Mathematics is fun, challenging, and rewarding. It is logical yet creative.
It is important for applications yet enjoyable in its own right. As you
learn more about mathematics, you will see that the logical structure
of theorems, proofs, and classifications has a certain aesthetic appeal.
And mathematics seeks ultimate and eternal truths. Once we know something
is true, it can never be false.
The adventure of mathematics is thrilling, yet it is difficult to find the starting place on your own.
In the Pepperdine University Math major, we serve as guides to start you
on your way to discovering more and more mathematics. Once you start on
this journey, your life may never be the same.
What can I do after I graduate?
 You can continue to pursue mathematics formally, by enrolling in
graduate school, and becoming a mathematician. You might teach at a
college or university, or become a part of a private think tank, or
work for one of many engineering and cryptographic companies and
government agencies. At any rate, you can be one of many people
making new and amazing discoveries every year. Read more about
preparing for graduate school.
 You can go into industry. Mathematics majors are hot commodities
in the workplace, because employers know that the mathematics degree
is a degree in critical, creative, and logical thinking. Many
engineering, biotech, actuarial, and computer companies need employees
with mathematical knowledge, and many more of the same want employees
who know how to think and solve problems. Some math majors become
very successful management consultants, doctors, and lawyers for this
reason. Read more about careers in mathematics.
 You can teach mathematics at the secondary school level. At Pepperdine,
we require prospective teachers to be mathematics majors because we feel
it is the only way to ensure the continued high level of excellence of
mathematics teachers graduating from Pepperdine. Mathematics teachers are
in very high demand around the world, but especially in California. Many
high school students graduate without basic mathematical skills, and without
an appreciation for mathematics. A major reason for this is the lack of
good math teachers. You can make a difference to many
children and teens in a society that demands more and more mathematics of
our students, while preparing them less and less. Read more about
secondary school teacher education.
 Mathematics is also a good background for many other fields. Some
mathematics majors end up becoming physicists, chemists, biologists,
engineers, computer scientists, linguists, lawyers, doctors, managers, and
so on. A background in mathematics is often viewed extremely highly in all
of these fields, and math graduates often do very well in these fields.
 Mathematics is a good
Premed major, and math majors enjoy higher acceptance rates to medical
school than many more traditional majors like biology.
How much can I expect to make?
Of course, it all depends on what career you choose, but
the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported in 1999 that
the average starting salary for a mathematics major with a bachelor's degree
was $37,300 a year, for those with a masters degree, $42,000, and for
those with a Ph.D., $58,900.
In addition, USA Today
reported that the average mathematician over the age of 30 earns
$52,316, which is second only to engineers, who earn on average
$52,998.
For more information about career opportunities, see the
Bureau of Labor
Statistics.
Can the math program help me develop a personal philosophy of life?
While you are a student at Pepperdine, you will learn a broad range of
ideas and experience the world through many ways. Mathematics can help
you think clearly and critically about ideas you encounter. In fact,
mathematics is in many ways a branch of philosophy. Plato required it
of those who would study under him. Descartes used it as a foundation
in his quest to know what is real and what we know is real. In the
20th century Godel's work sent shock waves through the philosophical
community. Many of our students took some time to explore the implications
of mathematics in theology, cosmology, and epistemology. Many students
have also mentioned its importance in learning truth and avoiding error
in their religious pursuits.
Why should I major in math?
Because it's challenging. Because it's beautiful. Because it's important.
Because it's there.
