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Prospective majors may self-identify to the department by joining the Prospective Math Major mailing list. You must subscribe with your @stanford email address. Information about events for prospective majors will be sent to this list. 

Why Major in Mathematics at Stanford?

Mathematics is fun, challenging, and rewarding. It is logical yet creative. It is important for applications yet enjoyable in its own right. As you learn more about mathematics, you will see that the logical structure of theorems, proofs, and classifications has a certain aesthetic appeal.

The adventure of mathematics is thrilling, yet it can be difficult to find the starting place on your own. Please see the Math Placement page and Introductory Math Courses page for more information.

Our Sample Course Plans will show you a variety of courses you can take depending on your interests to complete the major.

Stanford students also participate in the Putnam Competition, an annual math contest for college students, each December.

The Stanford University Mathematical Organization (SUMO) is open to all students interested in math. They do a variety of activities throughout the year.

During the summer, the department offers the Stanford Undergraduate Research Institute in Mathematics (SURIM) where students can work on a research project either one-on-one with a faculty member or in a group mentored by a graduate student.

Students interested in independent reading with a graduate student mentor may wish to participate in the Directed Reading Program. Students also often do reading courses with faculty members, which requires approaching individual professors directly.

As a mathematics major, you will develop skills in:

  • conceptual thinking and problem solving
  • oral and written communication
  • analyzing and interpreting data
  • working in groups

All of these skills are highly desirable for a wide range of careers, including the tech industry, finance, business and law. Many mathematics majors follow career paths which do not fall under the job title of “mathematician” or “math teacher”. Common options include:

  • data scientist
  • quantitative finance
  • actuary
  • engineer
  • physicist
  • consultant

Keep in mind that mathematics is a way of thinking, not a single career. With a judicious choice of electives, the mathematics curriculum at Stanford University can prepare you for many careers.

The department is committed to providing its majors with a solid and broad-based education in mathematics. We value our interactions with students and appreciate their questions, so please feel free to stop by our Student Services Office in Building 380, Room 381S.

Stanford University Department of Mathematics
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