Mathematics Majors and Minors
office of international programs
The Mathematics Department recognizes the value of international experience as part of an undergraduate education, and is happy to assist mathematics majors as they construct their program. Because of the hierarchical nature of the requirements for the major, we encourage students to plan carefully. For example, while many foreign institutions offer elective courses that fit well, it is sometimes difficult to find acceptable substitutes for the required courses, particularly in Algebra and Analysis. We recommend that any mathematics major considering an international program consult with the Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Programs.
When Can I Study Abroad?
Mathematics majors are eligible to study abroad during either the fall or spring semester of their junior year. Bachelor of Science candidates considering a semester abroad face a significant disruption of their program and should consult the Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Programs. For students who plan ahead, it may be possible to study abroad for an entire academic year, but students must be in early contact with the Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Programs.
What Classes Should I Take Before Studying Abroad?
Early planning is essential to make sure that students will meet all BC requirements, and to ensure that they will have a strong mathematics background for study abroad. Since most international education systems require a higher degree of specialization at an earlier level, this strong background will allow students to take advantage of the best offerings at the host institution, including upper-level seminars.
At a minimum, all Mathematics majors should take the following courses prior to study abroad:
- MATH 2202 or MATH 2203
- MATH 2210 or MATH 2211
- MATH 2216
Bachelor of Arts candidates should also complete at least one of MATH3310 or MATH3320.
Bachelor of Science candidates need to speak to the Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Programs.
All Mathematics majors must meet with their departmental advisor before studying abroad. Prior to this meeting, students should obtain their degree audits and map out a tentative schedule for the semester(s) abroad and for the remaining time on campus at Boston College to show how students plan to meet the remaining major requirements.
What Classes Should I Plan To Take Abroad?
Courses that reflect the academic strengths of the host university department are highly recommended.
To receive major credit for courses taken abroad, students must provide a course syllabus and obtain approval from the Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Programs, unless those courses are on the pre-approved course list.
Mathematics students should remember that the department allows a maximum of two courses to be taken abroad with department approval.
What If I Am Planning To Do An Honors Thesis?
For some mathematics majors who already have a topic in mind, studying abroad provides an excellent opportunity to conduct on-site research and establish contact with faculty at the host institution.
Students who are planning to do an honors thesis are strongly urged to plan ahead. Students are advised to establish a thesis topic and identify a BC faculty member willing to supervise their work before departing and to maintain e-mail contact with their thesis advisor while abroad. Students should discuss whether or not they need to take a specific course while abroad.