Mathematics has long been regarded as a natural component of a liberal arts education because of its strongly analytical, problem-solving emphasis. More recently, our technological and data-driven society has brought increased recognition of the importance of mathematical and statistical reasoning, making a mathematics, statistics or actuarial science major (or a math, math teaching or stats minor) an excellent choice for anyone considering a career in industry, scientific research, data analysis, predictive modeling, engineering or education.

At Northwestern, we believe that the utility of mathematics for those and other fields follows from its power as a universal language. Mathematics and statistics courses offered here are designed to develop and sharpen your skills in this language in part because increased mathematical understanding can bring an increased awareness of and appreciation for the order behind God’s creation and for the attributes of God reflected in creation.

We also believe that mathematics is one and eternal, shining forth from the mind of God. That we can comprehend some part of mathematics is evidence that human beings are created in the image of God. That the one and eternal God has enabled our mathematical discovery is an excellent reason to deepen our understanding of mathematics.

Math department homepage


MAT 112QR - Calculus I
(4 credits) (NWCore option under Quantitative Reasoning) This course is a study of functions, limits, derivatives and integrals with a strong emphasis on both theory and applications. Note: Meets four times per week. Prerequisites: C- or higher in MAT109, or an ACT math score of at least 24 (SAT 570 or above), or permission of mathematics department chair.
MAT 180WI - Logic and Discrete Mathematics
(3 credits)(Writing intensive) An introduction to the language and logic of mathematical proof via topics in discrete mathematics. Topics will include logic, elementary number theory, basic set theory and methods of mathematical proof (direct proof, indirect proof, induction). Note: Other topics will be chosen from counting, functions, relations, recursion and graph theory. Prerequisite: C- or better in MAT 112QR or permission of instructor.
MAT 211 - Calculus II
A study of transcendental functions, techniques of integration, improper integration, sequences, series, polar coordinates and conic sections.Prerequisite: C- or better in MAT112 or permission of instructor.(4 credits)
MAT 212 - Calculus III
A study of the cylindrical and spherical coordinate systems, vectors in two dimensions and three dimensions, vector valued functions, functions of several variables, multiple integration, and vector calculus.Prerequisite: C- or better in MAT211 or permission of instructor.(4 credits)
MAT 316 - Probability and Statistics I
A post-calculus course in probability and statistics, which develops the theory of discrete and continuous distributions, expected value, random variables and inferential statistics. Prerequisites: C- or better in MAT116QR, 117QR, or 208QR and MAT112QR or permission of instructor. (3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
MAT 317 - Linear Algebra
A study of the algebra of matrices and vector spaces including matrix operations, systems of equations, determinants, properties of real vector spaces, eigenvalues and eigenvectors.Prerequisite: C- or better in MAT112 and 180 or permission of instructor.(3 credits)
MAT 375 - Econometrics with Regression Analysis
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of econometric analysis. The primary focus is on simple and multiple linear regressions using cross-sectional data and time series regressions. We will also discuss regression analysis using panel data. Rather than theoretical statistics, the course will emphasize application by using statistical packages and interpreting the output. Prerequisites: MAT111QR or MAT112QR and MAT116QR or MAT117QR. (4 credits) Cross-referenced in economics.
MAT 416 - Probability and Statistics II
A continuation of Probability and Statistics I. Emphasis will be placed on functions of random variables and sampling distributions.Prerequisite: MAT316.(3 credits, alternate years, consult department)
MAT 445 - Statistical Design
A course focusing on the theory and objectives critical to the design and implementation of sound statistical experiments and surveys, including survey and experimental methods. Emphasis on sampling techniques, instrument design, reliability and validity. Prerequisite: MAT 375. (3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
MAT 450SR - Mathematical Minds
This course will provide you with a survey of some of the fascinating and critical ideas in mathematics, including historical proofs of some results which are familiar to you through your previous mathematical study as well as some results which will be new to you. We will also spend a significant amount of time discussing connections between mathematics and the Christian faith, and we'll take a look into the background of the mathematically and scientifically significant number 0, which has had its own theological issues. And you'll explore the contributions of the various parts of your college experience to the goals of the IGE program and your progress in establishing personal commitments and a sense of vocation. Prerequisites: grade of C- or better in MAT211 or permission of instructor. (2 credits)

Choose one course:

MAT 330 - Data Validation
A course building student skills in working with large data sets gathered from real-world studies and experiments. Students will learn and experience best practices for data-type, range, constraint, code, cross-reference, structured, and textual validation. Prerequisites: CSC 170 and MAT 375. (3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
MAT 385 - Advanced Regression Analysis
A course building on simple and multiple linear regression analysis to introduce multivariate analysis, logistic regression, moderation, matric formulation, residual analysis, transformations, regression diagnostics, multicollinearity, and variable selection techniques. Prerequisite: MAT 375. (3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
MAT 435 - Bayesian Analysis
An introduction to Bayesian statistical modeling and inference and related computational strategies and algorithms, including posterior and predictive inference; Bayesian models in applications; methods of prior elicitation; and computation, visualization, and analysis of real-world data. Prerequisites: MAT 116QR and MAT 180WI. (3 credits; alternate years, consult department)

Cognate requirements:

CSC 170 - Statistical Programming
In today's data-driven world, statistical literacy and data analysis are increasingly important skills. This course introduces students to the fundamental aspects of programming, such as data types, procedural abstraction, control structures, and iteration, with a focus on the application of these concepts to statistics and data analysis. Topics will include the programmatic implementation of summary statistics, correlation, linear modeling, and clustering. A statistics-focused language, such as R, is covered in-depth for the purpose of gaining mastery of these principles. Prerequisites: C- or better in MAT 090 or Math ACT subscore of 20 or above (SAT 510 or above). (4 credits)
CSC 291 - Database Management Systems
This course examines database concepts, theory, design and management. Emphasis will be on the relational model. Topics will also include normalization, query languages, database recovery and security aspects. This course will include experience with a relational database system and programming database access into computer applications via a high-level programming language.Prerequisite: CSC171.(4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
CSC 310 - Data Visualization
Data visualization provides insight into unfamiliar data sets, identifies issues in statistical models, and helps effectively communicate results. This course will focus on all of these aspects, starting with exploratory and evaluative techniques and progressing to creating professional, publication-quality visualizations. The classroom experience will alternate between discussion of best practices and case studies and hands-on learning of industry-standard visualization programming librarie, and culminate with a comprehensive visualization project. Prerequisites: CSC 170 or CSC 171QR. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)

Total credits required: 49