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Major & Minor in Applied Mathematical Sciences

Undergraduate student studying

All students will take a college-level mathematics/quantitative reasoning course. For some of you, mathematics and statistics will be an essential tool for mastering a field in depth. For others, you will build your ability to understand how quantitative methods are applied in society to support arguments and solve problems. A variety of courses will be available to meet this requirement, based on your field of interest.

Additionally, UC Merced offers an undergraduate major leading to a bachelor of science degree in the applied mathematical sciences, and an undergraduate minor in applied mathematics. This educational experience provides students with knowledge of the foundations of mathematics and the skills needed to apply mathematics to real-world phenomena in the social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

Undergraduate studies in applied mathematics provides students with knowledge of the foundations of mathematics and the skills needed to apply mathematics to real-world phenomena in the social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

Curriculum Mission

The curriculum of Applied Mathematical Sciences Major is composed of courses in the fundamentals while allowing for building expertise in an application area through the emphasis tracks (see major-at-a-glance chart). There is a core set of courses all mathematical sciences students take. Beyond these classes, students complete an emphasis track consisting of courses in other fields. It is also possible to complete a Minor in Applied Mathematics.

Transfer Students

To major in Applied Mathematical Sciences, transfer students must complete two semesters of calculus of a single variable, vector calculus, linear algebra and differential equations. In addition, transfer students should complete one semester of general chemistry with laboratory and two semesters of calculus-based physics with laboratory. Transfer students should consult the Information for Prospective Students for further details.


A degree in applied mathematical sciences 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 with skills in scientific computing have the additional leverage of substantial computing experience. The market 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 occupationsin the US.

Program Learning Outcomes

The over-arching goal of the Applied Mathematical Sciences program is to

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

Upon graduating, we expect students completing the Applied Mathematical Sciences major to have become effect problem-solvers, meaning that student will be able to

  1. Solve mathematical problems using analytical methods.
  2. Solve mathematical problems using computational methods.
  3. Recognize the relationships between different areas of mathematics and the connections between mathematics and other disciplines.
  4. Give clear and organized written and verbal explanations of mathematical ideas to a variety of audiences.
  5. Model real-world problems mathematically and analyze those models using their mastery of the core concepts.