Area of Focus
  • Science & Math
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • B.S.
  • M.A.
  • Ph.D.
  • Undergraduate Minor
Academic Division
  • Physical and Biological Sciences
  • Mathematics

Program Overview

Students interested in developing and exercising their analytical abilities are well-served as mathematics majors. Math majors acquire and enhance their reasoning and problem-solving skills in mathematical contexts. The acquired habits of rigorous thought and creative problem-solving are invaluable skills for living in a rapidly changing, complex, and interdependent society. Students who learn to logically question assertions, recognize patterns, and distinguish the essential from the irrelevant aspects of problems can think deeply and precisely while utilizing these skills in all aspects of life.

Mathematics is both a fundamental discipline and an essential tool for students of biology, chemistry, computer engineering, computer science, earth sciences, economics, electrical engineering, physics, and psychology. Researchers in these areas work with mathematicians to develop innovative applications of mathematics to their fields.

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Learning Experience

Within the Mathematics Department, there are four major options: the Mathematics B.S., the Mathematics Education B.A., and the Mathematics B.A. degree with concentrations in Pure Mathematics and Computational Mathematics. These programs are designed to give students a strong background for graduate study, for teaching, or for work in industry or government.

Study and Research Opportunities

  • B.S. in Mathematics
  • B.A. with concentrations in Pure Mathematics and Computational Mathematics
  • Minor in Mathematics

STEM Diversity programs, including UC LEADS and CAMP, offer research opportunities, academic enrichment, and mentoring for students from under-represented groups.

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

Students interested in studying mathematics are strongly encouraged to take algebra, geometry, and trigonometry before entering the university. Math major students are strongly encouraged to start taking Math courses in their first quarter at UCSC. Delaying the start of Math major courses can affect a student's ability to complete the major on time. 

The Mathematics Department's website provides information on qualifying for the major.

Student studying

Transfer Requirements

Transfer Applicants: This is a screening major. Admission into the major is based on the student’s academic college record. Effective with admission to the 2020-21 academic year, transfer students seeking to major in mathematics must complete equivalents to the following foundation courses prior to transfer:

  • Mathematics 19A, Calculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Mathematics 19B, Calculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Mathematics 21, Linear Algebra
  • Mathematics 23A, Vector Calculus

For a complete list of lower-division courses visit the Math Department website. Additional articulated lower-division courses can be found at:


Internships and Career Opportunities

Mathematicians are valued for their creativity, insight, and intellectual independence, and typically report high career satisfaction. Career options include actuarial science, computer hardware and software design, cryptography, financial analysis, operations research, psychometrics, and teaching.

Program Contact



apartment McHenry Library, Rm 4147 
phone (831) 459-1040 

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