Department of Mathematics

Van Vleck Hall, 480 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI

Getting Started With the Major


This page offers general information for students interested in declaring a mathematics program or are at the early stages of planning their mathematics program. Specific guidelines can be found in the College of Letters & Science Guide here and here. A complete description of the major program can be found here.

Major Program Entrance Requirements

The minimum requirement for acceptance into the math major is a 2.5 GPA in the calculus sequence (MATH 221, 222, 234) or equivalent as approved by a mathematics major advisor. Students who do not meet this requirement and are interested in studying mathematics should meet with an advisor in order to determine alternative qualifications and a timeline for admission. For example: A transfer student with no GPA may be admitted to the program after a successful first term at UW-Madison.

General Major Requirements and Early Major Planning

A complete description of the major requirements can be found in the College of Letters & Science Guide here. There are some commonalities for all of our programs worth pointing out to pre-majors and early majors which we point out here. They are lsited in the order most students would approach them. Note: In order to avoid possible pitfalls or hidden surprises, students should meet with an advisor as soon as possible, before taking courses toward a math major or certificate.

  • Before declaring the major, students should complete the calculus sequence (MATH 221, 222, and 234) or honors calculus sequence (MATH 375 and 376).
  • Students should consider which linear algebra course is best for them.
  • Students should think about which core intermediate math experience is best for them:
    • Theory-Based Linear Algebra: MATH 341;
    • Theory of Calculus: MATH 421;
    • Number Theory: MATH 467;
    • The Applied Analysis Sequence: MATH 321 and 322;
    • Honors Calculus: MATH 375 and 376
Course restrictions

There are certain courses offered by our department with overlapping content and level. A student may not use more than one course from each of the following groups to fulfill program course/credit requirements.  

  • Linear Algebra: MATH 320, 340, 341, and 375
  • Probability: MATH 309 and 431
  • Differential Equations: MATH 319, 320, and 376
Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Credit

Majors who are interested in registering for a graduate course for undergraduate credit must first recieve permission from an advisor. In general, permission will be given only if the student has already exhausted all relevent undergraduate coursework in that area.

UW-Madison Department of Mathematics
Van Vleck Hall
480 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI  53706

(608) 263-3054

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