Natural Science Division
Math General Education Requirements

At Seaver College of Pepperdine University, we wanted all students to experience mathematics at the college level. Mathematics is a part of our daily experience, playing a major role in the facts and graphs we use to make decisions, guiding science and the social sciences, and helping us understand numbers and shapes. But as every college graduate should know, mathematics is much more than this. It is a logical structure that seeks to justify new facts based on explicit conditions, using logical arguments. It is a language that is precise and concise. It is a body of problem solving techniques. And finally, it is a fascinating subject in its own right, with many startling discoveries and puzzling questions.

For this reason, we expect students to learn a little about the mathematical notion of proof using the precision of mathematical language, a little about some important problem solving strategies, some scope of how mathematics is applied, and some idea of the scope of mathematical topics that have developed over the past several thousand years, including some that are being explored even today.

The main course designed for this purpose is

  • Math 120 (was Math 102): The Nature of Mathematics
in which we discuss a wide range of topics to give you an idea what mathematics is all about.

For those students majoring in a natural science (except Biology B.A. and nutrition), or a business major, a math course required by your major,

  • Math 150 (was Math 210): Calculus I
  • or Math 140 (was Math 214): Calculus for Business
satisfies this requirement, introducing you to one of the biggest developments in mathematics in modern times. In some sense, the development of calculus was responsible for our modern times, in our way of thinking and our way of living.

For psychology, sociology, or the other natural sciences, a math course required by your major,

  • Math 316: Biotatistics
  • or SOC 250: Statistics
  • or PSYC 250: Statistics
covers the fascinating and subtle world of dealing with numbers and how they are used and misused. Particularly important is how we use data to support or deny a claim, such as "DDT causes cancer" or "the gap between the rich and poor is increasing".

For Liberal Arts/Teacher Ed. majors, the state of California requires material in

  • Math 270: Foundations of Elementary Mathematics
which is more geared toward future teachers. This class may only be used to satisfy the general education requirement for Liberal Arts majors.

See What Math do I need? for more information about math requirements for each major.

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email address: kiga@pepperdine.edu