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Academic Programs in Applied Mathematics: Overview


UC Merced offers programs in Applied Mathematics at all levels (minor, major, Masters, Ph.D.). The overarching goal of studies in Applied Mathematics is to acquire:

  • knowledge of the foundations of mathematics; and
  • advanced techniques to solve mathematical problems; and
  • the skills needed to apply mathematics to real-world phenomena in the social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

Curriculum Mission

All academic programs in Applied Mathematics aim to achieve a common goal:

Build a community of life-long learners who use the analytical and computational tools of mathematics to solve real-world problems.

Our programs share several learning outcomes. Namely, upon completing our program, students will be able to

  • Solve mathematical problems using analytical methods.
  • Solve mathematical problems using computational methods.
  • Give clear and organized written and verbal explanations of mathematical ideas to a variety of audiences.
  • Model real-world problems mathematically and analyze those models using their mastery of the core concepts.


A degree in Applied mathematics opens the door to a wide variety of careers. Employers understand that a degree in mathematics means a student has been trained well in analytical reasoning and problem solving. Moreover, applied mathematical sciences majors have skills in scientific computing and data science, which is a significant advantage in today's labor market. The outlook for applied mathematicians has usually been good, especially for those who can relate their mathematics to real world problems. In particular, applied mathematics majors familiar with concepts in management, biology, engineering, economics or the environmental sciences among others are well suited for many specialized positions. In addition, the breadth and rigor of this program provide an excellent preparation to teach mathematics at the elementary or high school levels. It is no wonder that mathematicians often land the top spots in the rankings for the best occupations in the US.

For more information, please contact Department Chair Prof. Mayya Tokman.