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Department of Mathematics & Statistics

MS 476, Math Sciences Building
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
T. 403.220.5203

General Mathematics

Bachelor of Science

(Faculty of Science)

The General Mathematics program aims to provide students with the knowledge of mathematics in its breadth by drawing its courses from the department’s different mathematical divisions: Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science. The program explores the various branches of mathematics and their applications in the real world.

General Mathematics majors learn mathematic fundamentals, which include calculus, linear algebra, and probability and statistics. In addition to acquiring basic mathematical skills, students are free to explore the manifold areas of this discipline to gain exposure to a variety of modern mathematical subjects such as mathematical analysis, abstract algebra, geometry, number theory, combinatorics, numerical analysis, statistics and actuarial science. Students select courses from the four categories of mathematical focus offered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics to earn a Bachelor of Science in General Mathematics.

General Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission applicants are required to present the appropriate high school subjects and a competitive average.

Application/Document Deadlines

Mathematics and Statistics
Students must meet the competitive Mathematics and Statistics Average.

Why Study General Mathematics?

A logical choice
Do you enjoy problem solving? Studying mathematics develops students’ natural ability to work with numbers, shapes and figures, and to reason in a logical manner. Mathematics students are able to appreciate these richly developed theories and techniques and apply them towards solving concrete problems in the real world. They use these mathematical tools to focus on the key aspect in quantifying a problem, and to draw logical or quantitative conclusions from the focused descriptions.

Integral skills and knowledge
All individuals who are highly trained and/or in positions of responsibility require the ability to generalize, understand statistical data, perform computations, and to reason and engage in abstract thinking via sound logic. The study of mathematics hones these skills to a high level. Many employers value mathematics graduates for their analytic reasoning, creative and critical-thinking skills, strong logical abilities, and ability to learn quickly because of their training.

Added value
General Mathematics majors practice and enhance a set of valuable skills that include calculation techniques, logical (deductive) reasoning, practical and probabilistic (inductive) reasoning, formulation of mathematical problems from real world scenarios, data manipulation and interpretation as well as basic computer programming. Their exposure to numerous branches of mathematical study gives them an advantage over students in a more narrowly focused program when posing and solving cross-disciplinary problems. The General Mathematics program provides the interdisciplinary knowledge and problem-solving techniques that can give you the edge in an increasingly competitive job market.

What do I need to get in?

You’ll need to meet the admission requirements of the Faculty of Science .

What will I study in my first year?

In your first year you will obtain the basic mathematical skills required in all science and engineering disciplines by taking courses such as:

  • calculus: calculating with continuous quantities
  • linear methods: solving systems of equations via systematic techniques
  • computer science: basic knowledge of computers and programming

Calculus and linear methods provide you with the basic tools required to set up and solve models for quantitative problems. Computer science will give you a method to find solutions to quantitative problems where exact solutions are difficult or impossible to obtain, or simply too tedious to obtain by other means (e.g. by hand).

Courses in first year may also include a number of options from all Faculties, which all students are encouraged to take for the sake of interdisciplinary content.

What will I study in later years?

Your second year builds on the basic skills learned in first year, and introduces you to the calculus of several variables, vector spaces, more advanced ideas about matrices, and a calculus based first course in probability and statistics. Your first course in differential equations may also be taken in the second year.

In your third and fourth years you can take more courses in probability and statistics or, if interested in the mathematical foundations of calculus, more courses in pure mathematics. For breadth and strength in your subject you may take required courses in complex variables, numerical analysis, or partial differential equations.

Students are also expected to take a number of courses from outside their major field and are encouraged to take courses that will provide breadth and contribute to the interdisciplinary nature of their degree.

What can I do with my degree?

General Mathematics graduates can apply creative, exploratory and lateral thinking in problem solving. They are particularly skilled in data collection and organization, analytic thinking, abstract reasoning and logical calculation. Graduates can also effectively communicate (written and orally) technical and abstract information, as well as interpret and assess the significance of mathematical theorems and statements. As mathematic generalists, they are comfortable with intellectual challenges and can supply flexible thinking and logical skills in the workplace.

Since mathematics is a unique approach to understanding the world, mathematicians are presented with a wide variety of career opportunities in areas such as education, public service, industry and technology. Graduates may find employment as analysts, investment advisors or project managers in the business and finance sectors; or they can work in the computer industry as animators, programmers or cryptographers. Other career opportunities may include:

City planning, statistician

Primary education, institutional research

Market analyst, financial management

Who can I contact for more information?

Department of Mathematics and Statistics