Mathematical and Scientific Computation at UC Davis

Mathematical and Scientific Computation

Major and minor

The mathematical and scientific computation major is the ideal choice for students who are interested in the interplay between mathematical theory and modern computational tools for applications. Students will attain an advanced knowledge of computer science, specifically programming. Moreover, they will gain a solid foundation in mathematics that will enable them to model or analyze complicated systems or problems, such as earthquakes, economic models or biological systems. The major has two emphases. The computational and mathematical biology emphasis is geared for students interested in using mathematics to model biological systems, addressing such questions as how proteins cluster, how populations grow, or how species and ecosystems interact and evolve. Students interested in other sciences, pure mathematics or engineering should choose the computation and mathematics emphasis.

Real World Outcomes

A degree in mathematical and scientific computation provides entry to many careers, including teaching. Operations research, systems analysis, computing, actuarial work, insurance, and financial services are only a few of the careers that make extensive use of mathematics. A knowledge of mathematics can also form a solid intellectual basis for graduate work in a variety of fields, such as law, engineering and economics.


Freshmen: You will begin your study with basic preparatory mathematics courses such as calculus (if not completed in high school) and abstract math, as well as computer science and engineering courses in programming and software development.

Transfer Students: The UC Transfer Pathway for this major strongly recommends that all lower-division requirements (equivalent to the first two years of courses) be completed prior to transferring.

At the upper division level, you will choose the Computation and Mathematics or the Computational and Mathematic Biology emphasis and plan your upper division work with the help of a faculty adviser. Both emphases require some coursework outside of the department.