Mathematics Curriculum

View the requirements for an AOC in Mathematics and see sample pathways to graduation.



Area of Concentration Requirements

The core program for students electing a major in Mathematics includes:

  • Three semesters of Calculus
  • Linear Algebra and Advanced Linear Algebra
  • Differential Equations
  • Two semesters of Abstract Algebra
  • Two semesters of Real Analysis
  • Complex Analysis
  • Three semesters of Math Seminar
  • A thesis in mathematics

In addition, students are encouraged to take courses and tutorials in topology, discrete mathematics, graph theory, probability, geometry, and number theory, as well as computer science and other sciences. Finally, students are applauded for forays into other liberal arts courses in the humanities and social sciences.

An essential element of the mathematics program is participation in the Math Seminar, a longstanding New College tradition. Offered every semester, this seminar provides a forum for math majors as well as nonmajors to present a talk on a mathematically-related topic to an audience of students and the math faculty. One of the most important roles of the Math Seminar has been to build a sense of community in the program in addition to honing students’ communication skills.

Students majoring in mathematics are encouraged to participate in summer research programs.

Joint Disciplinary AOC Requirements

For students interested in a slash (minor) in mathematics, the minimum requirements are:

  • Calculus I and II
  • Differential Equations or Calculus III
  • Linear Algebra
  • Two semesters of the following: Abstract Algebra I and II, Real Analysis I and II.
  • One semester of Math Seminar


New College students must satisfy both the requirements of the Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC), New College’s general education program, and the specific requirements for the Area of Concentration (AOC). With so many opportunities each term, the pathway below is provided as an example of how a student could complete the requirements for graduation. We’ve put some checkpoints in place so that you make the most of your time at New College. Each term you’ll meet with a faculty advisor to discuss courses, tutorials, internships, or other academic experiences. Schedule a meeting with your faculty advisor to discuss which courses satisfy the LAC and which satisfy the AOC. Each student completes a Provisional AOC Plan in the fifth contract to select an AOC, and each student submits a Thesis Prospectus/AOC Form in the sixth contract.

A Sample Four-Year Pathway for Mathematics

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 1Calculus I (LAC)First year ISPCalculus II
General College Elective General College Elective
LAC Course 1LAC course 3
LAC Course 2LAC course 4
Year 2Calculus IIIISP Linear Algebra (LAC)
General College Elective General College Elective
Differential EquationsMath seminar (1)
LAC course 5LAC course 6
Year 3Abstract Algebra I*ISPAbstract Algebra II*
General College Elective General College Elective
Math Seminar (2)Complex Analysis*
Advanced Linear Algebra*
Year 4Real Analysis I*Real Analysis II*
Math Seminar (3)Thesis

1) Many students come in with some calculus and start with Calculus II or III. What is represented here is the maximal path (which takes 8 semesters)
2) Starred courses are on a 2 year rotation. This path assumes starting in Fall of an even year

A Sample Two-Year Pathway for Mathematics

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 3Abstract Algebra I*ISPAbstract Algebra II*
Math SeminarGeneral College Elective
General College ElectiveComplex Analysis*
Advanced Linear Algebra*
Year 4Real Analysis I*ISPReal Analysis II*
Math SeminarMath Seminar
General College Elective

Notes: This path is fairly advanced, and may not be realistic for all transfer students.
1) This assumes the transfer student already has credit for Calc I, II and III, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations.
2) In practice, the level at which AA students have taken the basic courses is generally insufficient, and more time is required.
3) Starred courses are on two-year rotation. This path assumes starting in an even year.