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?

Jonathan Gao will write his senior thesis on the economics of mergers.
Durham, NC - Are you blaming those rising prices for airplane tickets on the mergers in the industry? Senior Jonathan Gao says you might be right but the economics of the ticket price isn't that straightforward. The economics and math major from Ellicott, Md., studies a field of economics called... read more »

Hunter Nisonoff
Durham, NC - When he wasn't boxing at a local gym in Durham and playing intramural soccer, senior Hunter Nisonoff spent his summer researching potential HIV vaccines in Bruce Donald’s lab. Nisonoff, a math major and global health and chemistry minor from Emerson, N.J., is working on two projects:... read more »

Anne Talkington with the MAMS function
Anne Talkington, an undergraduate Mathematics student under the auspices of Richard Durrett, attempts to gain a quantitative grasp on cancer through mathematical modeling. Historically, tumor growth has only been measured in vitro (in a laboratory... read more »

Rowena Gan ('15)
Rowena Gan ('15) combined music and math for her Graduation with Distinction project. Rowena studied piano at Duke with David Heid. She majored in math, and earned a minor in music.   read more »

 Student’s Summer is a Deep Dive into Deep Math
Math and computer science student Will Victor is spending his summer immersed in Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity and learning to conduct mathematics research. Victor, from Aiken, South Carolina, is working with math and physics Professor Hubert Bray... read more »

Math junior flips for ‘bit flips’
Paul Ziquan Yang is using mathematical techniques to eliminate errors in computer hardware. Over the summer, the rising junior math major worked with Robert Calderbank, Charles S. Sydnor professor of computer science, as part of the PRUV Fellowship program, a six-... read more »