Mathematics

OVERVIEW

It’s an exciting time to be majoring in mathematics. Math students who graduate from Alvernia University with a solid foundation in math theory and practice are prepared to pursue graduate work or move into work in statistics, actuarial sciences, mathematical modeling, cryptography, education or other, related areas.

Graduates of reputable math programs, such as that offered by Alvernia, are in demand by organizations of all types due to an ever-increasing emphasis on big data, technology and economic efficiency.

In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for mathematicians are expected to increase by 23 percent between 2012 and 2022 – a rate far higher than average.

If you’re interested in majoring in mathematics, chances are that you tend to be inquisitive and logical, and possess good problem solving skills. You probably enjoy analyzing and interpreting data, and tend to think critically about problems and situations. As a math major at Alvernia, you’ll benefit from faculty members with diverse backgrounds, experience and specialties who want to advance you in the field of mathematics and see you succeed beyond your expectations.

Math students at Alvernia learn more than what is contained in textbooks. You’ll experience “real-world learning” that will enable you to link your classroom experiences to the larger community and, indeed, the world. Mathematicians have the potential to influence positive change in the world. At Alvernia, you’ll increase your knowledge and develop an appreciation for the fundamental skills, principles and techniques that enable you to do just that.

Math courses are taught in Bernardine Hall and the two-story O’Pake Science Center, which is equipped with the latest in educational technology. You’ll have access to a variety of computational software in evaluating complex mathematical and statistical relationships.

WHY AU

Why should you study mathematics at Alvernia University?
Because at Alvernia you get all the benefits of an outstanding university education in a setting that includes personal attention and unique opportunities that can benefit you as you move toward your career.

Small Class Size
Alvernia has an average 17:1 student-faculty ratio, with fewer than 20 students in most classes. This type of setting facilitates valuable, professional relationships among faculty members and students and assures that you get individual attention to help you excel.

Faculty Who Care
Alvernia’s faculty members aren’t just teachers. They’re experts in their fields who are committed to passing along their knowledge and expertise to their students. In small class settings faculty members become mentors and advisors, intent on helping you learn, grow and succeed.

Research Opportunities
Alvernia offers opportunities for math students to work with mentors on research projects relating to their areas of concentration. These collaborations prepare students for professions and/or graduate school.

Honors Program
Alvernia’s Honors Program for students who are academically gifted and highly motivated is designed to allow students to work at their own pace and to recognize and encourage academic excellence. Honors students interact with one another to exchange ideas and information across a wide range of disciplines and interests.

The Honors Program offers co-curricular activities, service opportunities and intellectual and social support to encourage students to exceed their own expectations.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Honors Programs at www.alvernia.edu/academics/honors.

Get Real
Classroom learning is valuable and necessary, but out-of-the-classroom, experiential learning provides chemistry students with hands-on, real world learning opportunities that enrich your educational experience and are highly valued by employers.

Math majors have opportunities for fascinating internships with businesses or agencies such as the Mayo Clinic’s Department of Biostatistics or the OSHA National Center for Research Resources.

Faculty members and your academic advisor can help you with identifying and applying for internship positions.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Get Real program at www.alvernia.edu/getreal.

Study Abroad
Living and studying outside of the United States can change you in ways you can’t begin to envision. Students who study abroad typically gain immeasurable confidence and experiences they could not have imagined.

Math majors have benefitted from studying in countries including New Zealand, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Morocco, Palestine, China and Mexico.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Study Abroad program at www.alvernia.edu/studyabroad.

YOUR CAREER

Mathematics majors have opportunities to pursue careers in varying and diverse fields. Maybe you’re interested in computer science or cryptography, which is the practice and study of hiding information as it applies to the security of ATM cards and computer passwords.

You might seek a career in actuarial science, which applies math and statistics to finance and insurance. You could consider operations research, an interdisciplinary branch of mathematics that uses mathematical methods to address factors such as costs or profits. Or you could look at the field of biomathematics, which is applicable to areas such as population genetics, cellular neurobiology and epidemic modeling.

Some math majors move into jobs in the finance industry, while others become math teachers. Alvernia students who graduate with math degrees have found teaching positions in secondary and college education, and managerial positions in private industry, public utilities and social agencies.

Other math grads choose to pursue graduate degrees. A study by the National Institute of Education revealed that students majoring in mathematics receive scores that are notably higher than average when applying for graduate or professional schools.

Alvernia mathematics majors have been accepted into graduate programs at highly regarded schools such as Villanova University, University of Southern California, Duke University and the University of Chicago.

