Declare a Major in Mathematics

When to Declare

  • Ideally, you should declare the major as soon as possible, in order to take advantage of departmental advising in creating and refining each semester your own 4 year plan.
  • UWM does require students to complete 15 university credits before declaring a major, but recommends the major be declared before a student earns 75 credits.
  • We recommend you have completed at least the first semester of Calculus before declaring.
  • You are welcome to make an advising appointment before becoming eligible to declare, so we may assist you in planning. See below for advising contact info.

Advising Appointment to Declare the Major

  • To declare the major you must request an appointment with one of the Undergraduate Advisors—the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies (math-assoc-chair@uwm.edu) or the Assistant Chair (math-asst-chair@uwm.edu).
  • At that appointment, the Assoc/Asst Chair will be able to answer your preliminary questions about the major.
  • You, in turn, will be asked about your background, your current interests, and your long-range plans, so that you may be assigned a departmental faculty advisor qualified to help you create a fulfilling program appropriate to your interests and goals.

Advising for Majors

Once you have declared your major, you will have access to three different advisors:

  • Your L&S college advisor, who will help you with your overall degree requirements;
  • The department’s Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies (or the Assistant Chair), who will answer any questions that come up regarding technical aspects of the major (e.g., which courses satisfy which requirements);
  • And your major advisor, a faculty member who can help you plan a coherent array of courses within the major and generally act as a mentor to you.

Selecting a major advisor will be easy for you if you have already encountered a faculty member whom you like and respect, and with whom you feel comfortable. If you have not yet met a professor that you would want as an advisor, you will have the opportunity to discuss with the Assoc/Asst Chair your particular requirements and wishes.

You should plan to meet with your advisor once a semester, before registering for classes, to talk over your progress in the major and your plans for future classes. (If you should forget the name, phone number, or e-mail address of your advisor, simply contact the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies.)

A good sequence for majors to follow in planning each semester’s course array would be:

  • First see what courses you need to fulfill specific requirements and which of those are being offered in the upcoming semester.
  • Then, go to the online schedule and check what courses will be offered. The course descriptions should help you to refine your choices.
  • Next, talk over those choices with your major advisor to get his/her feedback and/or attend the Mathematical Sciences department “Open Advising” event, which happens right before registration for classes begins for each semester.

Remember to do all this early enough so as not to be closed out of any courses you may want or need.