Earning an undergraduate degree in math can open many opportunities. International students who would like to study math in the U.S. will typically have to take a number of specific array of courses to earn a degree, but there is some choice involved. Also, students will want to be informed about the top schools from which to earn a degree in math.
Mathematics is an exciting field of study. International students will find many opportunities for challenging and creative work with an undergraduate degree in math. Students interesting in studying math in the U.S. might have a number of questions in deciding whether to study math, such as "which courses will I take?" or "what are the top schools?" Let us take a look at some of the things to keep in mind about studying math at the undergraduate level in the U.S.
Typical Course Requirements
There are some topics and methods in mathematics that nearly every math major will need to have. Most math programs will have a "core curricula" – classes that everyone who majors or minors in math must take to earn an undergraduate degree in math. These classes provide the foundation for learning more advanced topics and methods that are of particular interest to researchers. Typical core classes include algebra, calculus, and mathematical statistics. Students will be expected to take a number of courses in these areas in order to advance to higher level courses and topics. There will also commonly be electives, or courses, which are not a part of the core curriculum but that students might find helpful or interesting. These courses often include courses in the fields of computer science, mathematical physics, number theory, game theory, topology, and mathematical logic.
Students should be aware that an education in math is cumulative; more advanced classes often require students to use what they have learned from previous classes. This means that many mathematics courses have prerequisites. In a class on abstract algebra, for instance, the instructor will assume students are already familiar with basic principles of algebra taught in lower level courses. For this reason, it is important for international students to form a plan early on in their undergraduate careers regarding which courses to take each semester for their next few years in school. A math major needs to be sure to have taken all the required prerequisite courses for classes he or she plans to take in the future.
International students should look into the quality of the programs into which they will enroll. An undergraduate degree in math can be an important stepping stone to many further opportunities. Whether you will immediately step into the labor market or are looking to move on to graduate school, your prospects improve by attending the top schools in math. Getting a degree in math looks great to employers, and students will look even more impressive their school has a strong pedigree. Graduate programs in math and other fields will consider the quality of the undergraduate programs their applicants attend.
Though the prestige of a math program is important, students should keep in mind that it is not the only thing that matters. Ultimately what matters is the skills in math students achieve through their education, and it is not always the case that the most famous school is the best place for each individual student. Many other things are important, such as whether or not a particular program emphasizes applying math to other fields of study.
Let's say you are interested in becoming a Math teacher. Felician College offers a double major in Mathematics and Education that promotes international student's understanding of mathematical concepts that lays the foundation for graduate work in Mathematics Education. Not interested in teaching? Felician College offers two tracks, Analysis or Algebra, so that students can choose the field of study that best relates to their intended career.
In general, students should carefully consider what goals they have beyond earning an undergraduate degree in math and consider which school will help attain these goals best.