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 FAQ’s For Undergraduate Math Majors

Q: How do I talk to a Math Department Advisor?

A: Each semester, in preparation for class registration, group advising sessions are held to remove advising holds, as well as optional individual appointments for anyone.  If you’d like to speak to someone during another time of the year, please contact Erin Willis, Undergraduate Student Services Manager at


Q: What is the natural sequence of courses in math?

A: Go through the Calculus sequence (231, 232, 233) then take the “intermediate level courses,” namely 381, 383, 347. Then choose the necessary amount of the 500-level courses. Some deviations from this plan are possible though.  Most all 500-level classes can be taken in any order.


Q: Should I take Linear Algebra in Math 347, Math 577 or both?

A: (Note, Math 547 was renamed Math 347 in Fall 2020; these are the same course – Linear Algebra with Applications)  Most students are advised to take Math 347. It teaches the tools and the power of linear algebra, with little emphasis on the reasonings behind. When you are ready to take 500-level courses, and you like theoretical mathematics, and you liked linear algebra in Math 347 you may decide to learn the theory behind and take Math 577 as one of your 500-level classes. The most theoretically-minded students can skip Math 347 and jump straight to Math 577.


Q: Which 500-level courses should I take?

A: We suggest to explore. Follow your taste, take classes that are natural continuations of classes you enjoyed.  A Math Department Advisor can help make suggestions too.


Q: Should I take Math 521 early or late?

A: Math 521 is a required course. It is challenging, but if you completed Math 381 then you should be ready for it. It is also possible to take a few 500-level classes before 521. Some other 500-level courses have Math 521 as a prereq, if you want to go in that direction you need to take Math 521 early (but after Math 381). The mathematical sophistication you learn in Math 521 will be useful in many other classes, so there are benefits to taking it sooner rather than later.


Q: Can I get credit for both STOR 435 and MATH 535?

A: No.  These are the exact same courses, you can get credit for one or the other.  STOR435 will count the same as MATH 535 on the Tar Heel Tracker, an adjustment should not be required.


Q: Can I get credit for STOR 535?

A: We will count STOR 535 towards the Math major as MATH 535. However, this will require a Tar Heel Tracker adjustment by Dr. David Adalsteinsson. Please note that STOR 535 will count as MATH 535, so you cannot have already taken STOR 435/MATH 535 and then also take STOR 535.


Q: I need a Tar Heel Tracker adjustment – who should I contact?

A: Our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. David Adalsteinsson, submits the Tar Heel Tracker adjustments. If you need an adjustment, please email him at with your request and cc the Undergraduate Student Services Manager,Erin Willis, at Please be sure to include your PID and major.


Q: I am interested in pursuing departmental honors – who should I contact?

A: Please review the Honors requirements listed here. You may also contact our Departmental Honors Advisor, Richard Rimanyi at


Q: I am interested in undergraduate research – who should I contact?

A: To get started, a student should find a willing faculty member to help design and oversee the effort; you can find a list of faculty and their research interests here. Course credit can be obtained through the numbers MATH 296, 691H or 692H (see with the approval of the supervising faculty member, and the Independent Study Coordinator, Richard Rimanyi (


Q: Is the Math BS or Math BS-applied major better for employment?

A: Same. They are both very solid degrees that employers appreciate. We are not aware of any preference employers have between these two. We suggest that you take math courses according to your taste and strengths, and choose your degree based on those.


Q: Which Math courses count towards the new Data Science Minor?

A: Electives for the data science minor can be found at:


Q: Math 515 History of Mathematics is not offered, when will it be offered?

A: Indeed, it has not been offered recently, and may not be offered in the near future. Math 551 Euclidean and Non-euclidean Geometry has some historical and philosophical components.


Q: Will … be offered next summer?

A: Summer classes are usually decided in January and finalized in April. Usually the following 500-level classes are offered in the summers. Summer-1: 521, 528, 528L, 533, 535, 547, 566. Summer-2: 521, 547. 


Q: Will MATH 590 count towards the MATH BS-applied major?

A: For the general BS major – MATH 590 will count as one of the 9 credit hours over 520 courses automatically. For the Applied Math BS we don’t have the >520 requirement but instead a list of classes with 3 from a subset and 2 from a bigger list. The issue is that 590 is not on this list and can’t be because some of the topics of MATH 590 are non-applied. If you are interested in having 590 count towards the MATH BS-applied, this will need to be approved by the DUS, Dr. David Adalsteinsson.