Requirements for the Major and Minor in Mathematics (MAT)

Requirements for the  Major in Mathematics (MAT)

The major in Mathematics leads to the Bachelor of Science degree.

Completion of the major typically requires approximately 40 credits, depending on student preparation and choices made.

A. Mathematics and Mathematics-Related Courses

1. Single-variable Calculus: Either MAT 131 and MAT 132, or MAT 125 and MAT 126 and MAT 127, or AMS 151 and AMS 161, or MAT 141 and MAT 142, or MAT 171.  Some or all of this requirement may be fulfilled by an appropriate score on the Mathematics Placement Exam, by AP credit, or by comparable means. If students do not place into MAT 125 or 131 on the basis of the math placement examination, MAT 123 is a required course for the major.

2. Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations: One course in multivariable calculus (MAT 203 or MAT 205 or MAT 307 or AMS 261), one course in introductory linear algebra (MAT 211 or AMS 210), and one course in differential equations (MAT 303 or MAT 305 or MAT 308 or AMS 361).  Students who take both MAT 307 and MAT 308 do not need to take a separate course in linear algebra, since this material is included in those courses.

3. Preparation in the language and logic of mathematics: this requirement can be met by either passing MAT 200 or by passing the MAT 200 challenge examination. (Note: the writing intensive course MAT 200 is a requirement for students in the Secondary Teacher Education Program.)

4. One course in computer literacy: MAT 331 or PHY 277 or CSE 110 or CSE 114 or MEC 111 or ESG 111 or (for students graduating with the Secondary Teacher Education option) MAE 330.
Note: MAT 331 and MAE 330 may be used both here and in Requirement 7.

5. Two courses in algebra: MAT 310 and MAT 312 or MAT 313.

6. Analysis: Students must satisfy either a or b:

a. Three courses in analysis: MAT 319 or MAT 320 and two of the following: MAT 322, MAT 324, MAT 341, MAT 342
b. For students graduating with the Secondary Teacher Education option: MAT 319 or MAT 320.

7. Four mathematics-related courses beyond those taken to satisfy Requirements 2 through 6 (three will suffice if all of them are MAT courses), to be chosen from the following:

B. Upper-Division Writing Requirement

To satisfy the Departmental writing requirement, each student majoring in Mathematics and following the D.E.C., including double majors, must submit an acceptable portfolio of three pieces of writing from upper-division MAT or MAE coursework. Students should aim for completion of the portfolio early in their next-to-last semester to allow time to resolve any difficulties. Late completion may delay graduation. Each portfolio must be submitted no later than the beginning of the final semester, and each piece in it must have been approved by a Departmental faculty member as being mathematically correct and well written.

Students following the Stony Brook Curriculum will fulfill the upper division writing requirement by completing the objectives for Writing within the Discipline (WRTD) and successful completion of MAT 319 or MAT 320 with a grade of C or better.

1. Under special circumstances a student may request the director of undergraduate studies to allow substitution of an equivalent individual program for some or all of these requirements.
2. All courses used to fulfill the requirements for the major must be taken for a letter grade and must be completed with a grade of C or higher.
3. Students whose scores on the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) Advanced Placement Examination are documented earn credits as follows:

  • 4 or 5 on BC examination: credit for MAT 131, MAT 132 (8 credits);
  • 4 or 5 on AB examination: credit for MAT 131 (4 credits);
  • 3 on either examination: 3 credits applicable o graduation but not the major.

4. Students who learned some linear algebra or multivariate calculus before entering Stony Brook should see an advisor in the Undergraduate Mathematics Office. For a student who has had some linear algebra, it may be appropriate to skip MAT 211 and to enroll directly in MAT 310.
5. Six credits of graduate MAT courses may be used in place of un­der­graduate courses in Requirement A7.

 Honors Program in Mathematics

The honors program is open to junior and senior Mathematics majors who have completed at least two upper-division MAT courses with grades of B or higher and who have maintained a 3.00 overall grade point average. A prospective honors major must declare to the director of undergraduate studies an intention to participate in the program before registering for the senior year. 

The program consists of a set of seven MAT courses, at least three of which are not used to fulfill the MAT major requirements. These courses must include: MAT 322 or MAT 324; MAT 401 or MAT 402; a course in algebra other than MAT 310; and MAT 495. Substitution of appropriate graduate courses is permitted, and other substitutions are possible at the discretion of the undergraduate director. Conferral of honors is contingent upon: 

1. Completion of the set of seven courses with a grade point average of at least 3.50;
2. Approval for honors by the faculty member or members who supervise MAT 495.

 Mathematics Secondary Teacher Education Program

See the Education and Teacher Certi­fication entry.

 Requirements for the Minor in Mathematics (MAT)

The minor in Mathematics is available for those students who want their formal university records to emphasize a serious amount of upper-division work in mathematics. Although a one-variable calculus sequence is not a requirement, it is a prerequisite for some of the courses listed below. The requirements listed below do not include single variable calculus or MAT 200 Logic, Language, and Proof; these are prerequisites for some of the courses listed below. 

