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Mathematics Frequently Asked Questions

 What research opportunities are available for students?

Faculty routinely look for ways to incorporate student projects into their research. During the academic year, faculty may offer special topics research courses and independent studies for students to engage in research; they may oversee honor theses as well as modelling contests. For about 15 years, the department has hosted an NSF-funded Summer REU program on campus. JMU students can apply to this program and can also apply to Summer REU programs at other universities for opportunities to work with faculty from other universities on research projects.

 What is the typical class size?

Lower division courses typically have between 30 to 34 students while upper division courses typically have 20 or fewer students.

 How large is the department? (i.e., number of faculty and students)

Our department has 57 full-time faculty members and we usually have about 50-60 graduates each year in mathematics and between 15-20 graduates in statistics each year. There are four research/teaching groups: pure math, applied math, math education, and statistics. We offer a large number of elective courses in applied and pure mathematics as well as statistics. Although we are a large department, we have small department characteristics: Professors are focused on teaching and supporting students to be successful; students have a strong sense of community (student clubs, study lounge, activities such as pi day fund-raiser, departmental picnics) and have many opportunities to interact with professors because the small size of classes.

 Which of my courses that I have taken as AP or dual enrollment will transfer in as credit?

JMU has developed a transfer equivalency guide where students can check to see if courses they have taken elsewhere will transfer to JMU and if so, for which course. For more inforamtion about transfer credits, visit the Registrar's Office website.

 Can I double major in mathematics and statistics?

Yes! It is possible to double major in mathematics and statistics. Please contact an advisor to discuss this option. Dr. Ling Xu (statistics) at and Dr. Katie Quertermous (mathematics) at

 Where do your graduates go?

Our graduates go to a wide range of graduate schools and take jobs in industry. The following is just a short list.

Graduate Schools: Boston University (Applied Biostatistics), Georgetown (Law School), MIT (Engineering), NC State (Computational Math, Statistics), Rutgers (Statistics), Texas A&M (Applied Math, Statistics), FSU, U. Maryland, UC Davis, UNC, VT, VCU, Oregon State, Georgetown & Columbia (Math)

Industry: Research Scientist II, Novartis (NIBR); Quantitative Finance Specialist, Wachovia; Lockheed Martin; Northrup-Grumman; Census Bureau

 Do you have a data science program?

We have a data science minor. The minor in data analytics is designed for students majoring in a STEM field who want to gain additional technical competencies in statistical data analytic methods as it relates to their field of study. This minor will provide students with analytical and technical skills in the ethical use of data in research environments; application of statistical and probabilistic thinking to data analysis; data visualization and data management; and application of machine learning techniques to their own field of study. Although the minor is primarily intended for students majoring in one of the degree programs offered by the College of Science and Mathematics, any student that meets program requirements may take the minor.

The minor in data analytics is a minimum 18-hour credit program, and no more than six credits from the minor may be used to double-count with a major or another minor.

Click here to learn more about this program! 

 What kind of student clubs are available for students in the department?

The following are student clubs that are mathematics and statistics related. There are many other student organizations sponsored across the university.

  • Mathematics and Statistics Club: participate in movie nights, community events, panel discussions, a student/faculty bowling tournament, and an annual Pi Day fundraiser (3/14 1:59pm) where students throw pie at their favorite professors. They also offer a Problem of the Week to students and faculty. The club faculty advisor is Roger Thelwell.
  • American Statistical Association, student chapter: a professional society for the promotion of statistical science. The ASA faculty advisor is Nusrat Jahan.
  • Association for Women in Mathematics, student chapter: open to all students and aims to inspire and benefit all members of our community. The AWM faculty advisor is Minah Oh.
  • Math Concentrators Club: for K-8 prospective teachers concentrating in mathematics, participate in outreach activities in area schools, panel discussions. The MCM faculty advisor is "Zig" Siegfried.
  • Pi Mu Epsilon Club: a national mathematics honors society that promotes scholarly activity in mathematics among students. The PME faculty advisor is Hasan Hamdan.

 What are the course requirements for a math major? A math major who wants to become a math teachers in grades 6-12?

For mathematics majors and minors:

For math education degree seekers: 

 What are the math course placement policies?

The Math Placement Matrix shows which math classes to take based upon major and your Math Placement Exam score.

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