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Mathematics: Life Sciences Emphasis

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Mathematics: Life Sciences Emphasis

Bachelor of Science

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Understanding our physical world requires an understanding of mathematics. Not only a tool for engineers and physical scientists, a thorough understanding of math and its applications is critical in business, economics, and even the social sciences. Mathematics forms a foundation for all technical disciplines; a major in math prepares students for careers or graduate study in many subjects. The department offers courses in pure and applied math, probability and statistics, computational math, engineering math, and math education. A math major, paired with a carefully chosen minor, is excellent preparation for a variety of career paths. Few jobs actually call for a mathematician; jobs are more likely to have titles such as analyst or engineer.

Major Details

College: College of Science
Admissions Requirements:

No Additional Requirements

Math Required:


    This strand involves skill and facility with calculus. The S-strand begins at one of two calculus options - MATH 124 (Calculus I with Applications) or MATH 125 (Calculus I). Students who successfully complete the S-strand may continue on to MATH 129 (Calculus II), MATH 223 (Vector Calculus), or beyond. Those who choose but are not ready to begin the S-strand will be required to take preparatory work.
Second Language Required:

2 Semesters

  • Scoring the equivalent of second-semester skill level on an entrance or placement examination administered by The University of Arizona.
  • Completion with a C or better of a second semester course at the post-secondary level.
  • An AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate) or CLEP (College Level Entrance Program) language score determined by the individual language department.
  • In the College of Engineering by a method determined within the College; however, all students in the college must also take a language placement examination on entrance to the University.
2 Semesters
Fees: No
Pre-Major: No
Available at:
  • Main Campus

Four-Year Plan

Archived plans are available on Degree Search 2011-2016 for many degree plans. These are sample plans. Please work with your academic advisor for more specific and up-to-date requirements.

Select a year:

UA Course Requirements Units
1st Semester
MATH 122A 1
MATH 122B 4
ENGL 101 First Year Composition I 3
Second Language Semester I 4
Tier I General Education 3
Tier I General Education 3
2nd Semester
MATH 129 Calc II 3
CSC 127A Intro to Computer Science or ISTA 130 Computational thinking and doing (in Python!) 4
ENGL 102 First Year Composition II 3
Second Language Semester II 4
Tier I General Education 3
3rd Semester
MATH 215 Linear Algebra 3
MATH 223 Vector Calc 4
Intro Chemistry or Natural Science 1 4
Tier I General Education 3
Tier II General Education 3
4th Semester
MATH 323 Formal Mathematical Reasoning and Writing 3
MATH 355 Analysis of Ordinary Differential Equations 3
Intro Chemistry or Natural Science 2 4
Tier II General Education 3
Tier II General Education 3
5th Semester
MATH 422 Advanced Applied Analysis 3
MATH 410 Matrix Analysis or 413 Linear Algebra 3
Minor Course 3
Application Course 1 3
6th Semester
MATH 454 Ordinary Differential Equations and Stability Theory or 456 Applied Partial Differential Equations 3
Minor Course 3
Minor Course 3
Application Course 2 3
Elective 3
7th Semester
MATH 464 Theory of Probability 3
Minor Course 3
Minor Course 3
Elective 3
8th Semester
MATH 466 Theory of Statistics or 468 Applied Stochastic Processes 3
Math 485 Mathematical Modeling 3
Minor Course 3
Elective 3
Elective 3

AZ Transfer Pathways

This page is designed for in-state transfer students who plan to attend the University of Arizona. The information presented lists the most accurate course equivalencies and may not include all possible requirements. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to use this site for reference only and not for self-advising.

Transfer students should work with their community colleges and UA advisors to develop an individualized plan for transfer, and visit

  • All posted Pathways (except for Bachelor of Applied Science Pathways) fulfill an AGEC and most also fulfill an Associate Degree
  • Following a Pathway does not guarantee admission to the UA nor admission to a college/major/program at the UA
  • Use Pathways in consultation with advisors from your community college and the UA
  • Pathways are subject to change at any time

Which college/university do you attend?

Career Planning

The knowledge gained from a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics of computer skills, linear algebra, calculus, mathematical reasoning and writing, and differential equations, as well as the BS intensive science requirement, provides a strong career foundation. BS graduates of the Life Sciences concentration acquire familiarity with probability, mathematical modeling for biology, matrix analysis, statistics, and stochastic processes; Life Sciences students must also minor in one of the biological sciences. This concentration is excellent preparation for work in biotechnology, clinical or laboratory research, or the pharmaceutical industry, or for graduate studies in mathematics, life sciences, epidemiology, or pharmacy. Some of the job titles listed below require an advanced degree.

Potential Career Areas

  • Data Analysis
  • Disease monitoring
  • Research
  • Modeling
  • Conservation
  • Pharmaceutical development

Sample Employers

  • Clinical and laboratory trials
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Government agencies
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Health departments
  • Research institutes

Sample Job Titles and National Salary Range

Job Title Salary Range
Clinical Data Manager $35,000 - $85,000
Statistical Assistant $22,600 - $34,500
DNA Analyst $28,000 - $73,000
Biological Technician $24,000 - $58,000
Epidemiologist $37,000 - $87,000
Medical Technologist $34,660 - $69,260
Environmental Economist $50,000 - $80,000
Bioinformatics Scientist $34,300 - $95,130
Drug Development Technician $42,830 - $88,140
Operations Research Analyst $39,900 - $71,000