Department of Mathematics Programs
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B.S. in Mathematics
The B.S. in Mathematics program is carefully structured to give students a unique level of exploration and guidance on careers in the mathematical sciences. Here are some of the features
- All mathematics concentrations share common coursework in the first year, making a seamless process for choosing or changing concentrations.
- All mathematics majors are advised by professors in the mathematics department, and students pursuing secondary teaching certification have an additional advisor with expertise in mathematics education and Pennsylvania certification processes and policies.
- All incoming students complete in their first semester a 1-credit First Year Seminar in Mathematics, which includes engaging with faculty and current students, exploring all available concentrations, and learning more about the many career opportunities for mathematicians and statisticians.
- Students can choose a concentration in Applied Mathematics, Statistics, or Secondary Teaching Certification, or they can work with an advisor to create a custom path through the mathematics curriculum. The latter option is popular with students going directly to mathematics graduate school.
- Students in Applied Mathematics or Statistics concentrations are required to complete advanced coursework (and encouraged to complete a minor program) in a discipline to which mathematics or statistics is applied. Common minors among our students include Business, Computer Science, and Economics.
More information on each concentrations is included below.
Applied Mathematics Concentration
New applications of mathematics are being discovered constantly, and established mathematical and statistical techniques are applied to emerging fields and new problems every day. This constant growth creates a wide variety of career opportunities for those with appropriate training in the mathematical sciences. Careers in applied mathematics are often coupled with separate disciplinary specialties or areas of research interest. Applied mathematics plays a major role in the development of innovations that advance industry and improve business performance in today’s data-driven marketplace. In short, applied mathematicians solve real-life problems to make an impact in the world.
Shippensburg University combines a solid mathematics core with additional coursework in traditional applied mathematics topics such as mathematical modeling and differential equations, with electives available in wide range of areas including data science, mathematical biology, numerical analysis, and mathematical interest theory.
Secondary Education Certification Concentration
The Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Secondary Certification provides excellent preparation for teaching math in grades 7-12 in Pennsylvania and more than 40 other states with reciprocal agreements. In Shippensburg University’s program you will complete the requirements for the mathematics major while taking education courses required for certification. This parallel structure with other mathematics concentrations provides a unique level of flexibility in choosing and completing this program.
Shippensburg University is a great place to become a math teacher because its secondary education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. It also has the only public elementary lab school in the state.
As you prepare to become a teacher, you will participate in hands-on learning experiences such as:
- Observation of classes in elementary, middle school, and high school settings
- Opportunities to provide one-on-one tutoring to develop your math and communication skills
- Observations of physically challenged and exceptional learners
- Student teaching placements for field experience in your future profession
You can also join several professional math and education organizations to boost your resume and create networking opportunities.
Thanks to the increasing prevalence of data in every corner of business, industry, and government, the fastest growing sectors in the mathematical sciences are all related to statistics and data. With applications ranging from financial modeling to government services to consumer marketing, statisticians are key players on a wide variety of multidisciplinary teams in the workplace.
Shippensburg students concentrating in statistics will take a two-semester sequence in applied statistics as well as a two-semester sequence in theoretical probability and statistics. In addition, students have access to electives in data science techniques that emphasize computer programming and data visualization. Students with an interest in actuarial sciences are encouraged to complete the statistics concentration with additional electives completed in business and finance, as described below.
Year after year, the field of Actuarial Sciences is rated among the top STEM careers in terms of salary and job satisfaction. Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, data analysis, and finance to help businesses make smart decisions about financial risk and uncertainty. Actuarial methods are most commonly applied to the insurance industry, but they're increasingly finding applications in other industries.
Shippensburg University offers well-structured preparation for a career in Actuarial Sciences.
- Ship students receive well-rounded training in mathematics, providing flexibility for a wide variety of careers.
- Ship students complete coursework that allows them to receive Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credit in all available areas.
- Ship students are well positioned to pass the first two actuarial exams – probability and financial mathematics – and many students complete these exams before graduation.
- Ship students frequently complete internships in actuarial firms in southern and eastern Pennsylvania.
- Upon graduation, Ship students join a vibrant alumni network of practicing actuaries.
For more information about becoming an actuary at Ship, please see Dr. Taylor's resource page.
Minor in Mathematics
Students in many disciplines can supplement their existing mathematics requirements with additional coursework recommended by S.U. faculty to achieve a higher level of quantitative expertise in their major area. The most common majors to add a minor in mathematics are computer science, engineering, physics, chemistry, and economics.
Minor in Data Science
Every academic discipline and sector of the economy has access to more data today than at any point in our history, and those individuals with appropriate quantitative skills can make unique contributions to any endeavor in research, business, or industry. Data science is an applied field that involves the analysis and synthesis of large, messy, quickly changing data sets to identify trends and create actionable plans in real-world contexts.
The Shippensburg University Data Science program prepares students for every phase of the data science pipeline: forming mathematical models, collecting and cleaning data, exploring data with visualizations, identifying appropriate statistical techniques,and communicating results. Course requirements strike a balance between statistics, computer programming, specialized data science training, and a capstone research project in the major. In this way, the Data Science Minor is an excellent complement to any major on campus.