For more information about Alvernia’s Mathematics Program contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or admissions@alvernia.edu. For more information about the field of mathematics, including the types of jobs available for graduates, visit the website of the Mathematical Association of America at www.maa.org.

YOUR CURRICULUM

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Math majors must earn between 53 and 57 credits in the major. Students who minor in math must earn 17 to 18 credits in mathematics.

Math Major Requirements (53-57 credits)
MAT 131 Precalculus (recommended)
MAT 230 Calculus I
MAT 231 Calculus II
MAT 307 Abstract Algebra
MAT 332 Calculus III
MAT 401 Real Analysis
MAT 415 Mathematics Seminar
SCI 480 Mathematics Internship –OR–
SCI 406 Research I –AND– SCI 407 Research II

Math Related Requirements (14 credits)
CIS 115 Technology for the Workplace
CIS 152 Intro to Programming I
PHY 200 Physics I
PHY 201 Physics II

Math Electives (12-13 credits)
MAT 204 Intro to Math Logic
MAT 209 Probability & Statistics
MAT 210 Inferential Statistics
MAT 240 Linear Algebra
MAT 304 Numerical Analysis
MAT 308 Modern Geometry
MAT 403 Complex Variables

Mathematics Minor Requirements (17-18 Credits)
MAT 209 Probability and Statistics
MAT 230 Calculus I
MAT 307 Abstract Algebra

Choose two from the following:
MAT 204 Introduction to Mathematical Logic
MAT 231 Calculus II
MAT 240 Linear Algebra
MAT 304 Numerical Analysis
MAT 308 Modern Geometry

Mathematics-Secondary Education majors
Secondary Education (7-12) Certification in Mathematics can be earned by Alvernia students who first complete their undergraduate degree in Mahtematics and demonstrate content knowledge in this area on Pennsylvania's required Praxis exam in Mathematics. The following coursework is required and can be started as early as the undergraduate senior year, then completed as part of Alvernia University's post-baccalaureate program:

Requirements
ED 203
ED 204
MED 505
MED 515
MED 545
MED 574
MED 615
MED 665
MED 670
MED 672

Mathematics Minor

MAT 209 Probability and Statistics
MAT 230 Calculus I
MAT 307 Abstract Algebra
Choose two from the following:
MAT 204 Introduction to Mathematical Logic
MAT 231 Calculus II
MAT 240 Linear Algebra
MAT 304 Numerical Analysis
MAT 308 Modern Geometry

You can learn more about all courses offered by Alvernia University by viewing the 2016-2017 Academic Course Catalogue at http://www.alvernia.edu/academics/catalogs/Catalog_2016-17/index.html.

Your Real World Learning Experience
Alvernia believes that real world experience is extremely important, as it can improve your confidence and introduce you to professionals in your intended field of employment. All Alvernia students participate in service learning, a teaching and learning experience that enables students to get real-world learning while benefiting a community partner. You can find out more about real world learning at www.alvernia.edu/academics/experiential_learning.

As a math major, you’ll have opportunities for internships that can help you identify your specific interests and abilities, as well as acquaint you with employment opportunities. Alvernia math majors have interned with businesses and agencies including:

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Capital Semester Internship Program
  • GPU Energy
  • Mayo Clinic - Department of Biostatistics
  • OSHA National Center for Research Resources - SIBS program
  • Novartis Inc.
  • University of Pittsburgh - Department of Biostatistics

Research Opportunities
Research is a valuable aspect of any education. Members of Alvernia’s mathematics faculty have conducted research on topics including the use of statistics in sports, mathematical applications to human and animal behaviors, the simulation and approximation of probability distributions, partial differential equations and harmonic analysis.

Students may have opportunities to assist faculty members with research projects, providing real-world learning and opportunities. You can learn more about mathematic faculty members’ areas of interest and specialization at http://alvernia.edu/academics/arts-and-sciences/science-math/faculty/index.html.

The Honors Program
If you’re academically gifted and highly motivated, you may want to learn more about Alvernia’s Undergraduate Honors Program. Honors students have opportunities to take courses dealing with unusual topics and participate in a variety of activities. You can learn more about the Honors Program and how to apply at www.alvernia.edu/academics/honors/index.html.

The Eight-Semester Plan
You can do it! It’s not difficult to stay on track to graduate in four years if you pay close attention to what classes you need and make sure to take them in a timely manner. Advisors are available to assist in planning academic programs, course selection and registration, but it’s your job to make sure that you meet all academic requirements and comply with University policies.

Academic programs vary among students, so work with your academic advisor to assure that you complete applicable courses and meet the requirements necessary to assure that you graduate on time.

Study Opportunities beyond Campus
Your college years are the perfect time to broaden your horizons and participate in experiences that will change your life. Alvernia offers some great opportunities for students who want to spend some time studying beyond its campus.

The Washington Center
The University’s O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service manages a relationship with The Washington Center, an organization that offers residential academic programs and internships in the nation’s capital.

If you participate in The Washington Center program, you might be placed in an internship in a health care setting, government agency or non-profit organization. You can learn more about the Washington Center and opportunities there at www.alvernia.edu/about/ethics-and-leadership/washington.html.

Study Abroad Programs
Alvernia’s Study Abroad Office works closely with students who want to spend one or more semesters in a different country. Students have studied and traveled in Italy, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, England, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Morocco, Palestine and China.

You pay the regular Alvernia tuition while studying abroad, and continue to receive financial aid, if applicable. Credits earned count toward your Alvernia undergraduate degree.

If you’re interested in studying in another country you should start planning early, as you’ll need to start the application process about a year in advance. Members of the Study Abroad Office and the Office of Financial Planning, as well as your faculty advisor, will help you determine if studying abroad makes sense for you and how to plan for the experience.

You can get more information about these programs from the Study Abroad Office at www.alvernia.edu/studyabroad or by contacting studyabroad@alvernia.edu.


Year-by-Year Major Map

FRESHMAN YEAR

Think Globally

  • Explore opportunities for study abroad, alternative break trips, pilgrimage to Assisi, the Washington Center and service trips
  • Start at the Study Abroad Office or studyabroad@alvernia.edu

Take the Right Classes

  • Review general education, University and major requirements
  • Be aware of the semester in which required courses are offered
  • Focus on getting good grades

Get Good Advice

  • Get to know math faculty members, especially your advisor
  • Visit the Educational Planning Center on the first floor of Bernardine Hall

Real Life Learning

  • Explore opportunities for upcoming internships
  • Utilize skills acquired in First Year Experience

Make the Right Connections

  • Identify peers that support your academic goals
  • Get involved with the Science Association, the Environmental Club, and/or other student clubs, along with community organizations

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Develop a working resume
  • Assess your strengths, weaknesses and interests
  • Begin the process of obtaining all required background checks and clearances


SOPHOMORE YEAR

Think Globally

  • Review opportunities for extended learning and, if interested, start planning with the Study Abroad Office

Take the Right Classes

  • Work with your advisor to make sure you’re taking the classes you need in the semester they’re offered
  • Focus on getting good grades

Get Good Advice

  • Talk to math faculty and your advisor about your area(s) of interest within the field of mathematics
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center

Real Life Learning

  • Explore opportunities for upcoming internships and set a time frame for securing them
  • Look into the Alternative Break program
  • Shadow in jobs that relate to your specific interests
  • Look for part-time or summer jobs that relate to your interests
  • Get familiar with the Educational Planning Center’s Internship data base

Make the Right Connections

  • Volunteer for community service
  • Stay involved in clubs and organizations
  • Observe the roles of those in leadership positions
  • Form study groups

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Update your working resume
  • Assess your strengths, weaknesses and interests
  • Complete the process of obtaining all required background checks and clearances


JUNIOR YEAR

Think Globally

  • Participate in Study Abroad program
  • Participate in service trips or “May”mester

Take the Right Classes

  • Focus on getting good grades and improving GPA
  • Make sure you’re on track to complete your research courses if you are not going to participate in an internship
  • Work with advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate on time

Get Good Advice

  • Talk to faculty members about career opportunities
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center
  • Get familiar with Vault.com, a career services library available on Educational Planning Center’s website

Real Life Learning

  • Complete internship, if applicable
  • Look into the Alternative Break program
  • Shadow in jobs that relate to your specific interests
  • Look for part-time or summer jobs that relate to your interests
  • Get familiar with the Educational Planning Center’s Internship data base

Make the Right Connections

  • Assume leadership roles on campus
  • Connect with alumni in your field
  • Attend Math Department events

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Get feedback on working resume from Educational Planning Center
  • Get resume ready for practicum applications and job fair
  • Work on getting recommendations
  • Attend Career Planning opportunities such as job fairs and practice interviews
  • Look for coaching opportunities


