science

    Upon graduation students majoring in computer science should be able to:

    • Engineer multiple-component systems that solve real-world problems
    • Program, test and debug in a variety of languages
    • Learn new technologies and tools on their own
    • Design, implement and analyze algorithms and data structures
    • Describe the concept of computability
    • Communicate to technical and non-technical audiences, verbally and in writing
    • Work independently and in groups
    • Articulate the social and ethical issues pertaining to the creation and use of technology

    Requirements for Majors

    A student majoring in computer science is required to take:

    • CS-173, 174, 274, 275, 371W
    • CS-373 or 374
    • CS-350 or MATH-350
    • At least three other computer science courses at the 300- or 400-level, one of which must be a 400-level capstone course
    • MATH-236W
    • One other course in mathematics or statistics numbered 112 or above, excluding STAT-140 and MATH/PHIL-260. 

    Internships (CS-381, 382) and one-credit and two-credit research/independent work courses (CS-391-392) do not fulfill any requirements for the major. Computer Science majors can fulfill the requirement for an oral presentation in the major by taking CS-350 or MATH-350 and the capstone requirement by taking one of the following: CS-474, 475, 476, 477, or 492W.

    While CS-394 always fulfills the ILE requirement for the college, CS-394 may satisfy an elective requirement for the major only with prior permission of the department chair.

    Regardless of track, students must ensure that the major requirements are completed. The following tracks are intended to provide guidance for special career interests, not to substitute for the major requirements.

    Track 1. Specialization in Software Engineering Students interested in software engineering should take CS-377, 474, either 476 or 477, and should complete at least one internship (CS-381 or 382).


    Track 2. Specialization in Theoretical Computer Science Students interested in theoretical computer science should take CS-373, 374; MATH-235, 341, and 361. This track will be particularly useful for students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in computer science.


    Track 3. Specialization in Game Design Students interested in working in the game industry should take CS-377, 476, 477; MATH-235, 361; and should consider a minor in media studies or studio art.


    Track 4. Specialization in Machine Learning Students interested in machine learning should take CS-377, 477; STAT-141Q, 242; MATH-235, 341, 361; and independent study or independent research project in data mining is also recommended.


    Track 5. Specialization in Systems Students interested in systems should take CS-376, 377, and 475.

    Recommendations for Majors

    Students are encouraged to elect either a minor in another discipline or additional courses in mathematics, statistics and computer science. The latter is especially recommended for students planning to do graduate work in the computer science or related discipline. Additional recommended mathematics courses are MATH-112, 211, 235, 310, 341, 361 and 413, and STAT-141Q. Recommended ancillary courses are PHYS-111, 112, and introductory and intermediate-level economics courses. 

    Requirements for Minors

    A minor in computer science consists of CS-173, 174; and three additional courses chosen from MATH-236W, CS-274, 275, 371, 373, 374, 376, 377, 471, 472, 474, 475, 476, 477.

    Mathematics

    Requirements for Majors

    Upon graduation students majoring in mathematics should be able to:

    • Organize and synthesize evidence to identify patterns and formulate conjectures
    • Demonstrate mastery of the standard proof techniques
    • Solve problems with mathematical components, and use standard software packages when appropriate
    • Communicate to technical and non-technical audiences, verbally and in writing
    • Work independently and in groups
    • Articulate the importance of mathematical and analytical reasoning as a fundamental skill that is one of the hallmarks of a liberal education

    A student majoring in mathematics is required to take:

    • MATH-112, 211, 235, 236W, 311, and 335
    • CS-350 or MATH-350
    • At least four other mathematics courses at the 300- or 400-level, one of which must be a 400-level capstone course
    • CS-173

    Internships (MATH-381, 382) and one-credit and two-credit research/independent work courses (MATH-391-392) do not fulfill any requirements for the major. Mathematics majors fulfill the requirement for an oral presentation in the major by taking MATH-350 or CS-350 and the capstone requirement by taking one of the following: MATH-413, 421, 434, 442 or 492W.

    While MATH-394 always fulfills the ILE requirement for the college, MATH-394 may satisfy an elective requirement for the major only with prior permission of the department chair. A student who is not prepared to take MATH-112 will need to take MATH-111.

    Regardless of track, students must ensure that the major requirements are completed. The following tracks are intended to provide guidance for special career interests, not to substitute for the major requirements.

    Track 1. Specialization in Pure Mathematics Students interested in Pure Mathematics should take MATH-312, 336, 411 and 421. This track will be particularly useful for students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in in pure mathematics or other theoretical fields.


