The Integrated Major in Mathematics and English

The Integrated Major in Math and English (IMME) represents an innovative collaboration between the Department of Mathematics and the Department of English. The IMME program is designed to prepare students to have high-level skills in both mathematics and English, stressing an integrated, complementary mastery of these disciplines.

Four mathematical concentration areas are available within the major: applied, finance/actuarial, math pre-education and theoretical. Each of these areas are combined with a strong foundation in English, including composition and methods, and an opportunity for students to choose English electives matching their interests.

The genesis of the IMME began with an observation that many math majors choose careers in private industries where communication skills are desired. Industry leaders, including members of the Department of Mathematics Advisory Board, have emphasized the need for these math majors to enhance their communication skills. The development of communication skills in conjunction with critical thinking and logical analysis form the core of the IMME. The IMME degree proposal was immediately well received; however, due to the uniqueness of this program, several revisions to align general education requirements were required before final approval. The IMME passed the final stage of approvals in summer 2018 and became an official degree program autumn semester 2018.

An important and unique feature of the IMME is a capstone course, which all IMME majors are required to take. The capstone course provides an opportunity to integrate and apply the full range of knowledge and skills student acquire through their previous coursework to real-world practice. The capstone course combines both professional development and leadership seminars, culminating in a capstone project. The project is on a topic chosen from real-world challenges submitted from community and industry partners. Students who complete this capstone course have a broader understanding of their own personal strengths and can better determine which jobs require their particular set of skills, resulting in a student who is better prepared to enter the workforce.

The IMME offers undergraduates the opportunity to develop skills that will equip them not only for employment and graduate school, but for long-term career success. Students from the IMME are prepared to find positions in banks, insurance, marketing, consulting, nonprofit organizations and other fields that require both mathematical awareness and strong communication skills. The IMME is also an advantage to many students intending to continue to graduate school or a professional program, including those interested in law, medicine, business and education. In addition, the English program’s strong emphasis on reading and writing teaches the ability to empathize and process information, which are skills that employers seek. While liberal arts majors learn critical thinking and analytical skills, mathematics teaches precision in modeling and in analyzing real-world problems, and involves skills in calculation and numerical analysis that are not typically part of a liberal arts program. In combination, English and mathematics teach students these complementary skills, which is the goal of the IMME.

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