Department of Mathematics FAS Harvard University One Oxford Street Cambridge MA 02138 USA Tel: (617) 495-2171 Fax: (617) 495-5132

Concentration Information

Welcome to the mathematics concentration info page! If you would like to learn more about the mathematics concentration, including joint concentrations, the teaching option, and the secondary field, this page is for you!
Our main source of information for you is this brochure [PDF]. If you are a first year student, you might only want to have a look at the first few pages, to acquaint yourself with our requirements and our suggestions for first courses to take. The rest of the brochure gives more details on the fun activities and possibilities that will open to you as a math concentrator, or even simply for someone interested in math. You can find the brochure here [PDF]

If you still have questions, you can connect with us at the events listed below, or contact us. Or you can have a look at our additional information (see relevant section below), which contain the nitty-gritty details!

Events where you can connect with the math concentration

  • Advising Fortnight (late March, early April each year): the department hosts an ``open house'' in the common room with refreshments, and also special walk-in office hours. More info on this website.
  • Math Table special event: "Who wants to be a math concentrator?", also during Advising Fortnight. A panel of current math concentrators will answer all your questions about the math concentration! More info on the mathtable page
  • Advising Corner: sometimes a representative of the department comes to the Advising Corner in Annenberg Hall, with a couple current students, to meet first-year students and give out information about the math concentration.

Pamphlets for additional information

  • Beyond Math 1 [PDF]: Which math course is for you? If you have completed the Math 1a/1b sequence at Harvard or if you have had the equivalent material elsewhere, you may be wondering which course to take next. The mathematics department provides a variety of options which you should consider based on your academic interests and your background. This pamphlet will help you make a decision!
  • Courses in mathematics [PDF]. This document gives a brief description of the various courses in calculus and some of the intermediate level courses in mathematics. It provides advice and pointers for planning your course selections. If you are a Mathematics Concentrator, or are considering entering the Mathematics Concentration, and if you are seeking some overview of the courses and how they fit together, then this document is for you.
  • Tutorials [HTML]: This document gives a description of upcoming tutorials. Tutorials (Math 99r) are a great way to learn a topic not usually covered in the curriculum. They are taught in small groups by a graduate student, and require a final paper which can count as the "junior paper" requirement for math concentrators. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn differently! Tutorials are also presented by the graduate students teaching them at a special Math Table event, so you can meet the instructors in advance.
  • Honors and Senior thesis [PDF]. If you are a math concentrator, we strongly suggest you consider writing a senior thesis! If you want to be an honors mathematics concentrator, you have to write a senior thesis. This independent learning experience is fun and challenging.
  • Graduate Schools and Fellowships in Mathematics [PDF]. Interested in going to graduate school? Note that most PhD degrees provide some form of stipend (often in exchange for grading, teaching or research work, throughout your degree), so you do not pay tuition fees, and in fact you are being paid to attend the program! Here you will find lots of advice on why go or not, where and how to apply, etc. Also, keep in mind that every fall the Math Table hosts a panel on going to graduate school, so you might want to check that out too!
  • The AB-AM degree program [PDF]: The Department offers the AB-AM degree, which allows students who are Mathematics concentrators to obtain a Masters degree (AM) in Mathematics, in addition to their Bachelors degree (AB) during their four years at Harvard. Note that the program requires a large number of additional courses in mathematics. In most cases, the Department recommends that students should instead take advantage of the many other academic opportunities that the University offers.
If you still have questions, the student handbook probably answers them.
Also, you might be interested in this advice document put together by the student group Gender Inclusivity In Math.

Contact information

You can also reach out to one of us, we are happy to discuss your situation and the best course of action for you. Here is how to contact us for more information:

Professor Jacob Lurie
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Science Center 514
(617) 495-9493
Preceptor Rosalie Belanger-Rioux
Assistant to the Director of Undergraduate Studies
Science Center 230
(617) 495-4744
Preceptor Dusty Grundmeier
Assistant to the Director of Undergraduate Studies
Science Center 505h
(617) 495-1496
Cindy Jimenez
Undergraduate Studies Coordinator
Science Center 334
(617) 495-9116