North Central College - Naperville, IL

Applied Mathematics

Why choose applied mathematics at North Central College?

Applied mathematicians use techniques like mathematical modeling to solve practical problems. This major will prepare you for careers in the sciences, business, economics, finance and insurance—careers that require high-level statistical analysis and computation to solve problems, make decisions, and conduct research and analysis. Mathematical modeling can be used to predict transmission rates of diseases, streamline manufacturing, and project passenger demand to produce flight schedules for airlines. North Central’s mathematics professors develop strong relationships with their students and foster an open and encouraging learning environment throughout the department.

You can also:

  • Combine majors and elective courses across various academic fields.
  • Conduct research with your professors as early as your first year on campus.
  • Attend local, regional and national professional conferences.
  • Gain more experience by interning in the Naperville area and Chicago.
  • Obtain extra help from a peer tutor—or become one yourself.
  • Join the mathematics honor society Pi Mu Epsilon.


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Recent graduates in applied mathematics include:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Data mining
  • Materials science
  • Computer animation and digital imaging
  • Finance and economics
  • Climatology

Graduate Schools

Recent graduates were accepted at:

  • Valparaiso University
Applied Mathematics and Physics double major

Thomas is interested in a wide range of disciplines, from physics to finance, but sees math as part of his career. He feels majoring in applied mathematics frees him to explore math in the context of his many interests.

“I’d like to go into engineering or finance. I think my majors in applied mathematics and physics will work well with engineering, and I like the idea of pairing finance with math.”

Outside his studies, Thomas helps lead an economics discussion group where students and faculty discuss current events in economics and finance. He also participates in the College Scholars Honors Program and enjoys classes outside his comfort zone, like philosophy and history of ideas.  


Applied Mathematics major

Laura’s love of problem solving and her willingness to accept a challenge motivated her to find a major—applied mathematics—that combined these interests.

“I really enjoyed taking economics, accounting and computer science coursework and I wanted a major that would allow me to still incorporate the skills I gained in those classes.”

Laura’s dedication to refining these skills culminated in her honors thesis, titled “A New Metric for Credit Migration Matrices,” that she completed for the prestigious College Scholars Honors Program. She recognized the instrumental role her professor and thesis advisor played in her research, academics and career. Like many North Central professors, her advisor...

Applied Mathematics major

Alicia’s math skills have improved exponentially during her time at North Central College. Maybe it’s because the applied mathematics major involves learning both inside and outside the classroom.

“The department has an excellent rapport with Chicagoland businesses, and the College has opened many doors for me in terms of internships,” Alicia says. “It’s important to get experience outside the classroom, and North Central has helped me explore internship routes I wouldn’t necessarily have considered on my own.”

Alicia transferred to North Central after two years of college in New York. She’s also majoring in actuarial science.

“It was important for me to find a welcoming atmosphere without...

Applied Mathematics

Although he started college as a finance and economics major, Christopher formed a passion for his advanced math courses and found that applied mathematics gave him the tools he needs for a future career.

Christopher participated in a summer internship with Exelon Nuclear, where he worked as a financial analyst. His applied mathematics major was a hot topic during his interview with Exelon recruiters.

“They were impressed because they said it exemplifies the ability to use and apply analytic thinking.”

Christopher plans to pursue a master’s degree in mathematical finance. He hopes to work in the wealth management industry, where he can apply the experience he gained at Exelon and the skills...

Applied Mathematics major

C.J. started at North Central planning to double-major in chemistry and physics. He earned a Dr. Robert H. Good Scholarship for physics majors, one of many scholarships available to North Central students.

As a freshman, he found he was “terrible in the chem lab” but loved problem-solving in physics. So he changed his second major from chemistry to applied mathematics.

His sophomore year, C.J. took two classes with less than seven students and liked that professors devote personal attention to students, no matter the class size.

“You can talk to the professors any time, even if you don’t have that professor for a current...