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NIU Mathematics Departmental Honors Program

The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers its best students majoring in mathematical sciences the opportunity to earn a degree with honors in any of the six emphases (general mathematics, applied mathematics, computational mathematics, mathematics education, probability and statistics, and actuarial science) offered by the department. This is noted on the student's transcript and becomes part of their permanent record.

Note: You do not need to participate in the University Honors Program to achieve Departmental Honors in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.


To earn Departmental Honors, you must fulfill the following requirements:

(1) Maintain at least a 3.00 GPA in all courses and at least a 3.50 GPA for mathematical science courses numbered 300 and above.

(2) Take at least four mathematical sciences honors courses numbered 300 and above, including a two course sequence at the 400 level. Usually you can make arrangements with your instructors in these courses to offer an extra honors component to the course. This could take the form of an additional meeting each week to discuss additional topics in the course or to deepen your understanding of the material in the regular syllabus. Most instructors are happy to arrange such an honors experience. In a few courses (MATH 420, 421, 430, 431, in particular), honors courses may be listed in the fall and spring schedules, but a contract arrangement with an instructor is more common.

The honors sequences from which a sequence appropriate for the student's emphasis may be chosen are:
MATH 420H-MATH 421H (Algebra I and II)
MATH 420H-MATH 423H (Algebra I and Linear and Multilinear Algebra)
MATH 430H-MATH 431H (Advanced Calculus I and II)
MATH 434H-MATH 435H (Numerical Linear Algebra and Numerical Analysis)
STAT 470H-STAT 472H (Intro to Probability Theory and Intro to Mathematical Statistics)

(3) Prepare a senior honors paper on a suitable topic, under the direction of a mathematical sciences faculty member selected by you. This can occur in the context of one of your honors program courses or independently of them. If you are in the University Honors Program, your capstone project, as long as it is done in mathematical sciences, can also serve as the senior honors paper. Many students find that the preparation of this paper is an extremely rewarding way to complete their undergraduate experience.

How to Participate

If you would like to consider participating in the Departmental Honors Program for the emphasis general mathematics, applied mathematics, computational mathematics, or mathematics education, please see Prof. James Benson in Watson Hall 366. Those who seek honors in Probablity and Statistics would see Prof. Sanjib Basu in DuSable Hall 366B and those who seek honors in Actuarial Science would also see Prof. Sanjib Basu in DuSable Hall 366B.

Other Web Sites of Interest

Mathematical Science Career Information page is a page maintained by the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Science, Math, and Engineering Career Site contains career information for "scientists and would-be scientists at all levels, from high school students through Nobel laureates."

History of Mathematics maintained by St. Andrews University, Scotland.

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Last modified: 11/18/2015 (zjy)