Jul 21, 2024  
2015-2016 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2021 
2015-2016 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2021 [Archived Catalog]

Mathematics (BS)

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Affiliation: School of Sciences & Mathematics


The mission of the Mathematics program is to develop and maintain an active community of students and faculty whose common pursuit is the learning and teaching of mathematics in a liberal arts and sciences environment. This community encourages the view and use of mathematics both as a universal logical language and as a mode of inquiry. The Mathematical Mode of Inquiry requires studying assumptions critically, reasoning logically, evaluating objectively, and arriving at sound conclusions. The goal of the bachelor’s degree program is to provide each graduate with the foundation needed to pursue a professional career in mathematics through advanced study or employment. Graduates should be well qualified to enter strong graduate programs to prepare for teaching, research, or other professional employment. The major includes an extensive core of traditional and contemporary courses capped by five elective courses and a Senior Capstone Integrating Experience that enable students to develop a concentration that prepares them for a career in statistics, pure, applied, or computational mathematics, or mathematics education.


The program of study for a major in mathematics builds on the University’s Liberal Studies Program but with the science requirement at a higher introductory level. Mathematics majors gain computer programming expertise through at least one computer science course. The major requirements are based upon a core of classical and contemporary mathematics courses that follow recommendations of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics of the Mathematical Association of America. At least one course in statistics is required. Finally, majors build upon the required core with five elective courses, chosen with the approval of their advisor, to develop a concentration compatible with their interests and career goals. Beginning freshmen take a seminar which provides an opportunity for career exploration and interaction with faculty and other Mathematics majors. A junior seminar prepares students for their senior year and facilitates the transition from undergraduate to graduate school or to a first position in the work force. Review for senior exit exams and résumé writing are included in the junior seminar. As a graduation requirement, Mathematics majors complete a capstone seminar and capstone experience which provides an opportunity for them to study independently an area of mathematics and to synthesize and communicate the results obtained. 


Several activities are available to encourage interaction among faculty and students and promote the development of learning communities. Problem-solving groups meet with faculty to sharpen and challenge their skills and prepare for regional and national competitions such as the Mathematical Modeling contest and the Putnam Exam. The groups also attempt to solve problems posed in professional journals, thereby gaining insight and experience in the methods and techniques used by research mathematicians.

Student organizations, such as Kappa Mu Epsilon, a student chapter of the Mathematical Association of America, and Mathematics Students for Secondary Education provide opportunities for students to learn more about careers, to develop leadership skills, and to hear from professionals engaged in careers in mathematics. Students may obtain credit and research experience by participating in a recognized national undergraduate research program in mathematics such as an REU site or in one of several research programs in mathematics sponsored by Truman.

The Department of Mathematics holds a regular colloquium series featuring presentations about exciting developments in mathematics and the mathematical sciences. The talks are given by faculty from the Department or other departments, visiting faculty, and, on occasion, students. The talks may cover new areas of mathematical research, uses of mathematics in the “real world,” or aspects of mathematical culture. Students may find that the talks give them ideas for possible capstone or other undergraduate projects. The talks are also a great way to learn about the faculty members’ scholarly activities.

Opportunities to develop skills in communicating mathematics are embedded in the curriculum and available to students in the form of employment as departmental tutors or graders and as research assistants to faculty. Faculty and student interactions resulting from these activities, social activities sponsored by the Department and student organizations, and professional development programs create a strong sense of community in the Department and enrich the student experience.


Honors in mathematics may be earned by maintaining an overall grade point average of 3.5, maintaining a major grade point average of 3.5, scoring at or above the 80th percentile on the MFAT in mathematics, demonstrating excellence in scholarship with a scholarly paper or project or by an exemplary showing at an approved mathematics competition, and receiving the approval of a majority of the non-abstaining faculty in mathematics.



Liberal Studies Program Requirements: 31-57 Credits

Missouri Statute Requirement: 1-3 Credits

Bachelor of Science Requirement: 6 Credits

Complete six credits from the following areas. These courses MAY NOT be used to fulfill a Mathematics major requirement:

  • Courses designated CS, BIOL, CHEM, or PHYS which fulfill a major requirement for a bachelor’s degree in that major.


The Mathematics major consists of two (2) parts: Required Support and Major Requirements. Each student must complete both parts.

Electives to Total: 120 Credits


Note: Most mathematics courses having a prerequisite mathematics course require a grade of “C” or higher in that course. Students should check prerequisites in the course descriptions.

Students seeking Missouri teacher certification as secondary mathematics teachers should select MATH 363 College Geometry in order to meet Missouri certification requirements and MATH 455 History of Mathematics I or MATH 456 History of Mathematics II for entry into the MAE program.

Elective Mathematics Courses

Choose courses totaling 15 credits from the following lists with at least one course from List A.


Courses offered under the numbers MATH 473, MATH 488, MATH 489, MATH 503, STAT 380, STAT 486, and STAT 487 may substitute for List B with the approval of the mathematics faculty. At most, six credits from MATH 473 and MATH 489 may be counted as List B electives.

Mathematics majors may substitute at most one course from another discipline for a course in List B. Such a course must be at the 300 level or above, contain a strong mathematical component, and be approved by the mathematics faculty. A list of approved courses may be obtained in the Mathematics Department Office.

Transfer students majoring in mathematics must complete 18 credits in the major at Truman. This coursework must include 15 credits at the 300 level or higher.

Capstone Experience for Mathematics

Each student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics is required to complete a project demonstrating his or her ability to study independently some area of mathematics. The project includes a written report and an accompanying public presentation. Each project should be of such a nature that all three of the following criteria are satisfied:

  1. The student should learn some mathematics outside the classroom setting.
  2. The student should synthesize material obtained from different sources.
  3. The student should clearly communicate, orally and in writing, what he or she has learned.

Students are responsible for choosing a project and a capstone advisor as part of their Junior Seminar requirements. The project must be approved by the advisor and by the Mathematics Undergraduate Committee. Each student continues to work on his or her capstone project while enrolled in MATH 497: Capstone Seminar, and successful completion of the Capstone Experience is a requirement to pass MATH 497. Upon committee approval, the advisor arranges the public presentation. Information about acceptable types of projects is available in the Department Office.

NOTE: While all students are required to enroll in and pass MATH 497, students who double-major in mathematics and another discipline are allowed to meet the Capstone Integrating Experience requirement in the other discipline, provided it requires a Capstone Integrating Experience.

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