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Department of Mathematics

students working together in a computer lab


As a mathematics major, you will also develop widely sought-after skills including the ability to logically and critically evaluate situations including developing and implementing effective problem-solving strategies involving a wide range of ideas and data. You will enjoy relatively small classes with increased interaction with your professors.

Why Mathematics?

Mathematics is beautiful, fun, exciting and powerful. Mathematics is the ongoing creation of a giant tapestry woven over millennia by human beings of every sort for reasons of their own, from desperation to inspiration. People pursue mathematics for money, for pleasure, for fulfillment, for entertainment, for status, out of envy, out of lust for power, out of hope for the future. In short, we study mathematics for the same reasons people compose music, write plays and design bridges.

A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.

G.K. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology


Your Studies

You will choose an area of emphasis from actuarial, education, applied or general. Additionally, the department’s list of Knowles Science Teaching Fellowships in Mathematics recipients is growing very rapidly. These national awards provide funding for the completion of the student’s education as well as the first few years of teaching.

One way in which our program stands out from many other programs is the broad selection of regularly-offered Honors sections of upper-level MATH courses. These courses are available for our best students, whether they are a member of the South Carolina Honors College or not. This feature of our program has been instrumental in our graduates' successful transition to graduate school in mathematics as well as other disciplines, including medicine, economics, and law.


Graduate with Distinction

Any student at USC who earns an undergraduate degree and completes the appropriate requirements will be awarded graduation “With Distinction in [Your Major].” In our department, this means entering the research track, achieving a certain GPA, taking higher level courses, and completing and presenting a senior thesis. Once you declare a major, you can discuss how to apply and what is required with your advisor.


Awards and Scholarships 

Our department offers several awards and scholarships, generally for students who excel at 500-level classes.


Undergraduate Minor

We offer two minors: one in general mathematics and one in actuarial mathematics and statistics.