Mathematics Major and Minor | Degree in Mathematics | Pepperdine University | Seaver College

Mathematics Major and Minor

Math majors talk through solving a problem - Math Degree

Our mathematics program is designed to prepare students for careers in both teaching and industry. Students who complete mathematics major or minor programs have historically been viewed by employers as being well prepared for jobs that require problem solving and creative thinking skills.

Mathematics Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics: This degree provides students with broad exposure to disciplines in mathematics. Many of our students in this major enroll in either graduate programs in the mathematical sciences or professional schools (like law and medicine). Our two minors are popular among students majoring in both science and non-science disciplines.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics Education: This degree prepares students for a career in secondary education (grades 9-12) as mathematics educators.

Minors in Mathematics 

  • Minor in Mathematics: The mathematics minor provides students with a foundation in both abstract reasoning and computation fluency. Students completing a math minor have strong problem solving and critical thinking skills. A minor in mathematics is excellent preparation for students wishing to pursue law school, computer science, elementary education, economics, and many other careers that depend on an ability to think and communicate logically and clearly.
  • Minor in Applied Mathematics: The applied mathematics minor is an excellent complement to such majors as economics, business, computer science, chemistry, physics, biology and sports medicine. It is designed to give students a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and a more robust set of quantitative reasoning skills, which are increasingly important in the fields of business and the physical sciences.

Beyond Classes

Research with Faculty

Each faculty member partners with students in discovery research ranging from chemical analysis, organic chemistry synthesis, atmospheric/environmental chemistry, natural products discovery, medicinal chemistry, and making biodegradable plastics. Experiments are conducted year-round with extra emphasis in the summer. Research students often present their research at regional or national American Chemical Society meetings. Outstanding students who have completed a body of novel work write and defend an Honors Thesis earning the distinction on their transcript of "Honors in Chemistry." In the past five years, over 10 students have successfully defended their Honors Theses.

Opportunities Beyond the Classroom

A wide range of extra-curricular activities are available to students from serving as a teaching assistant, contributing to the General Chemistry tutoring staff, research assistant, and participating in our Chemistry Club, just to name a few. Students who have demonstrated excellence in their laboratory and classroom work are often selected as teaching assistants who work closely with the faculty and students together guiding students through teaching laboratory experiments. Other excellent students are often selected to be members of the elite General Chemistry Tutor staff, directly contributing to the education of the students enrolled in General Chemistry courses.

Chem Club (Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society, SAACS)

We host an award-winning Student Affiliates Chapter of the American Chemical Society (Chem Club) where students can be leaders in the Pepperdine community and the community at large, bringing fun and educational science to the young and not-so-young. The Chem Club's activities span department and campus-wide events and include social activities, campus and community outreach, and science experiments beyond the curriculum. Whether it's hosting a chemistry outreach event at a local elementary school or making gallons of Oobleck to run across, the Chem Club members are community leaders sharing chemistry with others. National Chemistry Week in October each year has included a number of activities from Kitchen Chemistry to sharing a Periodic Table of Cupcakes to synthesizing fluorescent Quantum Dot nanoparticles. Making Dippin' Dots ice cream with liquid nitrogen has been a longstanding activity in partnerships with Colleges against Cancer, Earth Day, and other community projects. The Chem Club has received multiple awards from the American Chemical Society for its accomplishments on and off campus.

Stauffer Challenge Grant

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Next Steps for Graduates

Over the past five years, Pepperdine chemistry majors have been highly successful in securing employment or in completing advanced degrees in graduate and medical schools. For those directly entering the job market, just under 20 percent are employed in the chemical, biochemical, or engineering industries, and an additional 15 percent have taken their problem solving and data management skills into other fields.

The critical thinking and technical skills acquired during completion of a chemistry degree are desirable to a wide range of fields including:

agro-chemical synthesis hazardous waste management and disposal
chemical engineering laboratory support and management
chemical analysis oceanography
chemical safety petrochemical and polymer industries
computer and information technology pharmaceutical research
environmental monitoring radiology/MRI
geochemistry surface science and semiconductors

Visit the American Chemical Society for additional career options afforded by a chemistry degree.

Preparation for Medical School and Graduate School

Over 35 percent of our graduates have been admitted to health professional schools (MD and DO medical schools, dental and pharmacy school) while approximately 25 percent have been admitted to graduate school in chemistry, engineering, law, and education. Our graduates are accepted in to some of the finest institutions for advanced studies after graduation. Many of our former students have been awarded nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships in graduate school.

Recommended International Study

The experiences of a summer study program and overseas travel provide another dimension of a unique liberal arts education. For students in the Natural Science Division, we often recommend summer study abroad experiences for scheduling reasons.

Our international programs are designed to provide all students—regardless of major—the opportunity to study, live, and travel overseas without interrupting other studies or postponing a career. This offers students a unique opportunity to gain both an academic and a personal understanding of other cultures, institutions, and languages. Learn more and check out the Summer Special Interest Programs.

Visit International Programs

Secondary Teaching Credential

Students who plan to teach science in secondary schools should complete their chemistry degree and a California Teaching Credential.

Learn more about our teaching credential program

Student Testimonials