  1. Either MAT 131 and MAT 132, or MAT 125 and MAT 126 and MAT 127, or AMS 151 and AMS 161, or MAT 141 and MAT 142, or MAT 171.  Some or all of this requirement may be fulfilled by an appropriate score on the Mathematics Placement Exam, by AP credit, or by comparable means.
  2. MAT 211 or AMS 210 or MAT 308
  3. MAT 203 or AMS 261 or MAT 205 or MAT 307
  4. MAT 310 or MAT 312 or MAT 313
  5. MAT 319 or MAT 320 or MAT 341 or MAT 342
  6. Three additional MAT courses numbered 300 or higher (excluding 475)

All courses used to fulfill the requirements for the minor must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher

 Beginning Mathematics Courses

The Mathematics curriculum begins with a choice of calculus sequences, some including preparatory material from 12th-year mathematics in high school and some not. The three first-term calculus courses that assume knowledge of 12th-year mathematics are MAT 125, MAT 131, MAT 141 and AMS 151. A student may start any of these with the same background.

The three-semester sequence of one-variable calculus, MAT 125MAT 126, MAT 127, is academically equivalent to the two-semester sequence MAT 131, MAT 132. Engineering students normally take the faster-paced MAT 131, MAT 132, or AMS 151, AMS 161 rather than MAT 125, MAT 126, MAT 127 because of the many requirements they must meet. MAT 141, MAT 142 is an enriched version of MAT 131, MAT 132. MAT 171 is a version of MAT 142 for students who have not taken MAT 141; offered only in the fall semester. 
MAT 122 and MAT 123 combine precalculus and calculus for students who have not had a precalculus course in high school. A student who completes MAT 122 will have learned some precalculus material and will have a good idea of what calculus is and how it is used. MAT 123 is designed to lead into MAT 125 or MAT 131. Although MAT 122 is not designed as preparation for further calculus courses, students may follow that course with MAT 125 or MAT 131 if they take the one-credit course MAT 130 in the same semester as MAT 125 or MAT 131
MAT 118 is a non-calculus course that surveys various topics in mathematics that do not require a background in precalculus or calculus; it is designed for students who do not intend to take further courses in mathematics. 
For students whose high school preparation is insufficient to begin the MAT curriculum, or to enroll in another course applicable to the D.E.C. category C requirement, Mathematical and Statis­tical Reasoning, there are two review courses numbered MAP 101 and MAP 103. These courses do not carry graduation credit. MAP 103, a skills course, is for students who need further work in high school algebra and related topics before continuing with calculus or other mathematics. Some students, upon completing MAP 103, are able to pass the Mathe­matics Placement Examination at a level that allows them to go directly into MAT 125 or MAT 131.


The Department of Mathematics offers a placement examination which indicates the level of mathematical preparation of each student. The score on the examination is used to place the student in appropriate courses in mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics, biology, computer science, chemistry, and physics. It tests the student's skills at the time the test is taken; students are advised to review their mathematics beforehand. 

A student who wishes to use the placement examination to fulfill D.E.C. Category C, the QPS objective of the S.B.C, or other graduation-related requirements or Skill 1, or if they have been or wish to be accepted into a major in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, must take a proctored version of the examination. This examination is given regularly to incoming students prior to orientation, as well as several times during the academic year and by appointment with the Mathematics Department.  An unproctored, online version of the exam can be given in the case where taking the proctored version prior to orientation is impractical; this version of the exam can be used only for registration purposes and may not be used to fulfill graduation requirements.

The placement exam consists of several parts; not all students will take all parts of the exam. Part I covers high school algebra, Part II deals with 12th year high school Mathematics (precalculus), and Part III covers single-variable calculus. The outcome of the test is one of nine levels: 

Outcome                                             Placement

Level 1                                     MAP 101 
Level 2                                     MAP 103 
Level 2+                                   MAT 118 and Skill 1 or statistics 
Level 3                                     MAT 118MAT 123 or statistics 
Level 4                                     MAT 125 
Level 5                                     MAT 131 or MAT 141 or AMS 151 
Level 6                                     MAT 126 
Level 7                                     MAT 132 or MAT 142 or MAT 171 or AMS 161 
Level 8                                     MAT 127 or MAT 132 or MAT 171 or MAT 142 or AMS 161 
Level 9                                     Beyond 100-level calculus

Levels 1-3 can be achieved by a sufficiently high score on Part I, and levels 4-5 can be achieved by a sufficiently high score on Part II, and attaining levels 6-9 requires sufficiently high scores on Parts II and III. The entry skill in mathematics requirement may be satisfied by attaining a score of level 3 or higher on the proctored exam. The general education requirement for Mathematics (the Stony Brook Curriculum QPS objective, or D.E.C. category C) may be satisfied by attaining a score of level 6 or higher on the proctored exam. Certain majors will also accept a sufficiently high score on the proctored exam in lieu of required math courses. 

A student who achieves a particular level is free to begin with a mathematics course corresponding to a lower level, so long as taking the course does not mean that credit is given for the same material twice.

 Transfer Credit

When they enter, transfer students automatically receive credit toward graduation at Stony Brook for any courses they have already successfully completed at accredited institutions of higher education and that count toward graduation at that institution. The number of credits transferred appears on the Stony Brook transcript with no courses or grades indicated, and the number of transferred credits is unaffected by the student's score on the Mathematics Placement Examination. In some cases, a course designator ending in PQ (such as MAT 131PQ) may be placed on the student's transcript. In addition, transferred mathematics courses are automatically evaluated for applicability to the entry skill in mathematics requirement and the D.E.C. category C requirement; this evaluation does not depend on the result of the placement examination.