Mathematics is the study of structure. It provides a language and tools for interpreting our world. The Rice Mathematics Department offers training in the traditional areas of pure mathematics: analysis, algebra, geometry and topology, as well as offering courses in combinatorics, computational algebraic geometry and mathematical biology. The Rice Computational and Applied Mathematics (CAAM) and Statistics Department (STAT) offer an array of other courses. Undergraduates seeking a math degree are also trained in problem solving, in analytical thinking and in the logical and precise communication of their ideas. In fact, in the marketplace, law schools and business schools, it is precisely these skills that make math majors a valuable commodity.
Getting an undergraduate Math Degree at Rice University is extremely flexible. This allows students to design their own programs in conjunction with their advisors. This also makes Math a popular double major. Today’s budding scientist, engineer, computer scientist, economist or social scientist needs much more mathematical training than did previous generations. The ease and flexibility of the double major in math allows these students to get degree credit for their work.
Our math majors go on to a broad range of activities after graduation. Some go to graduate school in mathematics, statistics, applied mathematics, biomathematics, physics, computer science or economics. Some go to medical school, law school, or business school. Some work in the financial industry, for consulting firms or accounting firms. Some go on to teach elementary or secondary school. Some double majors go on to careers more closely aligned with their other major. The flexible design of the math degree program is partly to facilitate this tremendous spectrum of math majors.
Mathematics develops specific analytical problem-solving skills as well as a logical and analytical perspective that is valuable in science, engineering, information technology, economics, law, medicine, business and certain social sciences. Within any of these other disciplines, the student who acquires these additional skills and perspective stands out from her/his peers. To encourage such students to significantly further their studies in Mathematics beyond the requirements of their majors, and to recognize those students who do so, we offer a Minor in Mathematics.
The first thing to keep in mind is that there are 3 distinct mathematical science departments at Rice, the Mathematics Department (MATH), the Computational and Applied Mathematics Department (CAAM), and the Statistics Department (STAT). The following advice pertains to the MATH Department, which teaches most of the lower-division courses. In case you are a double major with one of the majors being MATH (e.g. MATH-BIOLOGY) some courses in those other two departments can be counted towards a MATH major.
First year students can get advice on math courses from the link below, from orientation week advising sessions, from divisional advisors in your college, by making an appointment with a math degree advisor, from the information on this website, or from other students.
Mathematics is one of the oldest and most fundamental sciences and a demanding major. But even those who love the challenge of math need to make a living after they graduate. So on this page we will share the job descriptions from Rice Math Grads which show possible career paths that you can take with a mathematics degree, some recent job ads for different careers, and a few statistics on the job market.
Mathematicians need to have good reasoning ability in order to identify, analyze, and apply basic logical principles to technical problems. This skill can be used in a large number of professional situations so those with a degree in mathematics are in demand for a great variety of occupations. This can complicate a job search, but what about other interests you may have?
Take a look at the range of industries and various jobs in mathematics some of our former students have gone into.