Physics class

Mathematicians are creative. They find solutions for old problems—and discover new problems as well. You’ll see evidence of God as you study math at Northwestern because mathematical laws describe the workings of the universe—and its divine order and constancy.

Academic programs

The diverse courses of Northwestern’s math and physics departments will teach you both analytical and creative problem-solving skills. Together those add up so you equal an attractive candidate, whether you’re headed to the job market or graduate school.  Explore programs


Northwestern’s full-time math faculty all hold doctorates in specializations that range from math education to Fourier-Feynman Transforms. One, Dr. Tim Huffman, is the entrepreneurial developer of ADAPT, which is used by actuarial exam prep company Coaching Actuaries.  Explore faculty

Success stats

Northwestern's actuarial science degree is ranked 26th on a list of the nation's 30 best-value programs. NWC is 1 of only 2 Iowa institutions to be ranked and is the only Christian college on the list, which was compiled by College Values Online in 2021. Northwestern is also 1 of just 14 Christian colleges that have met the requirements for recognition by the Society of Actuaries on their exclusive list of Universities & Colleges with Actuarial Programs (UCAP). Of those 14, Northwestern is 1 of just 3 to achieve the UCAP-AC (Advanced Curriculum) level of recognition. (Northwestern is approved for Exams P, FM, MFE and MLC.) Northwestern actuarial science students have, on average, passed 2 actuarial exams by the time they graduate. Our actuarial graduates’ overall exam pass rate is 80%, compared to national pass rates of around 50%.

Emma Wilson

By the numbers

Emma says the challenge of majoring in math has pushed her to work harder and develop new strategies for learning well—things that will undoubtedly benefit her in the future.

Emma's story

Ryan Van Ostrand

Visualizing data

Northwestern’s math professors taught Ryan to be a lifelong learner, confident in facing technologies and problems as he makes data understandable to others.

Ryan's story

Alex Vander Stoep

Economic man

Northwestern’s strong ties to Alex’s current employer paved the way to a competitive internship, and later, a full-time position.

Alex's story

Laura Hurley

Preparing to serve

Laura was a triple major at Northwestern who took advantage of cross-cultural experiences in Nebraska, Nicaragua and Ecuador. She is now pursuing a joint M.D. and master’s degree in public health with a goal of becoming a family medicine physician.

Laura's story

Abigail Thompson

Seeking Security

Abigail is pursuing a master’s degree in security and intelligence studies as preparation for a career in counterterrorism.

Abigail's story

Abby Korthals

She’s got it covered

Abby's Northwestern experiences, including an actuarial internship at Principal Financial Group, gave her an impressive résumé and got her a job at Nationwide Insurance shortly after graduation.

Abby's story