Director of Undergraduate Studies
1. How is your honors degree program administered? Is there a specific
person who acts as coordinator? Is there a faculty committee?
The director of undergraduate studies for the mathematics department acts as the coordinator of the honors program and also
serves as the advisor to honors students.
2. What are the requirements for admission into your honors program?
How are students recruited for your program? May students recommend
The core of the honors program in mathematics is the collection of
S-courses beginning with S212, Honors Calculus, and proceeding through
400-level courses, such as S403, Honors Algebra. A placement test is
given to incoming freshmen at orientation. All students with a strong
interest in mathematics are encouraged to take honors courses. Students
should consult with the instructor for the course before enrolling.
3. How does a student graduate with honors from your department?
The basic requirement for a honors degree in mathematics is an overall
GPA of 3.3, and a GPA of 3.5 in mathematics. In addition, students are
required to complete certain honors courses. Details are available from
the mathematics department and are described in the COAS bulletin.
Students whose programs do not satisfy all the requirements listed may,
with permission of the Undergraduate Director, have particular
4. What courses do students take as juniors and before in order to
prepare for working on the senior project? How are these honors seminars
and courses typically conducted? What are the usual requirements in such
In addition to taking the honors courses offered by the mathematics
department, honors students are encouraged to take a variety of
their mathematics courses before their senior year. Honors classes tend to
have smaller enrollments than non-honors courses, and tend to emphasize
theoretical aspects of the material will be that of most use to students
interested in advanced study in mathematics.
Honors students are strongly encouraged to undertake an individual
research project under the direction of a faculty member. Such students
enroll in Mathematics S499. Work on these projects often starts in the
spring of the junior year or in the summer between the junior and senior
year. Interested students should consult with the director of the
5. Are there departmental resources available to support internships or
research projects related to the senior project?
The department has one of the oldest and most prestigious REU (Research
Experience for Undergraduates) summer workshops in the country, and
encourages the most talented students to apply for this stipend
supported research experience. Additionally, we encourage students to
apply for similar quality REU programs throughout the country. In
addition, many of the honors students in mathematics work for the
department as Undergraduate Intens (UGI's) assisting in lower level
mathematics courses. These are paid positions.
6. How might the work required for an honors degree be particularly
beneficial in future endeavors?
As mentioned above, honors courses tend to focus on aspects of the
material which will be of the greatest benefit in advanced studies. This
not only helps students in their advanced courses, but gives them insight
into possible avenues for future work as well. In addition, by
participating in honors courses students can work more closely with
individual faculty members, and also develop more contacts with students
with similar interests.