Undergraduate Program

As a field of study, mathematics is unique. Known as “The Queen of the Sciences,” it is the purest form of quantitative analytical reasoning and thus has applications to almost every other science. In fact, many sciences rely so heavily on mathematics that their most important questions are, fundamentally, math problems.

Mathematics is a powerful and versatile major. Students with degrees in mathematics are highly sought after in a variety of industries because employers know that success in mathematics requires strong problem solving abilities and outstanding analytical skills. This means math majors are very marketable. Math majors are also strong candidates for medical school, law school, high tech industries, finance industries, or graduate school in any of a variety of different fields, including engineering, economics, finance, and computer science.

Will mathematics courses help me in my chosen major?

If you are majoring in engineering, finance, economics, political science, psychology, or any other science, then you will find that the coursework in your major relies heavily on math. To have the best opportunity to do well in those courses and absorb the material, it can be very beneficial to identify and take the appropriate math course. For recommendations to assist in choosing the classes that will help broaden your knowledge – given your interests – check out our Course Sequences by Career Path.

What about a double major?

Using mathematics as a supplement to your primary major can make your future job or graduate school applications much stronger. Potential employers and graduate school admissions committees know that the study of mathematics requires and develops strong problem-solving skills, comprehension of abstract concepts, and creative thinking ability; all highly desirable qualities in applicants to almost any field or industry.

In addition, many of them know that the applicant who will be successful working with them will need specific mathematical skills thus putting the applicant with a math major at the top of their list.

Who studies math at Duke?

“By pursuing a math major I was able to study quantitative topics relevant to diverse disciplines of science and the social sciences while keeping my post-Duke options open for as long as possible. Most majors in science, engineering, economics, etc. require knowledge of some combination of... read more »


“I went to Duke wanting to study both math and theater, but worried about the difficulty of pursuing two such different majors. Fortunately, I connected early on with wonderful mentors in the Math department who were supportive of both my interests. I have been able to blend my math and theater... read more »


“I had a wonderfully rich experience as a math major. Beyond pure math, my coursework was applicable to biology, logic, physics, economics, and statistics. More importantly, math taught me how to think, greatly improving my ability to express myself logically. Thanks to accessible, supportive, and... read more »


“The benefits of pursuing a mathematics degree at Duke University are endless. As a math major, I developed a logical and analytical mindset that has assisted me within the academic, professional and personal realms of life. I learned to identify the implicit assumptions within a problem or... read more »


"For the first few weeks of Math 32, my first class at Duke, I felt intimidated and unsure by the difficulty and the rigor of the subject matter. I had considered quitting math altogether, but because I had a passion for it, I decided to try out a few more courses. Fifteen math classes later, I am... read more »


"Majoring in math has taught me to think logically and learn conceptually. For instance, constructing proofs helped me develop abstract thinking skills, which can in turn foster a very valuable internal problem-solving method that can be used for life. By exposing me to entirely new problems under... read more »


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