Majors

The department offers four bachelors degrees – B.S. in Applied Statistics, B.S. in Mathematics, B.A. in Mathematics, and B.S. in Actuarial Science.

In statistics, the Bachelor of Science degree stresses both the theoretical and the applied sides of the subject and is one of the few undergraduate statistics programs in the country. In addition to extensive course work in statistics, the student is exposed to computer science, ethics (relevant to decisions that statisticians must make on the job), and advanced writing (obviously a useful skill). Concentrated study (16 credits) in some field to which statistics can be applied, such as computer science, engineering, a science, economics, psychology, or another subject of the student's interest, is also required. In mathematics, we offer a basic Bachelor of Arts degree and a more rigorous Bachelor of Science degree. (There is no universal meaning assigned to these names, which date back hundreds of years. Different schools use them to mean different things, such as whether one has studied a foreign language. In our department we have chosen to offer an expanded program under the B.S. label, one requiring two additional mathematical sciences courses, one additional computer science course, and a more in-depth study of a field to which mathematics can be applied.) We also offer a Bachelor of Science degree in actuarial science, in cooperation with the School of Business Administration.

Many students, both current undergraduates and those who already hold a bachelor's degree in some subject (not necessarily mathematics), wish to pursue a program leading to secondary teaching certification in mathematics.

Requirements for each degree:

See this website about the degree in actuarial science.

For all degrees, a 2.0 grade or higher must be earned in each required course. There are additional University and College requirements. Consult the undergraduate catalog and the department adviser for details.

Students should work with a departmental adviser and advisers in the Arts and Sciences Advising Office in planning the details of their schedules.  The "fifth year" applies only to STEP students.

Checklists

Here are some diagrams that lay out the requirements for the bachelors degrees in the department. Talk to an adviser for more details. The lines with arrows indicate the flow required by prerequisites.

  • B.S. in Applied Statistics, under the current General Education Requirements. This chart applies to students who entered OU as freshmen in Fall 2005 or later, as well as most transfer students who enter in Fall 2008 or later.
  • B.A. and B.S. in Mathematics (including STEP), under the current General Education Requirements. This chart applies to students who entered OU as freshmen in Fall 2005 or later, as well as most transfer students who enter in Fall 2008 or later. The three boxes labeled “BS” are required only for the Bachelor of Science degree, not for the Bachelor of Arts degree. The lower left corner is for students who want to obtain secondary school teaching certification in the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP).
  • B.S. in Actuarial Science.

The College of Arts and Sciences Advising Office also has checklists, in a different format, which you may find useful.

Undergraduate
Curricula

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers four degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) in Mathematics, the Bachelor of Science (B. S.) in Mathematics, the B. S. in Applied Statistics, and the B. S. in Actuarial Science. Students in the mathematics programs may also obtain secondary teaching credentials through the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP). Through these extensive offerings, the department serves the needs of students wishing to work in industry, government, or education in the diverse ways described in our careers page, as well as students wishing to pursue a graduate degree in the mathematical sciences.

The Oakland University Undergraduate Catalog lists all requirements for degrees, and each student should read his or her copy carefully. The department advisers are available to help each student understand the requirements, and to help the student plan his or her schedule. Each student should consult the department adviser frequently. The department secretary can provide information on the office hours of the advisers. Students are reminded that only courses passed with a grade of 2.0 or better can be used to meet major requirements.

Well-prepared students interested in the mathematical sciences should plan to take MTH 154 (Calculus I) as soon as possible. Since the study of mathematics is cumulative, only those students who have demonstrated the necessary mathematical skills are able to enroll in MTH 154. Prerequisite courses MTH 061, MTH 062, and MTH 141 are sequentially arranged so that each is a prerequisite for the next (MTH 141 is a prerequisite for MTH 154). These courses are open only to students who have demonstrated that they have satisfied the prerequisites in one of three ways: by successfully completing the previous course here, or an equivalent course offered elsewhere, with a grade of 2.0 or better; by scoring sufficiently high on the ACT mathematics test; or by placing into them via the departmental placement exam.

Internships

Internships are sometimes available for students pursuing actuarial science.  For example, the Southfield, Michigan, office of the major professional services company Towers Watson has a small number of summer internships.  Other leads might include Blue Cross Blue Shield, MEEMIC, Delta Dental, and some insurance companies in Lansing.  These positions are quite competitive and pay well.  Summer internship positions are posted in October, and phone interviews are conducted in October and November for the following summer.  

A student who intends to apply for one should get started in September.  Preference is given to students who have demonstrated a commitment to the field, such as by having attempted an actuarial exam, or, even better, having passed one or two of the exams.  The 
Be an Actuary website has additional information about internships and getting employment in this area. A recent article explains how hot this field is.

Putnam Seminar

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics organizes a weekly Putnam Seminar in the Fall semester for students to practice problem solving in preparation for a national contest.

For further information, please contact Professor Schmidt at 248-370-3433, schmidt@oakland.edu.