College of Science & Engineering

Declaring a Math Major

Procedures for Declaring a Major

1. A list of possible majors and links to the relevant course requirements are available here or on paper in BH 202.

2. You need to work with a faculty member to declare a major. For the general BA or BS in Mathematics, you may ask any faculty member to serve as your faculty advisor. For most other majors, specific faculty members have been identified as the advisors. You can find an appropriate advisor by going to the Department Directory and sorting by advising emphasis. For some combined or joint majors you also need an advisor in the other academic department involved; the corresponding math advisor can tell you whether that is the case and if so whom to contact in the other department.

3. To declare a major, make an appointment with your advisor or go to her or his office hours.

4. Prior to meeting with your faculty advisor, complete a Plan of Study form (see step 5 below), and get a blue cardboard major declaration form; both are available from the staff in BH 202.

5. For a BS in Math, Applied Math, Math/Computer Science, or Statistics, or a BA in Math, download the Interactive Plan of Study Form (save the .xlsx file to your computer before opening), read the instructions, and fill in as much of the form as you can. Email the (partially) completed spreadsheet to your advisor, with a cover note. At the meeting with your advisor, you will finish filling out the form, print it, and you and the advisor will sign it. For all other majors, complete the paper Plan of Study form.

6. The following will help you complete the Plan of Study form correctly:

  • Get a copy of the relevant major course requirements from the staff in BH 202.
  • Get a copy of your student record.
  • On your student record, highlight any courses you have completed or are taking that meet the requirements for the major.
  • If you have any relevant transfer courses, print a copy of your transfer equivalency report and highlight on it the courses used to meet the requirements for the major.


7. Bring the materials listed above to your meeting with your faculty advisor. This meeting will probably take less than 10 minutes if your materials are properly organized.

8. The faculty advisor will review your materials and your draft Plan of Study, and give you advice regarding appropriate courses and course sequences to take. The advisor will sign the Plan of Study and the major declaration forms once they are correctly completed.

9. Take your signed Plan of Study and major declaration forms to the office staff in BH 202. Leave them there overnight so that they can be signed by the Chair and copies made for our records.

10. Take the major declaration form to the Registrar. Keep the Plan of Study form for your records.

General Comments

a) Satisfying the requirements for completion of a major is distinct from meeting the requirements for a degree. For example, to get a degree from Western you must complete 60 upper division credits (courses numbered 300 or higher); your major alone probably does not require 60 upper division credits. Similarly, Western requires completion of a Writing Proficiency requirement; that requirement can often be met by a course that also meets a major requirement (such as Math 419) but can also be met by courses outside the major (eg. English 302, Technical Writing).

b) Courses required for the major have to be passed with a grade of at least C-. In the case of any majors in Education, including Math Education, a grade of at least C is required in every course.

c) For course sequences such as Math 124-125-224-225, successful completion of a higher numbered course in the sequence is deemed to imply satisfactory completion of a lower numbered course for the purposes of meeting the requirements of the major. For example, transfer students who have completed a class deemed equivalent to Math 225 are deemed to have successfully completed Math 224 for the major. Note that you will not get additional course or degree credit for such a lower numbered course unless you actually took that course.

d) Completing the Plan of Study forces you to consider the sequence of courses you need to take. Most higher numbered math courses have lower numbered prerequisites. Not every 300 level course is offered every quarter, and 400 level courses are usually offered only once a year. The quarter in which these courses are offered varies; typical times are shown on the Plan of Study.

e) The Plan of Study is a planning tool. You are not limited to the courses listed on your Plan of Study. The signature of your advisor on that form merely confirms that completing the listed courses meets the requirements for the major. You may deviate from your Plan of Study, but the onus is on you to ensure that your new schedule still meets the requirements for the major.

f) If you have over 90 credits and have not completed at least 3 quarters of calculus and linear algebra, consider taking a minor in another subject in order to fill out your degree schedule.

g) The major guides do not necessarily list all the course electives which can be used to satisfy some of your major requirements. Check the university catalog for a more complete listing.