The Department of Mathematics at Saint Joseph's University shapes its mission around the classical and modern aspects of the discipline, emphasizing both the practical and the theoretical. It is our goal to train students to be careful, precise, and mature thinkers. As faculty, we strive to give our students the intellectual preparation they need to apply what they have learned, to communicate it to others, and to continue their education for the rest of their lives.
The Department of Mathematics offers a B.S. degree in mathematics, a B.S. degree in actuarial science, and several mathematics education programs, including a five-year B.S./M.S. program in mathematics and secondary education.
We have many exciting opportunities for students to explore. You will find some of them contained in these web pages. For example, we’ve included information about the career paths of our past graduates, about research and internship opportunities, and about the many activities, our department offers for students.
Although mathematics is a discipline with ancient roots, the last 250 years have seen mathematics burgeon tremendously. It has been estimated that more than 99% of today’s mathematics was unknown in the time of Euclid. The classical aspects of mathematics are almost philosophical in flavor. The modern aspects are extremely practical, with much to offer to other subjects and the world at large.
The curriculum aims to impart four sorts of knowledge:
- cultural enrichment (as befits courses at a liberal arts institution, especially a Jesuit one);
- training in specific skills that inform the practical side of the subject;
- professional preparation for those students who will choose careers as mathematicians, statisticians, actuaries or educators; and
- experience in research and in independent work at the undergraduate level.
The curriculum has a deeper goal, however, than just the communication of specific knowledge. Success in mathematics requires a trained mind, one that can deal with abstractions and think logically and clearly. We in this department believe that such clarity of thought can be taught, and we have designed our curricula with this aim in mind; for a student who is not a strong clear thinker cannot carry away enthusiasm for the subject and cannot continue to learn on his or her own.
Our goal is thus threefold: to impart to our students the specifics, both classical and modern, of mathematics; to train our students to be careful, precise, mature thinkers; and to ensure our students graduate with the intellectual preparation necessary to apply what they have learned, to communicate it to others, and to continue their education indefinitely.