    Track 2. Specialization in Applied Mathematics Students interested in Applied Mathematics should take MATH-312, 413, 434 and 442. This track will be particularly useful for students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in all areas of applied mathematics and for students planning to seek jobs in industry or government. Additional courses in the sciences or social sciences are recommended.


    Track 3. Requirements for Students Pursuing Teaching Certification in Mathematics Students preparing for secondary teaching must major in mathematics, and take MATH-322, 341, and 442 to satisfy the mathematics part of the certification requirements. In addition, the topic of the student’s MATH-350 oral presentation must be on some aspect of the history of mathematics. As many of the following as possible are strongly recommended: MATH-310, 434, and STAT-141Q, 242. If the student can take STAT-141Q and 242, they should be taken before MATH-341 and 442. Details may be obtained from the Mathematics and Computer Science Department or Education. Those students preparing for secondary teaching should consult the Ursinus College Education Department. There is both a departmental and college minimum GPA requirement for student teaching.

    Pre-Engineering

    Students interested in pursuing pre-engineering should contact the departmental chair at the earliest opportunity to plan a program of study.

    Actuarial Science

    Due to the interdisciplinary nature of actuarial science, interested students are also encouraged to speak with departmental faculty early in their Ursinus career about the possibility of a student-initiated major in actuarial science and/or additional courses that may be relevant to actuarial science. Regardless of track, students must ensure that the major requirements are completed. The following tracks are intended to provide guidance for special career interests, not to substitute for the major requirements.

    Track 1. Specialization in Pure Mathematics
    Students interested in Pure Mathematics should take MATH-312, 336, 411 and 421. This track will be particularly useful for students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in in pure mathematics or other theoretical fields.

    Track 2. Specialization in Applied Mathematics
    Students interested in Applied Mathematics should take MATH-310, 341, 361, 413, and 442. This track will be particularly useful for students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in all areas of applied mathematics and for students planning to seek jobs in industry or government. Additional courses in the sciences or social sciences are recommended, as is minoring in computer science and/or statistics.

    Track 3. Specialization in Business and Industry
    Students interested in entering the workforce immediately upon graduation should consider taking: CS-174, CS-275, STAT-141Q, MATH-310, 341, 442 as well as courses offered in the Business and Economics and the Media and Communication studies departments. A management studies minor is strongly recommended.

    Recommendations for Majors

    Students are encouraged to elect either a minor in another discipline or additional courses in mathematics, statistics and computer science. PHYS-111 and 112, are recommended. 

    Requirements for Minors in Mathematics

    A minor in mathematics consists of MATH-112, 211, 235; and two additional courses in mathematics chosen from MATH-236W, 310, 311, 312, 322, 335, 341, 361, 411, 413, 421, 434, 442, 451, 452.

    Statistics

    Requirements for Minors in Statistics

    A minor concentration in statistics consists of:

    • STAT-141Q, 240
    • STAT-242 or 243W
    • Two additional courses selected from among MATH-341, 442; STAT-342, 382, 441, 451; or 4 credit hours of independent study/research consisting of any combination of STAT-391, 392, and 394.

    Requirements for Minors in Biostatistics

    A minor concentration in biostatistics consists of

    • One course in an area of application selected from among BIO-101Q, 102Q; PSYC-100; HEP-100; or ENV-100
    • STAT-141Q, 240, 243W
    • one course selected from among STAT-342, 384, or 441. 

    Scientific Computing

    Modeling, computational, quantitative and numerical methods are increasingly important and widely employed in STEM fields for simulation, experimentation, analysis, and design. The interdisciplinary scientific computing minor provides students in the sciences and the mathematical sciences with opportunities to be knowledgeable across a broad range of disciplines, capable of communicating well with researchers in other disciplines, and cognizant of emerging roles of computational techniques.

    Requirements for Minors in Scientific Computing

    A minor concentration in scientific computing consists of six courses (24 credits). No more than three courses with the same prefix may count towards the minor, no more than three courses may count toward any other single major or minor, and no more than three courses can be taken at or lower than the 200-level.

    • Core Courses (8 credits): CS-174 and MATH-310.
    • Elective Courses (16 credits): Four electives chosen from the following list: BCMB-307, BCMB/BIO-429W; BIO/ENV-250, 415; CHEM-212, 309, 310, 410W; CS-371, 373, 476; ENV-370, 372; HEP-352Q; MATH-235, 413; MATH-246 or STAT-240, 243, 342; NEUR-120Q, NEUR/PSYC-335, NEUR/BIO-431, 435; PHYS-122, 299, 316, 405, 408W.

    An ILE with a component related to the minor topics is strongly recommended.