Applied mathematicians develop models for perfecting global positioning systems, analyzing cost-effectiveness in manufacturing processes, or improving digital encryption software. Application areas include statistics, biology, business, economics, chemistry, engineering, operations research, and imaging science.

To view a more detailed list of courses for this program, click here.
Rochester Institute of Technology College of Science

Students choose a sequence of courses from one more than twenty application areas that provide them with the knowledge and skills to collaborate on complex problems with scientists, engineers, computer specialists, or other analysts. Some of those areas include applied statistics; biology; business; economics; chemistry; electrical, industrial, or mechanical engineering; operations research; or imaging science.

Students collaborate with faculty researcher on a variety of projects in both applied and theoretical mathematics providing them with valuable exposure to real world problems faced by America's top companies and research organization. As a result, RIT undergraduates in mathematics are highly-sought as co-op employees.

For more information, refer to the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services.

Mathematicians use  theory, computational techniques, algorithms, and the latest computer technology to solve economic, scientific, engineering, physics, and business problems. The work of mathematicians falls into two broad classes — theoretical (pure) mathematics and applied mathematics. These classes, however, often overlap. Applied mathematicians start with a practical problem, envision its separate elements, and then reduce the elements to mathematical variables. They often use computers to analyze relationships among the variables, and they solve complex problems by developing models with alternative solutions.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook) 


Industry, academia, and government all have a great need for individuals with this type of education. Typically, graduates are employed in scientific, engineering, business, or government environments, applying their mathematics background to the analysis and solution of real-world problems.

In the federal government, entry-level job candidates usually must have a four-year degree with a major in mathematics or a four-year degree with the equivalent of a mathematics major. Outside the federal government, a graduate-level education is usually a minimum requirement; many seek advanced degrees in mathematics or a related discipline. However, those with bachelor's degrees who meet state certification requirements may become primary or secondary school mathematics teachers.

The majority of those with a master's degree in mathematics who work in private industry do so not as mathematicians but in related fields. For jobs in applied mathematics, training in the field in which mathematics will be used is very important. Mathematics is used extensively in physics, actuarial science, statistics, engineering, and operations research. Computer science, business and industrial management, economics, finance, chemistry, geology, life sciences, and behavioral sciences are likewise dependent on applied mathematics. Mathematicians also should have substantial knowledge of computer programming, because most complex mathematical computation and much mathematical modeling are done on a computer.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.) 


Students have the opportunity to work with researchers in the Center for Applied and Computational Mathematics studying interesting problems in areas such as computational photonics, mathematical biology, microelectromechanical systems, and network analysis.

Employment of mathematicians is expected to grow much faster than the average. However, keen competition for jobs is expected. Employment of mathematicians is expected to increase by 20 percent by 2020. Advancements in technology usually lead to expanding applications of mathematics, and more workers with knowledge of mathematics will be required in the future.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

BS-only: $66,500 (average); $37,000-$70,000 (range)


Note: Most often the work involving applied mathematics is done by people whose titles are other than “mathematician”. Examples include Engineer, Economist, Analyst (e.g. Operations Research), Physicist, Cryptanalyst (codes), Actuary, Teacher, Market Researcher, and Financial Advisor.


Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Center for Army Analysis, CIGNA Healthcare, Citigroup Inc., Cognigen Corp., Eastman Kodak, Epic, Global Crossing Telecommunications Inc., Harbridge Consulting Group, Harris Interactive Inc., Institute for Defense Analyses, KJT Group, LMI, NASA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Sigma Marketing, U.S. Census Bureau, Xerox Corp.