Download a PDF of this section: The Faculty of Arts Print this page Email this page

Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics offers programs of study that lead to the Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Science. For information on the Bachelor of Science, see the Faculty of Science.

For information on advanced degrees, see graduate Mathematics.

Major in Mathematics

The Department offers a large selection of courses in various areas of pure and applied mathematics which require various levels of mathematical sophistication. B.A. programs combining mathematics with another subject such as economics, English, linguistics, music, or philosophy, are encouraged. The student is advised to consult a Mathematics Major advisor in order to design a coherent program of study suitable to the student's interests and abilities.

Admission to Major/Combined Major/Honours Programs

Admission to the Major or a Combined Major or the Honours program in Mathematics is not automatic. To be admitted, a student must submit a formal application. Because there is a limited number of places, some students who satisfy the minimum prerequisites may not be admitted

Applicants are required to have at least Year 2 standing. Selection for admission is based on the average standing in all credits of post-secondary coursework attempted, with the exception that 12 credits of courses other than MATH courses may be excluded from the calculation. The average is calculated on at least 27 credits, and must include (i) 6 credits of first-year calculus, equivalent to MATH 104 and MATH 105; (ii) 3 credits that satisfy the Writing Component of the Writing and Research Requirement (ARTS 001, ASTU 100 or 101, ENGL 100, WRDS 150, WRDS 350 or an approved equivalent); (iii) one of MATH 200, 217, or 226; (iv) one of MATH 221 or 223; (v) MATH 220 (students who complete MATH 226 are exempted from MATH 220); and (vi) 3 credits of the computing requirement (CPSC 110, 210, or MATH 210). Courses required under (i) – (vi) cannot be taken on a Credit/D/Fail basis.

Students who are considering a Major, Combined Major, or Honours program in Mathematics are encouraged to seek advice on their program from Mathematics Department advisors upon completion of their first 27 credits.

Application

A written application for admission to the Major or Honours program should be received by May 20 to ensure that the student will be considered for admission. Application forms are available from Mathematics.

The application form must be accompanied by a copy of the student's permanent record from UBC and official transcripts of the student's record from all other post-secondary educational institutions attended.

Lower-level requirements

In addition to Faculty requirements, students complete:

  • MATH 100 or 102 or 104 or 110 or 180 or 184 or 120;1
  • MATH 101 or 103 or 105 or 121;
  • MATH 200 (or 226);
  • MATH 220;2
  • MATH 221 or 223, and 215;2 and
  • CPSC 110, and one of CPSC 210 or MATH 210.10

Upper-level requirements

In addition to Faculty requirements, students complete 24 credits of mathematics courses numbered 300 and above, and 6 credits of mathematics, statistics, or computer science courses numbered 300 or above.

Recommendations

The Department makes the following recommendations:

  1. Students considering the Honours stream are encouraged to take the following courses: MATH 120, 121, 223, 226, and 227.
  2. Numerical analysis courses in computer science (CPSC 302, 303, 402) require completion of CPSC 110. Other upper-level computer science courses useful to mathematics students require completion of CPSC 221.
  3. In second year, MATH 221 should be taken in Term 1. It is possible to take (with appropriate prerequisites) some of MATH 307, 308, 312, 317, 340 and MATH/STAT 302, as well as MATH 300, in Term 2.
  4. Students interested in pursuing statistics to some depth should take STAT 200 and MATH/STAT 302 in second year. This will prepare them for more advanced statistics courses such as STAT 305, 306, 404, and 405.
  5. Majors students should consider taking some of MATH 300, 320, 322.
  6. MATH 302 and 307 are useful in many areas of mathematics.
  7. Students interested in operations research should take MATH 340, 441, 442, and 443. They are also advised to take MATH 303, STAT 305, and 306, and some advanced computer science courses.
  8. Students interested in teaching are advised to take MATH 308, 309, 312, 313, 414, 446.
  9. Students interested in becoming actuaries can make substantial progress toward this career goal while majoring in mathematics or statistics. These students should consult the actuarial advisors in the Mathematics and/or Statistics Departments for detailed guidance on course selection and advice on taking the Society of Actuaries' examinations.
  10. Students interested in the physical sciences should take MATH 317.
  11. Students interested in economics should consider taking ECON 420 and 421, and should consult an advisor in the Economics Department for other appropriate economics courses. A Combined Major in Mathematics and Economics is available (see below).
  12. In selecting electives, students should consider pursuing an area of application of mathematics in some depth. They should also ensure that they fulfil all the graduation requirements of the Faculty of Arts.

Combined Major in Economics and Mathematics

For information on the Combined Major in Economics and Mathematics, see Vancouver School of Economics.

Honours in Mathematics

Lower-level requirements

In addition to Faculty of Arts requirements, students complete:

  • MATH 120 and 121 (or one of 100, 102, 104, 120, 180, 184, and one of 101, 103, 105, 121);
  • MATH 2235 (or 2215) and 215;
  • MATH 226 and 227 (or 200, 220, and 317); and
  • CPSC 110 and one of CPSC 210 or MATH 210.10

Upper-level requirements

In addition to Faculty of Arts requirements, students complete:

  • MATH 300, 320, 321, 322, and one of 412, 422, or 423;6
  • 15 additional credits6 from MATH 400-406, 412, 416-429, 433-440, 443, 449;7 and
  • 9 additional credits of mathematics courses numbered 300 or higher.

Students intending to enter the Honours program should consult an Honours advisor in the Department of Mathematics at the beginning of the second year. To be admitted to the Honours program, a student must obtain at least 68% in MATH 121, or 80% in MATH 101 or 103 or 105, and 80% average in MATH 100/101 or 102/103 or 104/105.

Students who intend to do graduate work in Mathematics should continue their study of French, German, or Russian beyond the intermediate level.

Combined Honours in Mathematics and Another Subject

Lower-level requirements

Students take mathematics courses as for Honours mathematics and other subjects as specified by the other department.

Upper-level requirements

In addition to Faculty of Arts requirements, students complete:

  • MATH 320 and 3217
  • 6 credits7 chosen from MATH 300, 301, 316, 322, 331
  • 12 credits7,9 chosen from MATH 400-405, 412, 416-429, 433-440, 443, 449; and
  • other subjects as specified by the other department.8

1See Calculus Examination Certificate.

2One of MATH 220 or 215 may be delayed until third year. Students obtaining 68% or higher in MATH 226 are not required to take MATH 220.

3Students can take ECON 307 and 3 additional credits of Economics numbered 300 or higher instead of ECON 101 and 102.

4STAT 200 can substitute for ECON 325.

5Students are advised to take these courses in first year.

6A 68% overall average is required in these 30 credits to obtain an honours degree.

7A 68% overall average is required in these 24 credits to obtain this Honours degree.

8See Combined Honours Program under "Degree Program Options" in the Faculty of Arts.

9MATH 449 is recommended.

10 MATH 210 may not be offered every year.

The University of British Columbia

Student Services
Vancouver Campus
1874 East Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia