Mathematics Overview

If you speak the language of numbers and theories, General Mathematics may be a great major for you. This major will allow you to work many different formulas, theories, quantities, logic, symbols, abstract concepts, and numbers.

It should not be surprising to you that your classes will involve a lot of math. This broad exposure will help you develop your strengths and discover your interests. You will have the opportunity to specialize in algebra and number theory. Here you will learn about the properties of integers and how to use equations, vectors, and matrices. Another are you will explore Euclidean (straight lines and angles) and non-Euclidean geometry (curved surfaces). Classes in analysis and function will teach you about dynamic systems and equations, functions and solutions.

Courses may vary depending on your college but some of the most common are algebra, geometry, history of mathematics, differential equations, statistics, calculus, number theory, and real analysis.

Concentrations in this major include: Algebra and Number Theory, Analysis and Functional Analysis, Geometry, and Topology and Foundations.

Required Skills

Clearly, students should have a strong interest in math. You will spend many hours solving mathematical problems, memorizing formulas and working on proofs. Critical thinking skills are necessary in order to identify, analyze, and apply mathematic principles to the equations you are working on. The basic knowledge you gain in your classes will help you think creatively to devise new solutions to difficult problems.

You should be a self-motivated learner who can work independently. However, don't neglect interpersonal skills as well; they will come into play when completing group projects or working with partners.

Mathematics contains a lot of trial and error. You may get the answer to a problem wrong many times before you finally get the right answer. Persistence and dedication will aid you in your studies.

Although you will be mostly focused on math, writing is also an important skill to develop. Students should work on writing clearly and concisely to make complex issues easy to understand for the average reader. Writing skills will also aid you when applying for jobs.


A degree in mathematics will allow you to have several different career paths. Some graduates become certified to teach high school math, or go on to become a math professor. You may also get your Master's degree in mathematics or statistics allowing you to become a professional statistician or mathematician.

Graduates who want to go straight into the career field find often find work in the financial industry or business. You could become an actuary analyzing financial costs of risks, or you could work as an operations research analyst. Graduates also find work as a financial advisor for a business or for individuals.

Graduates with a degree in Mathematics average $47,605 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $82,811.

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Related Majors

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Mathematics might open up.

Mathematical Science Occupations, All Other
Mathematical Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Natural Sciences Managers
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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