New mathematics degree caters to STEM careers

Main page content

Starting in fall of 2015, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences’ new BS in Mathematics supports a slew of STEM-focused career pathways.

Beginning this fall, UW Tacoma will launch a new math major. The Bachelor of Science in Mathematics will concentrate on three branches — algebra, analysis and geometry — encouraging students both to  study math in its own right and apply it to another discipline.

The new major, in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, will prepare students for a variety of STEM-related careers, in fields such as engineering, physics, and data analysis, to name a few. Ruth Vanderpool, lecturer in mathematics, states that “students can tailor their course load to support their specific career goals. I’m rather proud of the large breadth of careers that the math major is designed to support. Math education, mathematical social science, technology-focused careers, STEM positions, and math graduate school all have clear pathways and courses that will support their future pursuits.”

A two-quarter course sequence focused on one of the three branches will provide students with a depth and maturity of thought in a modern mathematical context. Customized to each student, electives also prepare them for careers in education, government agencies, or the private sector.

“Demand for the math major has been documented on the national, regional, and campus level. But aside from the many UW Tacoma folks simply wanting it, the math major will help more than just the students in the degree.  More interesting quantitative courses that can serve other majors will become available, and additional math faculty can help with consulting across campus,” says Vanderpool.  

Written by: 
Brian Anderson / July 2, 2015
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or