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Minors and Secondary Majors

Minoring in mathematics

The requirements for the minor in mathematics are the following:

  1. Grade Requirement

    No course used to satisfy the minor requirements may be taken pass/fail.  All courses must be passed.  A cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 in all Mathematics and Statistics courses taken is required.

  2. Calculus

    Math 131, Math 132, and Math 233

  3. Computer Science

    Proficiency in a computer programming language satisfied by CS 121, CS 187, ECE 122, ECE 242 or equivalent.  Classes using Matlab are generally not permitted.  Instead, we are looking for serious exposure to programming paradigms and techniques involving a low-level language such as Java, C, or C++.

  4. Linear Algebra

    Math 235

  5. Upper-division Courses

    Four upper-division courses of at least 3 credits each.  At most one of these courses may be taken outside of a mathematics and statistics department.  Any course taken in another department must be approved by the Chief Undergraduate Advisor.  At least two of these courses must be taken at UMass.

Choice of upper-division courses for the minor

Generally, the department expects minors to master material in mathematics and statistics through coursework not required by the major, although at the moment there is no restriction on using coursework to satisfy both the major and the minor.  Students pursuing the minor must take at least three of the four upper-division courses in a mathematics and statistics department.  One and only one course may be from another department, if the course uses mathematics or statistics in a serious way.  See below for a list of courses which require no further approval.


  • An economics major takes Math 331, Stat 515, Math 537, and uses Econ 309 or 452;  
  • A resource econ major takes Stat 515, Stat 516, Math 537 and uses ResEcon 313;
  • A computer science major takes Stat 515, Math 411, Math 471 and uses CS 311 or CS 501;
  • An ECE major takes Math 331, Math 421, Math 551 and uses ECE 313;  
  • An ECE major takes Math 331, Math 425, Math 534H and uses ECE 333;
  • A chemistry major takes Math 331, Math 425, Math 461 and then uses Chem 476;
  • A physics major makes sure to take CS 121 and then takes Math 331, Stat 515, Math 421 or 563H and then uses Physics 423 or 568;
  • An MIE major makes sure to take CS 121 and then takes Math 331, Math 537 (using MIE 273 to satisfy the probability prequisite), Math 551 and then uses MIE 379.

Registering for a minor

It is not necessary to register for the minor, but many student will register their intention to minor in mathematics by stopping by LGRT 1521E to fill out a course worksheet.  As with any minor, the official paperwork for completing a minor is submitted to the registrar once all coursework for the minor is completed or during the semester in which the required coursework is being completed.  At that time, you may visit LGRT 1521E to fill out the official paperwork or notify us by writing to Garret Cahill.  As long as the one and only one course from outside the department is drawn from the approved course list, no further action needs to be taken.  If permission is needed to substitute a required course, you should write to the Garret Cahill or stop by his advising hours to get approval before you enroll in the course.   Other questions about the minor should also be directed to Garret Cahill.

Note:  A minor cannot be completed after graduation. 

Secondary Majors

As with any second major, students wishing to obtain a second major in mathematics need only complete the Junior Year Writing requirement and the Integrative Experience requirement in their primary major. Secondary majors may use up to two courses from outside a mathematics and statistics department to fulfill the eight upper-division course requirement. To become a secondary major in math, please have a concentration in mind and stop by 1521E to fill out the necessary paperwork.  Note: if your are looking to obtain a dual degree and your primary major is not in the College of Natural Sciences (CNS), then you must be sure to complete 60 credits in CNS courses for the dual degree.

Approved upper-division courses for minors and majors:

BME 330, BioChem/Chem 471, CS 311, CS 383, CS 445, CS 501, CS 513, CS 514, CS 532, CS 575, CS 585, CS 589, CS 590OP, Chem 475, Chem 476, Chem 584, Chem 585, Chem Eng 231, Chem Eng 475, CE-Engin 260, Econ 309, Econ 452, ECE 213, ECE 214, ECE 333, MIE 230, MIE 273, MIE 340, MIE 379, Physics 421, Physics 422, Physics 423, Physics 424, Physics 562, Physics 564, Physics 568, Public Health 460, and ResEcon 313.  Other courses may be approved on a case-by-case basis:  contact Eric Sommers (if you are a math major) or Garret Cahill (if you are math minor).