Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Sciences

The two options and the variety of the course offerings in Mathematical Sciences provide concentrations in various areas such as actuarial science, management science/operation research, statistics, teaching, and preparation for graduate studies. The secondary education option in this program has been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)and is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Small classes, excellent faculty, opportunities to work with faculty on projects, and strong employment prospects are just some of the strengths of the program. Students will be helped to develop: a solid foundation in mathematical studies; an awareness of the utility of mathematics, statistics, and computers; skills in translating practical problems into mathematical terms; a competency in the use of modern mathematical tools; problem-solving skills; and an awareness of the importance of mathematics in society.

The program is designed to prepare students for employment in business, industry, and government immediately after graduation, but graduate study in mathematics or related disciplines is also a viable alternative. Mathematical modeling is emphasized, and all students are required to take courses in statistics and computer science.

For a B.S. degree in Mathematical Sciences, a minimum of 120 credits is required.

For a B.S. degree in Mathematical Sciences with the Secondary Education option, a minimum of 120 credits is required.

Entry to Major Requirements

Entry to the Mathematical Sciences major requires that the student has completed: MATH 140 GQ(4), MATH 141 GQ(4). A 2.00 or higher cumulative grade-point average is required.

Secondary Education option candidates must provide evidence of taking the PAPA (Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment) and submit their scores for the three modules in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.

Special Admissions Information

Applicants should have completed most of their first two years of college with a cumulative grade-point average to meet or exceed the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s required minimum GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale).  In addition, students must have a grade of "C" or better in six credits of college-level mathematics (MATH or STAT prefixes), three credits of college-level English literature, and three credits of English composition. The Office of Enrollment Services at Penn State Harrisburg is responsible for evaluating prior college work.
Students accepted into the Teacher Education Program must show the certified results of “no record” from these clearances before being allowed to enter schools for observation and student teaching:

  • FBI Clearance Fingerprint check
  • Act 151 PA Child abuse history clearance
  • Act 34 Request for criminal record check

Career Opportunities

The Mathematical Sciences program is designed to prepare students for employment in business, industry, and government. The program also provides excellent preparation for graduate study in mathematics or related disciplines. The various options and concentrations within the program provide preparation for careers in actuarial science, management science/operations research, secondary education, or statistics.

Job Outlook

According to projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in occupations that require at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics is expected to grow faster than employment in other sectors of the American labor market. The fastest growth demand is projected in computer-related occupations at a rate of more than 100 percent. The demand for secondary math school teachers represents the second largest area of demand and is projected to increase by 22 percent. Insurance, securities, real estate, and business service occupations are projected to add more than 100,000 jobs, yielding an employment growth rate of 17 percent. The need for top-level administrators and managers with a background in mathematics is also anticipated to realize a 17 percent growth rate.


General Option

The General Option is designed for students interested in applying mathematics, statistics, and computer techniques to problems within business and industry. It also provides the broad mathematical background requisite for postgraduate studies in mathematical sciences, statistics, or related disciplines. Advanced study will lead to increased opportunities formed within higher education, business, and industry.

Secondary Education Option

The Secondary Education (Mathematical Science) option is an increasingly popular choice. It provides a background for teaching mathematical studies in secondary school or for pursuing a graduate degree in Mathematics Education. The education requirements include the courses required for Instructional Level I Certification by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.