There are a lot of ways to complete a major in mathematics over the course of your college career.  Below are some sample pathways.  You should construct your own path in consultation with a math professor, taking into account your prior math preparation, interests, and other commitments.  Here are a few general principles to keep in mind:

  1. Aim to complete the core courses --- MATH 111, 121, 211, and Linear Algebra (MATH 271 or 272) --- by the end of your sophomore year.  It would be good to fit in at least one other math course by that time, also.
  2. There are usually more math electives available in the Spring than in the Fall, so plan accordingly.
  3. Aim to take at least one of MATH 350 or 355 by the end of your junior year.
  4. Most math majors should take at least one 200-level math elective before attempting MATH 350 or 355.  Talk to a math professor for advice about what you should do; we can make a good recommendation based on your experiences in MATH 211 and 271/272.  Sometimes, if MATH 211 doesn’t go as well as you would like, it might even be advisable to take MATH 220 before taking 271/272; again, check with a math professor for advice on this.

It doesn't matter which of MATH 350 or 355 you take first.  But in whatever semester you take your first of those two courses, try to make sure the rest of your course schedule isn't overly demanding.

Here are some possible pathways; there are, of course, MANY other possible combinations.


An Example Starting from MATH 111
 Year 1:  Fall: MATH 111     Spring: MATH 121, outside elective
 Year 2:  Fall: MATH 211, outside elective  Spring: MATH 272, MATH 220/250/260/280
 Year 3:  Fall: MATH 355  Spring: Math elective
 Year 4:  Fall: Math elective         Spring: MATH 350
An Example Starting from MATH 121
 Year 1:  Fall: MATH 121  Spring: MATH 211, outside elective
 Year 2:  Fall: outside elective    Spring: MATH 272, MATH 220/250/260/280
 Year 3:  Fall: MATH 350  Spring: Math elective
 Year 4:  Fall: MATH 355   Spring: Math elective 
An Example Starting from MATH 121, with Junior Year Abroad
If you spend your junior year at an institution where you can't realistically take math, you will have to double up a bit, of course:
Year 1:  Fall: MATH 121   Spring: MATH 211, outside elective
Year 2:  Fall: MATH 271, Math elective Spring: MATH 350
Year 3:  Fall: Spring:
Year 4:  Fall: MATH 355, outside elective  Spring: 2 Math electives 
An Example with a Late Start to the Major
If you start in MATH 105, or you delay MATH 111 until your second semester, it may still be possible to complete a math major, although some of your later semesters will be challenging:
Year 1:  Fall:     Spring: MATH 111
Year 2:  Fall: MATH 121  Spring: MATH 211, MATH 220
Year 3:  Fall: MATH 271, outside elective Spring: MATH 355
Year 4:  Fall: MATH 350, outside elective  Spring: 2 Math electives
Honors in Mathematics

If you want to do honors in mathematics, aim to complete both MATH 350 and 355 by the end of your junior year.  It would be good to fit in another 300- or 400-level elective in that time, too.

 

If you are starting from MATH 121 or higher, you have a lot of possibilities, such as the following.

Year 1:  Fall: MATH 121     Spring: MATH 211
Year 2:  Fall: MATH 271, outside elective  Spring: MATH 350
Year 3:  Fall: MATH 345, outside elective Spring: MATH 355, Math elective
Year 4:  Fall: Thesis  Spring: MATH 450/455, Thesis
If you are starting from MATH 111, you can still do honors, provided you can get through a challenging semester or two, such as in the following
Year 1:  Fall: MATH 111  Spring: MATH 121, outside elective
Year 2:  Fall: MATH 211, MATH 271 Spring: MATH 250/260/280
Year 3:  Fall: MATH 355, outside elective Spring: MATH 350
Year 4:  Fall: MATH 345, Thesis  Spring: MATH 450/455, Thesis
If you spend a semester abroad, aim to spend it at a place where you can take some math courses that can count as electives or in place of MATH 350 or MATH 355.  If that's not possible, honors is usually still feasible, with appropriate planning.  For example:
Year 1:  Fall: MATH 121  Spring: MATH 211, outside elective
Year 2:  Fall: MATH 271, Math elective Spring: MATH 355
Year 3:  Fall: MATH 345, MATH 350 Spring:
Year 4:  Fall: outside elective, Thesis  Spring: MATH 450/455, Thesis
Preparing for Graduate Study in Mathematics
If you want to go on to pursue a doctoral degree in mathematics, you should plan to accelerate things a bit more, to complete more high-level courses before your senior year, as well as to allow time for some graduate courses at UMass.  For example:
Year 1:  Fall: MATH 121   Spring: MATH 211, outside elective
Year 2:  Fall: MATH 271, Math elective Spring: MATH 350, outside elective
Year 3:  Fall: MATH 345, Math 355  Spring: MATH 450/455
Year 4:  Fall: Thesis, UMass Math 611  Spring: Thesis, UMass Math 612
Advanced Students
If you start from MATH 211 or higher and want to take a lot of math, you will not run out of challenging course options, thanks to UMass.  For example:
Year 1:  Fall: MATH 211   Spring: MATH 271 or 272, outside elective
Year 2:  Fall: MATH 355, outside elective Spring: MATH 350, Math elective
Year 3:  Fall: MATH 345, UMass Math 623 Spring: UMass Math 624, Math elective
Year 4:  Fall: Thesis, UMass Math 611  Spring: Thesis, UMass Math 612

Always feel free to contact any of your math faculty for help navigating the math major!

Danielle and Rob