SENIOR YEAR

Think Globally

  • Look for service opportunities

Take the Right Classes

  • Complete required research courses if you did not participate in an internship during junior year
  • Complete Seminar course

Get Good Advice

  • Work closely with advisor to make sure I’m on track to graduate on time
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center
  • Talk to faculty members about career opportunities
  • Ask for advice from professionals in your area of interest

Real Life Learning

  • Do well in practicums

Make the Right Connections

  • Continue in leadership roles on campus
  • Connect with alumni in your field – attend Alumni Mixer
  • Meet professionals in the community who work in your area of interest

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Fine tune resume
  • Search for jobs through Vault.com
  • Finalize recommendations
  • Attend Career Planning opportunities such as job fairs and practice interviews
  • Attend the Alvernia Job Fair
YOUR SERVICES

Alvernia is committed to serving the needs of its students. Whether you have questions or problems related to academics, life on campus, student activities, social activities or any other issue, there is someone available to help you. You can learn more about all student services at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/student-services.

Educational Planning Center
The Educational Planning Center offers advice and support to help you with any problems or issues related to your Alvernia education. It also assists with career exploration and preparation. The office is open every day and can be contacted at 610-796-8266.

Career Services
Staff members at the Career Development office will help you with any questions you have about exploring or planning careers. They also will guide you about how to look for and apply to jobs as you get closer to graduation. The office also has a career resources library. You can learn more about career services at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/career-services, or by emailing career.services@alvernia.edu.

Financial Aid
The Financial Aid office is the place to contact with any questions you have about the cost of an Alvernia education and options for paying for it. Nearly all undergraduates at Alvernia get some type of financial aid, and everyone is encouraged to apply for it. You can learn more at www.alvernia.edu/financialaid/index.html or by emailing financialaid@alvernia.edu.

Admissions Office
If you’re interested in applying to the Mathematics Program at Alvernia, contact the Admissions Office at 1-800-ALVERNIA or at admissions@alvernia.edu. An admissions counselor who specializes in helping math students and can answer any questions you might have.

Faculty Members
Alvernia’s Mathematics Program is staffed by dedicated, highly qualified professionals who are committed to sharing their expertise and knowledge with students. Faculty members often work one-on-one with students to enhance the student’s learning experience.

Many faculty members in the Mathematics Program are actively engaged in research, written articles that have appeared in prestigious publications and have presented nationally and internationally at conferences.

You can read about all of Alvernia’s math and science faculty at http://alvernia.edu/academics/arts-and-sciences/science-math/faculty/index.html.

GET INVOLVED

Your college experience is so much more than classes. Students who get involved and engaged in extra-curricular activities benefit both academically and socially, and open themselves to integral life lessons from beyond the classroom.

You’ll be encouraged to participate in a range of activities, including some rewarding and inspiring service projects. Some organizations and activities you might enjoy include:

  • Beta Kappa Chi is the Science Honor Society, with more than 66,000 members in 67 chapters at colleges and university across the United States. You’ll meet like-minded people who are interested in advancing scientific education and high scholarship in pure and applied science. Acceptance into an honor society can be very advantageous, so it’s something you might consider. You can learn more about Beta Kappa Chi at www.betakappachi.org. Or, contact the advisor, Dr. Joseph Kremer at joseph.kremer@alvernia.edu for more information about joining.
  • The Environmental Club is committed to maintaining the temperate deciduous forest, riparian and freshwater ecosystem that surround Alvernia. The club works to recruit new members, educate the public and sponsor events that call attention to environmental issues. Events include trail clean-up days, Eco-Fun day and public speaker seminars. Learn more about the Environmental Club at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/activities/clubs/environmental-club.html.
  • The Science Association will enable you to experience the advantages of interacting with others who share your scientific interests. It provides opportunities to prepare and present technical materials before science-oriented audiences, and is intended to foster a professional spirit among members. You can learn more about this club www.alvernia.edu/student-life/activities/clubs/science-assoc.html.
  • The Holleran Center for Community Engagement serves as a bridge between the University and the community. It partners with a variety of organizations to provide opportunities for service for students. Activities have included helping in an after-school program for city children, caring for pets awaiting adoption at an area animal shelter and counting brown bats at Blue Marsh Lake. Learn more at http://alvernia.edu/about/holleran-center.
  • There are many other ways to become involved, both on and off campus. You can learn more about Alvernia’s Student Government Association, becoming a Student Ambassador, student trips and other activities at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/activities.





mathematics

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