Study Applied Mathematics at the University of Montana
Learn to use mathematics to solve real-world problems. In the applied mathematics concentration of the bachelor’s degree in math at UM, you’ll work using numerical analysis, perturbation methods and dynamical systems, exploring applications these areas have in astronomy, data science, chemistry, biology, forestry, medical imaging and pharmaceutical science, to name a few.
Our applied mathematics faculty work in diverse areas — from mathematical physics to image processing to modeling. Many of our applied math courses also involve coding, and you can earn a certificate in big data analytics by taking several specialized courses in the theory and practice of data science.
estimated average salary of Class of 2020 graduates with a bachelor’s in applied mathematics (Source: 2021 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers)
math majors to math faculty at UM
scholarships and awards offered each year to undergraduates in the math program
Other degree options for mathematical sciences at UM
What can you do with a math degree?
Many of today’s fastest-growing jobs are in mathematics, and they span just about any type of industry you can imagine. Our math majors go on to successful careers as software developers, data scientists, mathematicians, actuaries, engineers, and teachers. The applied mathematics concentration, which requires rigorous analysis, is also an excellent option for students who plan to pursue graduate study in applied science or mathematics.
What is applied mathematics?
Applied math combines mathematical science and specialized knowledge in various disciplines to solve real-world problems in areas such as engineering, medicine, biology, computer science, finance, business, industry — any area in which mathematical reasoning may be used to gain new insights and innovative applications.
Applied mathematics jobs
What can you do with an applied math degree? Examples of potential career opportunities for students in this concentration include:
- Data Scientist
- Financial analyst
- Software developer
Applied mathematics salaries
Applied mathematics is an incredibly diverse field, and salaries will vary widely depending on your specific job. For example, according to recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a mathematician's salary averages $93,290 per year. Financial analysts can expect to earn a median of $83,660, while a computer systems analyst makes $89,190 on average each year. According to the BLS, an actuary makes $105,900 per year while a statistician makes an average of $95,570. A data scientist earns an average salary of $110,910.
Alumni Success Story: Kit Fieldhouse
“Studying mathematics at UM has been indispensable to my intellectual development. Learning and practicing math teaches you how to think at a critical and rigorous level which translates well into virtually all other endeavors in life. UM's math department provides an encouraging and knowledgeable community in which to grow and explore.”
- Kit Fieldhouse, UM alumnus, mathematics and physics
Experiential learning in the mathematical sciences degree
Applied math majors at UM gain real-world experience through hands-on learning:
- Take part in internships with researchers at UM and in the wider community to gain expertise in data analysis, modeling, optimization, and experimental design.
- Through our Data Science Project course, students partner with a business to complete a group project that addresses a real-world data science problem. Students gain valuable work experience and networking connections as they work alongside business leaders and professionals in the field.
- Work with faculty on cutting-edge research, including projects that involve investigating the effects of PM5 from wildfires on birth outcomes and children’s respiratory health, factors that lead to low vaccination rates, and models for the COVID-19 pandemic in rural Montana.
- Help organize community outreach events for middle and high school students, such as our annual Math Day, the regional MATHCOUNTS competition, the Girl Scouts “Engineer This” camp, and the University of Montana High School Math Awards.
- Take your study of applied mathematics overseas with one of our study abroad programs.
Career development in the applied math major
Earn your degree in applied mathematics at the University of Montana and be ready to hit the ground running when you graduate. Build your professional network and connect with job opportunities in your field of study — from hands-on learning experiences that open potential career pathways, to working with companies that actively seek to hire UM math majors. With a 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio, students in our mathematics program also benefit from personal interaction and support from their instructors.
Scholarships for math majors
Each year the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Montana awards about $20,000 to continuing undergraduate math majors. Learn more about scholarships and awards in the mathematics program.
Explore classes for the degree in applied mathematics
The concentration in applied mathematics includes courses in solution techniques (Ordinary Differential Equations, Partial Differential Equations, Numerical Methods, Linear Algebra) and modeling and qualitative analysis (Deterministic Models and four courses in data science). Applied math majors are also encouraged to learn a computer language such as MATLAB or Python, as these are often valuable in the analysis of applied problems.