The Mathematics Minor


The mathematics minor is available to undergraduate students majoring in other disciplines across the university who have an interest in studying mathematics. Students planning a minor in mathematics may seek advice on course selection from Prof. Xiaodong Cao, director of undergraduate studies.

How to Apply

Download the Math Minor Application (a fillable PDF form), complete the first page*, and send it to the undergraduate coordinator using Secure File Transfer. Minor applications will be reviewed and processed on a weekly basis, and students will receive an email confirmation when they are admitted to the minor. A student may be provisionally admitted to the minor when the last prerequisite course is in progress.

*Please limit your responses to the allotted space. Longer responses may be cut off.

Student Grade Option

Courses must be taken for a letter grade in order to count toward admission to the math minor or to satisfy any math minor requirement.

Transfer Credit

Courses taken at another institution may be used to satisfy the math minor prerequisites and to replace at most one course toward the minor requirements. These courses must be approved for transfer credit and appear on the Cornell transcript with Cornell course equivalents.

See transferring credit from another institution for more information.

Minor Prerequisites

Students are admitted to the minor after successfully completing:

  • a semester of linear algebra — MATH 2210, 2230, or 2940 with a grade of B– or better; and
  • a semester of multivariable calculus — MATH 2220, 2240, or 1920 with a grade of B– or better.

The department recommends MATH 2210-2220 or MATH 2230-2240.

While it is not recommended for students planning a math minor, MATH 2310 with a grade of B+ or better may be accepted as a substitute for MATH 2210.

Credit for MATH 1920 may be obtained by passing a placement exam during orientation; however, a score equivalent to a B- or better is required to satisfy the prerequisite for the math minor. Students who score below a B- and wish to join the minor may not attempt the exam a second time but should instead enroll in a multivariable calculus course.

Students who receive below the minimum grade in one of the prerequisite courses should contact the undergraduate coordinator immediately.

Minor Requirements

Students must complete four 3000- or 4000-level MATH courses. Only courses with a MATH prefix or cross-listed as such are allowed; no substitutions. At least one of the four courses must be at the 4000 level or above. At least one course must be in algebra and one in analysis. Eligible algebra and analysis courses are listed below. A course may be counted toward the minor only if it is taken for a letter grade and a grade of C– or better is received for the course.

Algebra Courses

  • MATH 3320 - Introduction to Number Theory
  • MATH 3340 - Abstract Algebra
  • MATH 3360 - Applicable Algebra
  • MATH 4310 - Linear Algebra
  • MATH 4315 - Linear Algebra with Supplements (discontinued)
  • MATH 4330 - Honors Linear Algebra
  • MATH 4340 - Honors Introduction to Algebra
  • MATH 4370 - Computational Algebra
  • MATH 4500 - Matrix Groups
  • MATH 4560 - Geometry of Discrete Groups (discontinued)

Analysis Courses

  • MATH 3110 - Introduction to Analysis
  • MATH 3210 - Manifolds and Differential Forms
  • MATH 3230 - Introduction to Differential Equations (discontinued)
  • MATH 3270 - Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations
  • MATH 4130 - Honors Introduction to Analysis I
  • MATH 4140 - Honors Introduction to Analysis II
  • MATH 4180 - Complex Analysis
  • MATH 4200 - Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems
  • MATH 4210 - Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos [also MAE 5790]
  • MATH 4220 - Applied Complex Analysis
  • MATH 4250 - Numerical Analysis and Differential Equations [also CS 4210]
  • MATH 4260 - Numerical Analysis: Linear and Nonlinear Problems [also CS 4220]
  • MATH 4280 - Introduction to Partial Differential Equations

Forbidden Overlaps: Due to an overlap in content, students will receive credit for only one course in each group:(1) MATH 3110, 4130; (2) MATH 3230, 4280; (3) MATH 3340, 3360; (4) MATH 3340, 4340; (5) MATH 4180, 4220; (6) MATH 4200, 4210; (7) MATH 4310, 4315, 4330; (8) MATH 4710, ECON 3130, BTRY 3080; (9) MATH 4720, ECON 3130, BTRY 4090; (10) MATH 4810, 4860. Courses with overlapping content are not necessarily equivalent courses, so it should not be assumed that one course in a group will substitute for another. When in doubt, ask.


Contact Michelle Klinger (Undergraduate Coordinator).