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Mathematics & Statistics


A subject with rigor and beauty.

Mathematics and Statistics hold the power to foster abstract thinking, problem-solving skills, and the ability to identify and communicate patterns. Those are also hallmarks of a liberal arts education. So it makes sense that the two blend perfectly at Whitman College. Our Math major immerses students in foundational concepts of mathematics and statistics in a vibrant and rigorous academic environment. Whitman Math majors enjoy accessible faculty, wide-ranging research opportunities and a well-rounded liberal arts education. Our Math majors go on to graduate school or the job market with the skills to construct powerful arguments and create solutions across disciplines.

3 Reasons to Study Math & Statistics at Whitman

Learn in a Collaborative Community

Whitman’s Mathematics and Statistics program prides itself on its interactive and collaborative academic environment. Here, you’ll have warm professors, thoughtfully designed courses, peer assistance in the Mathematics Computer Lab and opportunities to co-author research papers with faculty. There’s even an annual banquet to bring Math majors together.

Fine-Tune Your Academic Interests

Whether you love math for its abstract logic or its application to real-world problems, you can pursue a path that speaks to you. Whitman’s flexible program offers Mathematics-Physics, Mathematics-Statistics and Economics-Mathematics combined majors, as well as a Data Science minor. Or you can create a combined major of your own.

Get Ready for Graduate School

At Whitman, you’ll enjoy personalized research experiences and close working relationships with professors as you develop the skills needed to take your education to the next level. Plus, you can build your resume with campus employment, internships, tutoring opportunities and leadership positions in campus clubs.

Interested in Math & Statistics?

We’d love to send you information, including more on academic majors and student life at our beautiful campus in Walla Walla, Washington.

Kylie R., math major

“I’m hoping to enter a career in data management. My classes at Whitman have provided me with many experiences in data analysis and practice working with complex and applicable problems that will help me in a mathematics career down the road.”

Our Whitman Student Voices Blog

Courses in Math & Statistics

See just a few of the fascinating courses you might take.

Laptop and charts
MATH 215

Introduction to Data Science

This course empowers you to tell the story of big data. Through readings, discussions and projects, you’ll learn the approaches and tools of exploratory data analysis and visualization. Prepare to transform raw data into usable form while honing your communication skills and debating the ethical uses of data.

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MATH 240

Linear Algebra

Highly recommended by Math majors, this course considers solutions to interrelated linear equations. It launches your thinking into abstract settings and central topics like matrices, determinants, vector spaces and linear transformations. Bring your existing math knowledge from prior classes to bear on these new and valuable concepts.

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Image of statistical papers laid out with highlighters and magnifying glass laying on top.
MATH 247

Statistics With Applications

This course focuses on introducing statistical concepts through active learning assignments. You’ll learn about data collection and exploration, methods of statistical inference, and how to draw appropriate conclusions. Plus, you’ll get hands-on practice with the widely used statistical software R.

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MATH 260

An Introduction to Higher Mathematics

Start your exploration of advanced mathematics, including number theory, here. This course introduces the concepts and methodology of higher mathematics while centering the notions of rigor and proof. It’s a valuable course for anyone pursing a Mathematics-Statistics major.

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MATH 339

Operations Research

When you’re in charge of allocating scarce resources to a system, the stakes can be high. You’ll need to use operations research, a scientific approach to determining the best path forward. This course covers different deterministic models that can be used in operations research, including those in linear programming.

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MATH 367

Engineering Mathematics

This course covers the math you’ll use in engineering and physics applications. It’s a fascinating course for Mathematics-Physics majors and pre-engineering students, covering topics like vector analysis, boundary value problems and spectral representations.

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Combined Majors

Counting money.


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graph charts.


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Amazing Experiences You Can Pursue

Go for a semester abroad. Want to study Mathematics through a different cultural lens? Math majors can get a global college experience through the challenging and prestigious Budapest Semesters in Mathematics partner program or one of Whitman’s many other off-campus study opportunities.

Kick-start your engineering career. Through our 3/2 Engineering Program, pre-engineering students can spend their first three years at Whitman getting a foundational liberal arts education, followed by two years at one of our prestigious partner schools, like Caltech, Columbia or the University of Washington.

Build your research portfolio. Math majors regularly conduct research with Whitman faculty, including recent projects on jet engines, Java programming for the game of Hex, and location modeling problems. Math majors can also undertake their own senior capstone research project or apply for a funded summer Research Experience for Undergraduates.

Your Questions Answered

A Math major is a great path for people who love math, complex problem solving and abstract reasoning. Depending on your career goals, it also combines well with other science disciplines. Double majors that work well with math include Economics, Physics, Statistics and Computer Science, for instance.

There are a lot of great careers for Math majors. Your ability to think abstractly, reason well, communicate clearly and collaborate on practical applications will give you marketable skills for many meaningful career paths. Math majors have found rewarding careers in business, data science, education, engineering, finance, law, medicine, statistics, telecommunications and more. And a Math major will prepare you for further study and research in graduate school if that’s your path.

You can’t do data science without math. But with a Data Science minor, you can get a basic grounding in the concepts of data science and the tools of computer science with relatively few Mathematics courses.

Why choose? A Mathematics-Physics combined major can provide you with a strong foundation in both disciplines. Many students pursue this option because they are deeply interested in both subjects. A combined major can help you develop critical thinking skills, become a confident communicator, and develop insight into the applied and theoretical underpinnings of both subjects.

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