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Who is your advisor and why do you need one? 

Your advisor is going to help you plan your courses, internships and other academic activities while you are pursuing your mathematics degree at SJSU.  Written words in the catalog are sometimes vague about the requirements for the degree.  Your advisor can gauge the difficulty of the courses and thus be able to structure your academic program  so that you are not taking all the difficult classes in the same semester.  Use your advisor as a resource for information and ideas.  Your advisor would be in a better position to help you if he or she gets to know you.  So it is very important that you meet with your assigned advisor.    We have assigned you an advisor based on  your degree program and concentration. 

How often do you meet with your advisor?

At least once a semester.  Every student who majors in a science (including math)  is required to see their major advisor before registering for classes.  Every semester, an advising hold is placed on each student's record which prevents the student from signing up for courses.  After you meet with your advisor, the hold will be lifted.  Bring a copy of the Math Advising Formwhen you meet with your advisor. 

What if you are a double major and your other advisor already lifted the hold?

You should still meet with your math advisor every semester so that he or she can keep track of your progress.

What do I do if my advisor doesn't get back to me?
It is the advisor's job to stay in touch with you and offer all the advising help you need. If you do not get a response, try to meet your advisor in her or his office during scheduled office hours.  Note that faculty are not required to report during the summer and winter breaks.  If you are unable to get a reply from  your advisor by phone or email  during those times and your question is urgent, fill out the "contact us" form. 

Advising Plan

When you declare mathematics as your major,  you will be assigned a major advisor.  If you don't have one or don't know who it is,  make a request or inquiry using the "Contact us" form.   Your major advisor will stay the same unless you are notified of a change or you change your degree program.

At the start of your academic career, you will be taking some general education courses and beginning math and support courses.  The lower division math courses are Math 30 or Math 30P, Math 31, Math 32 and Math 42.   Support courses are non-math courses required by your major.  For example, Physics 50 is a support course for the BA Math program.  It is important that you start taking your Math courses as soon as possible.   When planning your schedule, start with the math courses you need to take.  Then add the support courses.  Lastly, fill in your schedule with your general education (G.E.) courses. Read the special notes about G.E. courses below.

By the time you are taking Math 32, you and your advisor  should make an academic plan for the remainder of you undergraduate career.  Your advisor will help you select electives and will recommend a plan which is best suited to your needs and abilities.  At this time, you may discuss your future plans such as career objectives and graduate school plans.  This would help your advisor suggest courses and co-curricular activities like internships and summer research.


Freshmen are required to attend Frosh Orientation where they meet with College of Science advisors and register for their first semester courses.   There may be a math advisor at the advising session.  If not, please contact us to verify that you are enrolled in the appropriate courses. 

Advanced Placement Exams

If you took AP classes,  read the information on AP exams (
http://info.sjsu.edu/static/catalog/ap.html ).  To get credit for your AP tests, you should have the results sent to SJSU.  If you do not have the results of your AP tests when you register for classes, make an educated guess as to how well you did on the AP test and based on that,  register for the appropriate course.  After you get your AP results, if you need to change your class, you can make the changes online during the registration period.   Once instruction begins, you can make changes to your schedule early in the semester by following the add/drop procedures.

Transfer Students

Transfer students are required to attend TIP (Transfer Information Program).  You will meet with an advisor from the Math Department when you attend the TIP.  This advisor will help you plan your schedule for your first semester at SJSU.  During your first semester at SJSU you should meet with your assigned advisor to make a long-term plan for completing your degree.    Bring a copy of all  (unofficial) transcripts and grade reports to your transfer advising session.

If you are planning to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics, 
let your advisor know as soon as possible.  Attend our Graduate School Workshop which is held in September.  Applying to Ph.D. programs is much more complicated than applying to SJSU.  You will need to take both the general and the math subject  GRE's ( http://www.ets.org/gre/ ), write a statement of purpose, research which graduate programs are best suited to you and find 3-4 people who will write letters of recommendation for you.

Once you have accumulated 90 units,  you should apply for graduation regardless of when you will actually graduate.  To apply for graduation, you need to fill out the following  forms:
  1. A major form.   On the page Forms and Documents there is a link to the major form for your degree program. After you have filled out the form and your  advisor has approved it,  submit your form to the Math Department Office in MH 308 for departmental approval.  After a few days, you may pick up two copies of the signed form at the Math Office.  One copy will be in a sealed envelope which you will  submit  along with your graduation application form.  Do not open the envelope.  The unsealed copy is for your records.  Keep it until you graduate.
  2. A graduation application form. You will find this form online at the SJSU Registrar's page, under "Forms".  Follow the instructions on this form.
  3. Additonal Forms.  If you have a minor or a second major, you will need to complete a form available from the department granting the minor or major.
All these forms must be handed in at the same time.  Within a reasonable amount of time, you should receive a graduation checklist.  If you would like to make changes to your major form after it has been submitted, you should consult with your major advisor first, then fill out the substitution form (found here http://www.sjsu.edu/registrar/forms/ ) that needs to be submitted to Student Services.

If you are planning to obtain a teaching credential  and you have completed 90 units,  you should meet with a credential advisor to discuss the application process to the credential program. 

Special Notes about General Education (G. E.) courses

  • Area B1 and B3.  Most math majors (see exceptions below) are required to take calculus based Physics which will satisfy these requirements.
  • Area B4.  Even though it is not listed on the list of G. E. courses, Calculus will satisfy the Critical Thinking G.E. requirement.  There is no need for you to take another math course from that list. A grade of C or higher is required in the course used to satisfy the GE math concepts requirement.
  • Areas B, D for BS Applied and Computational Mathematics.  The concentrations in Applied Mathematics and Statistics require 2 lower division and 2 upper division support courses in an applied area.   Sample sequences of support courses can be found in the document "Preapproved Support Courses"  which is linked on our Forms and Documents page.     For example,  a student who decides to specialize in Genetics would have to take Bio 1A and Chem 1A.  These two courses satisfy areas B1, B2  and B3.  A student who follows the Economics sequence would have to take Econ 1B which satisfies area D1. We strongly recommend that these students discuss these options with their advisors as soon as possible.  

We've also developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. If after reading these pages, you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact your undergraduate advisor.