Major in Mathematics

Proud to be Math Majors

First Upper-Division Math Courses

It should be emphasized that the character of mathematics changes sharply between lower and upper-division courses. The role of computation diminishes and there is a greater emphasis on deductive reasoning. While some students find the theoretical approach more congenial, most find upper-division courses more difficult. Because of this, it is strongly recommended that only students who earned grades of B- or better in all of Math 53, Math 54 or Math 56, and Math 55 apply to the major programs in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.

Additionally, the advising staff recommend Mathematics 110 as your first upper-division class. Students are more successful in making the transition with this course. Math 104 is a particularly demanding class and should be taken later in your program. Be aware that top students spend 12 to 15 hours per class beyond the lectures and sections, so plan your course load accordingly.

Eligibility to Declare the Major

You are eligible to declare the major in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics if you have met ALL of the following criteria:

  1. Completion of Math 1A & Math 1B (or equivalent) with averages grades of at least "C". For our policy on Advanced Placement scores, please see the following link.
  2. Completion of Math 53, Math 54 or Math 56, and Math 55 (or equivalent) with minimum grades of "C" in each, or completion of two of those three courses (with minimum grades of "C" in each) and currently enrolled in the third.  If declaring while currently enrolled in the final lower-division requirement, that course will need to be completed with a letter grade of at least "C". Please note that we will only accept Computer Science 70 in lieu of Math 55 if you are declared major in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and declare Mathematics/Applied Mathematics as an additional major.
  3. If you have already taken one or more upper division math courses, you should have a grade point average of at least 2.0 from those courses completed at the time of declaration. Note, however, that you do not need to have completed an upper division math course in order to declare.

Any alterations to the above requirements must be authorized (in writing) by the Head Major Advisor, upon referral from an Undergraduate Advisor in 964 or 965 Evans Hall.

Major Declaration Procedures

Submit an Application for the Major in Mathematics/Applied Mathematics to our dedicated declaration email address, both of which you can find our our declaration webpage

Note that double majors require signatures from both your departments. If we are the first to sign your Double Major Petition, we will send it back to you to take to your second department. If your Double Major Petition is already signed by your first department, we can forward it to L&S Advising for final approval.)

Honors Program

See our Honors page for information about graduating with honors in Math or Applied Math.

Course Enrollment and CalCentral

Each semester advising holds are placed on math and applied math majors who have been declared for more than one semester. Mathematics and Applied Mathematics majors must consult with their Faculty Advisor for their first CalCentral registration period after declaring the major.  In subsequent semesters, they may meet with the Staff Advisors. Meeting the Faculty or Staff Advisors should take place prior to the student's enrollment appointment to ensure removal of the hold in a timely manner. Before meeting with the Advisor, the student should plan a tentative program for the coming semester, and have an overall plan for completing the major. Enrollment packets consisting of a Course Approval Form (green) and a Major Checklist (white) which shows your completed courses and grades will be available in the Main Office (970 Evans) two weeks prior to the start of Phase I enrollment appointments. Faculty Advisors hold regular office hours during the academic year. These hours are also posted on the bulletin board outside 964 Evans. It is best to allow time for more than one meeting in case decisions depend on information not available at the first visit.

When the Advisor and the student have agreed on a program of study, the Advisor will sign the Course Approval Form (green). Approved electives should be indicated on the bottom of the program form and initialed by the Advisor. Major holds are released by the Staff Advisors in 964 and 965 Evans Hall.

Admitted transfer students should participate in orientation programs during the Summer preceding their first semester at Cal. Returning students should see their faculty advisor or the Undergraduate Advisor during the semester prior to their readmitted term.

Although students are formally required to see their Faculty Advisors only when they first declare the major, they are strongly encouraged to consult with them, or seek the advice of any faculty member, at any time. If the Advisor's office hours conflict with the student's classes, the student should schedule an appointment with via email.

Credit by Examination

Outstanding lower-division students may choose to fulfill one or more of the lower-division requirements via credit-by-exam. Although the University awards only P/NP grades for credit-by-exam, credit-by-exam in any of the lower division prerequisite classes is acceptable for entry into the major. The Credit by Examination Petition is available through the following link on the Office of the Registrar's forms website. In order to file the petition, the student must acquire the approval of: (a) an instructor willing to administer the examination, and (b) the Major Advisor, (only if already declared).  The list of eligibility criteria for Credit by Examination can be found on page two of the petition. (Note: you must be registered in the term in which the examination is to be taken; you may only take Credit by Exam in Fall and Spring terms; you must already have a 2.0 or better UC GPA - meaning it can be taken only after at least one term at UC.)

Course Equivalency

Equivalency of courses taken at other colleges and universities should be determined early in the application process. Articulation agreements with the California Community Colleges can be found on and non-California Community College coursework will be individually evaluated by a Non-Major Faculty Advisor prior to the student declaring the major or minor. For more information about this process, visit our Course Equivalency website.

Program Changes

Students can add or drop courses via CalCentral through the WEDNESDAY of the FOURTH week of classes. Grading option changes from letter grade to Pass/No Pass or from Pass/No Pass to letter grade can be done via CalCentral through the TENTH week of classes. Any student with fewer than 13 units needs permission from L&S Undergraduate Advising, located on the 2nd floor of Evans Hall, for a reduced study load.

Minimum and Maximum Limits of Number of Mathematics Courses Taken

Majors must take a minimum of four upper-division courses to establish residency in either of the math majors.

The only limitation on the maximum number of upper-division and graduate mathematics courses a major may take is a College of Letters and Science regulation which states that students cannot register beyond the semester in which s/he surpasses their 130th unit. Advance planning can result in hitting 130 units and having an additional semester available, should you need it. An Undergraduate Advisor in 964 or 965 Evans can assist you.

Passed/Not Passed Grading (P/NP)

Courses taken to fulfill major requirements must be taken for a letter grade. The one exception is four units of Mathematics 199 (offered pass/not pass only) which may be used if approved by one's Faculty Advisor. Mathematics 199 cannot be used to study material covered in standard courses. To be eligible for enrollment, a student must have completed 60 units and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. Additional regulations concerning 199 courses are outlined in the College of Letter and Science Earning Your Degree Guide. Staff in 970 Evans can assist students with the enrollment procedure.

Probation and Dismissal

A mathematics major whose cumulative grade-point average in the upper-division major taken at Berkeley falls below 2.0 will be placed on departmental probation. The departmental grade-point average computation includes both required courses in the major and approved electives. Any additional upper-division or graduate mathematics courses which are not used to satisfy major requirements are exempted. Students are expected to check their grades at the end of each semester. A student on probation will be subject to dismissal from the major if the grade-point average is not brought up to 2.0 within the following term. Questions concerning probation and dismissal may be directed to an Undergraduate Advisor in 964 or 965 Evans or the College of Letters and Science Advising, 206 Evans Hall.

Additional Academic Assistance

The Undergraduate Program Office, 970 Evans Hall, maintains a list of tutors for students seeking assistance. There are tutors listed for mathematics courses at all levels, from the most basic, precalculus courses, through upper-division, and even including basic graduate level courses. Students make arrangements with tutors on an individual basis.

The Student Learning Center, located in the Cesar Chavez Center, offers group and drop-in tutoring for the basic lower division classes: Mathematics 1A-1B, and 53-54. Call (510) 642-7332 for scheduling and other information. There are also Academic Centers located at the dorms that provide drop-in tutoring during the evenings.