Why major in Mathematics?

Mathematics is a versatile major that links well with other majors including art, biology, business, chemistry and education. As a mathematics major, you’ll get extensive practice solving complex problems and using critical thinking skills in computation, concepts and proof. You’ll come to understand how and why computations work.

Majoring in mathematics gives you tools for lifelong learning and a wide variety of careers. Advances in astronomy, chemistry and physics rely heavily upon mathematical ideas, and the biological sciences increasingly use mathematical models. Mathematics is frequently being utilized in the social sciences and is the foundation of actuarial science. The exchange of ideas between computer science and mathematics is also important.

Student solves math equation in front of students.

Program Distinctives

Career paths for mathematics majors are interesting and diverse. UPIKE’s mathematics program will help you become a vital asset to nearly any industry. Mathematics is useful in scheduling of sporting events as well as airplanes, buses, trains and other modes of transportation; retirement planning; modeling resource extraction and usage; modeling population; and making accurate forecasts in weather and elections.

Math students

Interesting Courses

Mth 281 Basic Mathematics of Maps, Puzzles and Games
Look at the mathematics of maps, puzzles and games. Learn about time zone math, map projections, why the U.S.-Canada border appears so curved from Minnesota to the Pacific Ocean, how to solve a Rubik’s Cube in under eight minutes, how to leave one peg after all possible jumps in the triangular peg puzzle, Monopoly strategies, how many ways you can reach 10 victory points in the Settlers of Catan, and more! There is no closed-book or closed-note assignment and no textbook.

Mth 282 Mathematics of Television Shows
Look at the mathematics of TV shows. See how Charlie Eppes dazzles FBI personnel by using mathematical concepts to help catch the criminals in the TV show “NUMB3RS.” Learn probabilities of winning pricing games on “The Price is Right,” how Bender and Flexo have serial numbers that are the sum of two cubes in “Futurama,” and more! There is no closed-book or closed-note assignment and no textbook.

Mth 290 (Math of Amusement Parks and Rides)
Look at the mathematics of amusement parks and rides. Build a cardstock roller coaster and test it out by rolling a ball down its track as a final project. Learn how roller coaster heights have risen over the years, where the scrambler ride has its slowest and fastest velocity, how the maximum velocity, and more! There is no closed-book or closed-note assignment and no textbook.

Two students studying on a tablet.

Student Learning Outcomes

A mathematics degree from UPIKE will provide you with necessary skills for high-demand careers in teaching, finance, insurance and other fields as well as prepare you for post-graduate studies in dentistry, engineering, medicine and optometry. Upon completion of your degree, you’ll be able to think critically; formulate problems, solve them and interpret their solutions; understand the nature of proof; apply knowledge from one branch of mathematics to another and to other disciplines; communicate mathematics orally and in writing; and use a variety of technological tools.

Career paths in Mathematics

Computer Programmer
Financial Analyst or Planner
Investment Banker
Research or Statistical Analyst

Where Recent Graduates have gone to work or study

University of Pikeville, Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
AMEC Foster Wheeler/John Wood Group, PLC
Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative
Midway University
Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law
Risk Placement Services, Inc.
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise
University of Kentucky, College of Engineering and Engineering Internship Program



“The best aspect of the University of Pikeville is how close the students are to the professors. If you need help, they are eager to be right by your side until you understand exactly what needs to be done. Initially I was a UPIKE math major. I transferred to the University of Kentucky to pursue Biosystems Engineering where my understanding of calculus, trigonometry, physics and algebra was head and shoulders above the other students. I attribute this to my time at the University of Pikeville and the amount of care each professor shows their students and the thoroughness of each course. I now work as a Water Resource Engineer in South Carolina, and I have UPIKE to thank for teaching me the hard work and perseverance that has helped me both academically and professionally. I highly recommend the math program at the University of Pikeville.”



Robert Arts

Professor of Education & Physics
(606) 218-5476