College of Science & Engineering

Graduating with Academic Excellence

The Mathematics Department offers three means of recognition for outstanding students. One, Graduation with Merit in Mathematics, is an award which recognizes outstanding scholastic achievement in courses required for the major.

The second, Graduation with Distinction in Mathematics, is a program which rewards exceptional achievement in mathematics as evidenced by meeting all the requirements for Graduation with Merit and completing certain additional requirements detailed below.

The third, Graduation with Honors in Mathematics, is part of the University Honors Program and includes a substantial general education component as well as most of the requirements for Graduation with Distinction. While Graduation with Merit is automatically conferred on all students who qualify, students must apply to the chair of the Department of Mathematics to participate in either or both of the other programs.

Students interested in these programs should also inquire into the possibility of earning both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in mathematics within five years of study. See Accelerated BS-MS Program.

Graduation with Merit

To graduate with merit in mathematics, a student must complete one of the majors or combined majors offered by mathematics alone or by mathematics in cooperation with another department.

The students program must include at least 32 quarter hours of mathematics or math-computer science courses taken at Western, including Math 225, 304 and 312 and at least 23 approved credits at the 400 level or above. The cumulative GPA for mathematics and math-computer science classes taken at Western must be at least 3.6.

Graduation with Distinction

To graduate with distinction in mathematics, a student must meet all the requirements for graduation with merit in mathematics. Furthermore, the student must successfully complete:

  • A comprehensive examination covering Math 124, 125, 224, 225, 226, 204, 331
  • An approved senior project

The comprehensive examination should be taken no later than the junior year. This examination may be retaken if necessary, but must be passed no later than Fall of the senior year and before beginning the senior project.

The senior project is subject to approval of the Undergraduate Committee and is undertaken under the direction of a faculty member. It includes some independent work, the preparation of a report and a colloquium presentation. The senior project constitutes a course at the 400 level and is letter graded with 4 credits applicable towards the major.

Students interested in graduating with distinction in mathematics should declare their interest to the chair of the Department of Mathematics at an early point in their career at Western in order to receive appropriate advice and guidance.