Department of Mathematics

West Chester University

Mathematics Information
Office: Room 101
25 University Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone (610) 436-2440
Fax (610) 738-0578
Email: Department Chair


Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics offers a program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and a program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in education.

  • The BA in MATHEMATICS enables each student through selection of a minor or area of concentration to prepare for a career as a college professor, actuary, statistician, or mathematician in industry or government.
  • The BS in EDUCATION – MATHEMATICS features a strong program in mathematics while the student earns state certification to teach mathematics in the middle, junior high or senior high levels.
  • The BS in Mathematics degree provides students with a wide choice of career oriented programs by allowing the declaration of a concentration in various branches of applied mathematics. The program is designed to position its graduates for a career in spplied mathematics.

Career Opportunities

A graduate who holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics can pursue entry-level positions leading to highly paid positions in business, industry, government, and teaching.

Companies in the computer and telecommunications industries employ students with a strong background in mathematics, as do energy producing companies, financial organizations, insurance companies, and consulting firms.

Many branches of the local, state, and federal governments employ mathematicians working under various job titles such as cryptanalyst, statistician, operation researcher, and actuary.

Graduates of the department have found positions with organizations such as DuPont, General Electric, Merck, and RCA. Graduates in mathematics education have found employment as teachers and administrators at universities and public, private, and parochial schools.

Graduates also have entered advanced study programs at the nation's leading universities.

Undergraduate Degree

Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics
Bachelor of Science in Education - Mathematics
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics

Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. This program begins with a core that includes calculus, computer science, physics, statistics, and background courses, followed by a required sequence of courses covering the major areas of the mathematical sciences - algebra, analysis, geometry, statistics, and applied mathematics.

Bachelor of Science in Education - Mathematics. This degree prepares you for certification as a teacher of mathematics in Pennsylvania's secondary schools. This program provides a good grounding in calculus, algebra, geometry, and statistics. Also, you will be instructed in the teaching of mathematics in secondary school classrooms. The department places emphasis on meaningful contemporary applications of mathematics.

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics This degree provides students with a wide choice of career-oriented programs by allowing the declaration of a concentration in various branches of applied mathematics. The program is designed to position its graduates for a career in applied mathematics.

Students enrolled in this program are required to declare a concentration. Current concentrations include actuarial science, statistics, mathematics of finance, industrial mathematics, and computational mathematics. The concentration must be selected no later than the second semester of the sophomore year. Students generally spend most of the first two years taking core requirements common to all concentrations or certain prerequisites. Mathematics and cognates (courses in fields closely related to mathematics) required for a specific concentration are normally taken during the final two years of the program. The mathematics courses are aimed at linking the course content to applications in the real world. Cognates are aimed at demonstrating the pervasiveness and importance of mathematics in other applied-oriented disciplines.

The Student Handbook for Mathematics Majors should be consulted for current requirements in mathematics degree programs.

Minors

Mathematics. As a baccalaureate student, you may receive transcript recognition for a minor area of study in such areas as astronomy, computer science, economics, finance, and physics by completing four required courses and two electives selected from the approved list.

Elementary School Mathematics (K-8). As a baccalaureate student in elementary education, you may receive transcript recognition for a minor area of study in mathematics by completing six required courses.

In the above minors, you must earn a minimum grade of C- in each course and have an overall GPA of at least 2.0 in the courses taken in the minor.

Auxiliary Teaching Support

The department maintains Student/Tutorial Center (Anderson 119) staffed by advanced students. Those that qualify to staff the Tutorial Center acquire pre-professional teaching experience, help their peers, and develop communication skills.

Technical and related Support

Students have access to microcomputer networks at numerous locations. These computers can access the on-line catalog of the library and the Internet. A current collection of mathematical statistical and programming software is available for student use including Mathematica, Maple, MathLab, MiniTab, and SAS. A Computational Mathematics Laboratory is located in Anderson 120 next to the Student Tutorial Center. Desk-top computers and a large and current software library are available in the Student Tutorial Center.

The department also houses a Seminar Room within the faculty office complex. It provides access to a small library related to the courses students are taking, and is used for faculty/student socials. The popular Wednesday afternoon "teas" for both students and faculty are held in A 119.

Special Study Opportunities

If you major in mathematics education, you will teach in nearby secondary schools. This program normally provides two, seven-week placements: one in a middle school, the other in a high school.

Special Entrance Requirements

Those interested in one of the above programs should have a solid background in high school mathematics and a strong score in the mathematics portion of the SAT.

Related Student Activities

Anderson Mathematics Club
Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics honor society)

Advanced Degree

Master of Arts in Mathematics (concentrations: pure mathematics or mathematics education)
Master of Science in Applied Statistics

Faculty

The mathematics faculty engages in the study of mathematics, mathematics education, and statistics and is dedicated to the art of teaching. Faculty members have served as officers in the state and local chapters of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (The executive director of NCTM is a WCU graduate.) Researchers have presented, by invitation, their work at Princeton, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania (to name a few), and at international conferences. All faculty members are always ready to meet and discuss mathematics with our majors, particularly during the "tea and coffee hour" which follows our colloquium talks in our new tutorial/student center. You can obtain a complete listing of faculty and their qualifications from the contact person listed below.

For More Information

Dr. Kathleen Jackson, Chair
Department of Mathematics
25 University Avenue
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
610-436-2440
kjackson@wcupa.edu