Graduation with Honors in Mathematics

The department of mathematics has a program for recognizing graduating mathematics majors for outstanding performance. Under this program, such students, upon graduation, may be awarded Honors, High Honors or Highest Honors in Mathematics.

Note that the requirements for graduation with departmental honors in mathematics are distinct from other honors graduation programs such as the honors program of the School of Arts and Sciences. Students may qualify for one or more honors programs, in multiple departments.

Students who will meet the requirements for departmental graduation honors and wish to be considered for graduation with mathematics honors should file the Intent to Complete Departmental Honors by February of their senior year, in order to ensure consideration for the program. Students enrolled in the honors track will automatically be considered for honors, and need not submit this form.

To graduate with departmental honors, a mathematics major must

  • have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.4 or better in mathematics courses at or above the 300 level,
  • have an overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0,
  • complete two mathematics honors graduation units as described below.

Higher levels of mathematics honors (high honors and highest honors) are awarded based upon individual evaluation by the honors committee.

Honors Units

Each of the following courses, when completed with a grade of B or better, is counted as an honors graduation unit:

  • 411
  • 412
  • 451
  • 452

There are some (rarely used) alternative ways to earn math honors graduation units, Each of these requires approval by the honors committee and a positive recommendation from the sponsoring faculty member. Math honors graduation units may be earned through:

  1. An approved mathematics graduate course
  2. An approved independent study course
    This may be a reading course or research project.
  3. An approved special project supplementing a mathematics course at the 300-400 level.
    Possible special projects include
    1. Doing a collection of advanced homework problems;
    2. Writing an expository paper based on advanced supplementary material;
    3. Doing research on a topic related to the course.

Approval of an honors unit

To obtain approval by the honors committee for a proposed alternative honors unit, submit a Request for approval of honors graduation unit form. This option is rarely used and approval is not automatic. An interested student should submit this form before doing the work to be sure that the proposed unit is acceptable for honors graduation credit. One criterion for an acceptable honors project is that the proposed work should be at a mathematical level and require effort comparable to that required by Math 411 or 451.

Final approval of an alternative honors unit

Honors credit is granted for an approved alternative honors unit after the work is completed and the supervising faculty member has recommended granting of honors graduation credit.