NIU Department of Mathematical Sciences
Minors for Mathematical Sciences Majors
There is a separate page for students from other
departments who are interested in a minor in mathematical sciences.
Students majoring in the mathematical sciences are welcome to
take minors, or even double majors, in other departments. Indeed,
many students find this to be a productive way to select electives
and general-education courses, enhancing their degree and their
resume, and allowing them to pursue other fields of interest
for professional or personal growth. Several NIU faculty members
both in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and in other
departments have done just that, and can share their experiences
with you. We, here, feature an essay by NIU Presidential Teaching
Professor in Music, and former math major, William
Note that students in the Applied Mathematics emphasis are
required to take a minor in an approved discipline. Approval
comes from the Director of Undergraduate Studies and is given only
for minors in which the student will genuinely apply mathematics.
(For example, many of the minors in the table below are fine.)
A double major in another field will meet this
requirement instead of a minor, again subject to the approval
of the math department.
For other emphases in Mathematical Sciences, minors are optional.
A minor typically requires about a half-dozen courses in that
department, some specifically required and others elective. But
requirements vary considerably; consult your Undergraduate Catalogue
for complete information.
Some important rules regarding minors:
- With departmental permission, students are allowed to complete
certain combinations of the major andone or more minors in the department, or
multiple minors within the department. In all such cases, for each minor
in the department, the student must earn at least 6 semester hours in MATH/STAT
courses that are not counted in fullfillment of the major or any
other minors in the department.
- You must formally declare your minor. Consult with an advisor
in that department.
- It is the student's responsibility to balance the requirements
for multiple programs. We will certainly work hard to cooperate
with other departments but cannot guarantee that the courses you
need in another department will be available when you need them, and
we are often unaware which courses in other departments are likely
to be the most difficult or time-consuming. Please remember that
your primary task is to complete the major!
- You will need to work with the advisors from the other
department if you need administrative help with that program --
for example, if you need credit for transfer courses in that discipline,
or waivers of prerequisites for their courses, permission to enroll
in closed sections, and so on. Courses are controlled by the department
of the course, not the department of the student.
- Those who will earn their Teaching Certification by completing
the Mathematics degree may sometimes earn an Endorsement to teach
in another discipline. The requirements are often similar to those
of a minor, but they are typically distinct. Consult an advisor
in that department for details. It is not necessary to have such
an Endorsement or minor in order to find employment as a teacher;
however, an applicant with additional training will certainly have the
edge for competitive positions --- especially if the additional
training is in other high-demand fields such as special education
or multi-lingual education.
The following are some of the more common programs in which
mathematical sciences students have taken minors or double majors:
Physics, Chemistry, Meteorology (major only), Computer Science,
Engineering, Economics, Philosophy, Finance, OMIS (major only),
Physical Education (Coaching), and Health Education.
In addition, we have majors in our department who are participating
in programs in English, Chinese, Spanish, Political Science, Art, Psychology,
and so on. Mathematics students are a versatile lot!
Director of Undergraduate Studies:
Dr. Qingkai Kong
Back to the NIU Math Department Web page
Last modified: 09/30/2015 (djg)