Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find more information on the requirements to earn a degree in mathematics?
Contact the Chair of Mathematical & Computer Sciences to discuss your options. Her contact information is:
Julie Letellier, Ph.D.
Office: 305 McCutchan Hall
Phone: (262) 472-5684.
How do I declare or add a Mathematics Major?
Go to the department of your current major, and fill out a major change form. If you are changing to a Math Major (and not adding it as a second major), your current department will release your advising file to you, if one exists, and a copy of the form. Bring them both to the Math Office, McCutchan Hall Room 304. Our administrative assistant will collect them and assign an advisor to you.
Do I need to decide on an emphasis at the time I declare or change to a Math Major?
If you are undecided as to which emphasis to declare, temporarily choose the Pure Math emphasis. The first 6 courses in the five emphases are the same. Once you've made your decision, you can always change your emphasis. Remember that your AR will be updated only after the form has been completed by you and processed by the Registrar.
When am I assigned an advisor?
Math Majors are assigned an advisor by the department when they have attained sophomore status (at least 24 units). Notification will occur by campus e-mail.
When should I see my advisor?
An advising hold is placed on your record each semester by Mathematical & Computer Sciences. About 3 weeks prior to the start of registration, an e-mail will be sent to you reminding you to make an appointment with your advisor. Sign-up sheets for appointments are posted outside your advisor's office. After the appointment, he/she will sign off on your schedule and hand you your advising file. Drop it off at the Math Office. If no one is there, slide it under the door. The department's administrative assistant will remove your hold so that you can register for next semester's classes. Do not wait to schedule an appointment with your advisor.
What should I bring with me to my advising appointment?
Always bring a recent copy of your AR. Your first advising appointment will be the longest as a tentative undergraduate plan for your math major courses will be devised. A copy of the plan will be given to you with the original staying in your advising file. Remember that advising appointments are excellent opportunities to bring up any questions or concerns that you may have.
Can I see my advisor at times other than prior to registration?
Of course. Feel free to stop by, call or e-mail your advisor anytime that you have a question.
If I am a Secondary Ed Math Major, do I have an advisor in the College of Education?
Yes, your advisor is Dr. Virginia Pease. Her contact information is:
Virginia Pease, Ph.D.
Office: Winther Hall Room 4048
Phone: (262) 472-5437
I already have a bachelor's degree but am returning to earn a Math Major. Am I assigned an advisor?
Yes, the Chair of Mathematical & Computer Sciences is your advisor and is responsible for evaluating your transcripts from previous institutions to determine which courses are required to successfully complete the major. Currently, the AR does not keep track of requirements for post-baccalaureate students.
Does the department have general advising sessions for its majors?
Once a year, the Department of Mathematical & Computer Sciences along with Curriculum & Instruction will hold a joint meeting for Secondary Ed Math Majors. You will be contacted about the date, time, and place of the meeting via campus e-mail. A brief presentation will be made by faculty from both departments followed by a question-and-answer period. It is strongly recommended that you attend the meeting every year. A similar meeting for the other emphases is in the process of being developed. You will be notified of the date, time and place of all meetings via campus e-mail.
What's the difference between the BSE, BS, and BA degrees?
Secondary Ed Math Majors earn a BSE (Bachelor's of Science in Education) degree from the College of Education. Other Math Majors earn their degree from the College of Letters & Sciences and have a choice between the BS and the BA degrees. Here is a summary of the differences:
- The BA degree requirements are completion of: i) 6 credits of 300/400 level course work (restrictions apply) and ii) 1 year of a single foreign language
- The BS degree requirements are completion of: i) a second lab science course from a different academic area than the one used for the University Requirements and ii) either 5 credits of math beyond Math 141 or 3 credits of Computer Science and 3 credits of math beyond Math 141.
If you plan on attending graduate school in math or science, earning a BS degree is strongly recommended. For more information, see the College of Letters & Sciences Degree Planning Guide.
Do I need to declare a minor?
Yes. The approved list of minors in the College of Letters & Sciences can be found here. Note that if you are double-majoring, a minor is not required.
Is there a minimum GPA requirement for graduation?
Yes. Secondary Ed Math Majors are required to have at least a 2.75 GPA before they can be admitted to the College of Education and need to maintain that GPA in order to graduate. (See all requirements) All other Math Majors are required to earn at least a 2.0 in their major, in their minor, and overall.
When do I apply for graduation?
Early in the semester before you graduate, go to the Registrar's Office (Roseman Hall Room 2032) and fill out the appropriate form or go to the Registrar's website and fill out the form online. If any problems arise, you will have a semester to fix them. At your last advising session, your advisor will carefully check your AR with you.
Are all Math Major courses offered every semester?
No. Core courses are, but emphasis courses are offered either every year or every two years. To check the course rotation schedule for mathematics and computer sciences courses, visit the Course Descriptions page.
What if I decide to change from math to some other major?
Come to the Math Office and fill out a change of major form. A copy of this form along with your advising file will be handed to you. Take these immediately to the department of your new major.
Does the department have any opportunities for students to tutor?
The Department's tutoring center known as the Math Learning Center (MLC) located in MC 422 is used in many ways: students gather to study, instructors conduct review sessions for their students, and faculty and staff from Mathematical & Computer Sciences tutor students on a first-come, first-serve basis for no charge. We are currently working on a plan to offer Math Majors the opportunity to work with faculty and earn volunteer hours as a tutor in the MLC. (Secondary Ed Math Majors must document 350 volunteer hours.) An e-mail will be sent to all Math Majors once the details have been determined.
Are there other opportunities to get experience in tutoring math?
Yes, the Tutoring Center located in the basement of McCutchan Hall offers tutoring free of charge to students in many areas including math. Tutors are paid for their time by Academic Support Services. For more information, please contact Dr. Shane Staff at 472-5948 or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . Finally, some students prefer to pay for a private tutor. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the Chair to put your name on this list.
Is there a place for Math Majors study?
Yes. The room, Laurentide 2249, is named "Cantor's Escape" and is open for use by Math Majors. Rules for use of the room are posted and are intended to keep the room neat and clean for all.
Is there a student organization for Math Majors?
UW-W has a student chapter of the MAA (Mathematical Association of America - visit their website www.maa.org ) called the SMA (Student Mathematical Association). All students interested in mathematics (not just Math Majors) are encouraged to join. For more information, visit the group's website http://math.uww.edu/sma . Or stop by Laurentide 2011.
Are there opportunities for me to get involved in undergraduate research?
Yes. Every year, more students work with faculty and staff from Mathematical & Computer Sciences on undergraduate research. A list of projects from the past year is found on the departmental website.
Are there mathematics competitions for undergraduate students?
Yes, UW-Whitewater participates in two mathematics competitions: (1) the William Lowell Putnam Competition which is an examination containing 12 very challenging problems offered the first Saturday in December each year, and (2) the American Society for Mathematics offers a problem solving contest with monthly problems offered throughout the academic year. See the Contest link on the department web page. In addition, our department runs an annual on-line competition for middle and high school students called the Purple Comet! Math Meet.