Department of Mathematics

Information for Current Students

Keys to Success

Our 2014 Faculty Advanced Track Review committee and advisors in consultation with several Advanced Track students, generated this list of suggestions to help students be successful – not just in their current classes, but also in their academic career.

Research Opportunities

Especially important for those students going into the sciences or applying for prestigious scholarships, is an undergraduate research experience. (This is quite different than classwork and will enhance your undergraduate education.) This undergraduate research could take multiple forms, including working with a faculty member during the semester or during the summer, as part of a project-based class, or as a professorial assistantship.

Two sites with information on Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs ) are:


Most deadlines are in February or early March.

Each spring the Mathematics Department awards scholarships to undergraduates. Watch for the email announcement sent to you, and be sure to apply (using this link).

Apply for scholarships that seem reasonable for you-even if you think your chances are slim. For example, see the International Fellowships & Scholarships website and get advice from faculty mentors, as well as the directors of NIFS at

Job Opportunities

Many Advanced Track students work in the Math Learning Center as tutors, and sometimes as supervisors of the neighborhoods. In addition, many Advanced Track students work as graders, learning assistants (sometimes in the honors calculus courses and MTH 299). Please feel free to apply by going to our student jobs page. In addition, if you are applying for one of these positions, please let one of our advisors know.

Preparation for Graduate School

For those students planning graduate school in mathematics, very important are excellent performance with deep mastery of the material in required Advanced Track courses, strong letters of recommendation and high subject GRE scores. In addition, inclusion of graduate course experiences (with excellent performance) enhances your graduate school application, and will further prepare you for success in your graduate studies.

  • Allow time to take and retake the GRE Subject Test (in Mathematics or your area of interest)
  • Your letters of recommendation for graduate study are quite important. Please get advice from us or your research advisor as to the best people to write these for you. Generally you will want a professor from whom you have taken an advanced class or with whom you have done research. Keep in mind that you will need instructors who know you and your work – not just who have had you as one of many in their class. Also keep in mind that writing a letter of recommendation often takes the professor considerable time and thought, so avoid short-notice requests.
    • Attempt to request letters at least six weeks before their due date.
    • Ask your letter writer if they would like
      • Materials from you (grades, courses taken, research projects, etc.).
      • A gentle reminder from you two weeks before the due date.
  • Especially for those pursuing graduate studies outside of mathematics, include at least one serious research experience in your undergraduate years (see Research Opportunities).
  • Apply for scholarships that seem reasonable for you--even if you think your chances are slim
  • Consider going to a workshop or conference.

Upcoming Events

Announcements are regularly sent to you regarding Distinguished Undergraduate Lectures, Top-SUM lectures, Advanced Track gatherings, practice GRE sessions, informational scholarship sessions, pizza gatherings, etc.

The following undergraduate lectures, conferences, and get-togethers are coming up this semester:

  • Friday, February 15: Top-SUM lecture by Dr. Willie Wong
  • Friday, March 15: Top-SUM lecture by Dr. Peter Magyar
  • Friday, March 29: Distinguished Undergraduate lecture by Prof. Ken Ono
  • Saturday, April 20: Student Math Conference

Please go to the Undergraduate Lecture Series website for details.


Degree Requirements

BA in Mathematics, Advanced

BS in Mathematics, Advanced

Course Information

Sample Programs

Course Descriptions

Information for Current Students

Contact information

Director of Advanced Track Program: Russell Schwab

Advisors for the Advanced Track Program:


Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
619 Red Cedar Road
C212 Wells Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-0844
Fax: (517) 432-1562

College of Natural Science