Go way beyond basic arithmetic
Study the power, elegance, “how,” and “why” of math. In this rigorous program, you'll cover the spectrum of mathematics — from classical to modern — including geometry, number theory, and logic.
Because Pure Mathematics classes are among the smallest and most cohesive in the Faculty of Mathematics, you’ll get to know both your classmates and your profs. (Profs who are doing ground-breaking research when they’re not in the classroom.) You'll also get the opportunity to get paid work experience through co-op.
Pure Mathematics will provide you with problem-solving skills that can be applied in industry, business, government, or graduate school.
- Add research to your résumé. Apply for an Undergraduate Student Research Award and you could spend four paid months working in pure mathematics with a professor.
- Have fun with other mathies. Join the club! The Pure Math Club organizes academic and social events ranging from student/prof mixers and math contests to board game nights and potlucks.
- Available as a regular or co-op program
- Available as a major and minor
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Mathematics in Pure Mathematics
- Offered by the Faculty of Mathematics
What will you learn?
During your first year, you'll take a mix of foundational courses in Mathematics, Computer Science, and communications.
In upper years, most of your courses will be in Pure Mathematics with additional math courses.
Learn more about the courses you'll take for your Pure Mathematics degree.
Customize your degree
You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one of the minors available to all Waterloo students.
Once you're a student, advisors can help you explore which minors or specializations may fit into your plans.
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Join our monthly newsletter for tips such as choosing a university program, life at Waterloo, and finances.
Contact a student ambassador
Ask a Faculty of Mathematics student about their program, classes, getting involved on campus, and more!
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
Sample co-op job titles
- Business analyst assistant
- Data quality engineering
- Instructional support assistant
- Policy and research assistant
- QA automation developer
- Research assistant
- Security & distributed system engineer
Sample co-op employers
- Department of National Defence
- Imagine Communications Corp
- Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
- Natural Resources Canada
- VersaCold Logistics Services
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- Centennial College of Applied Arts & Technology
What can you do with a degree in Pure Mathematics?
Waterloo Pure Mathematics graduates typically pursue careers in information technology, data analysis, quantitative analysis, and more. They often work for financial institutions, consulting firms, investment firms, and technology companies.
- Quantitative Analyst – Millennium Advisors
- Data Scientist – Robinhood Financial
- Executive Director – Beijing Leyard Investment
- Developer – geoLOGIC Systems
- Threat Intelligence Analyst – Ultimate Software
- Software Engineer – Google
- Data Scientist – Chango
Learn about the future of careers in math, coding, and data.
Student life, including women in mathematics
Math Society (MathSoc)
MathSoc is run by students for students and provides a wide range of clubs and services as well as social and academic events to make your experience as a Waterloo Mathematics student the best it can be. There are many ways to get involved and to meet students in other Faculty of Mathematics programs.
Outside of the Faculty of Mathematics, our campus is packed with opportunities to get involved, no matter how unique your interests. Between clubs supported by the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, sports and recreation, student government, and an incredible range of events, there's something for everyone at Waterloo!
Women in Mathematics
The Women in Mathematics (WiM) community encourages and advocates for women of all ages who are interested in studying math and pursuing a career in a related area. WiM strives for all genders to be well-represented in mathematics and welcomes people with under-represented gender identities.
Women in Computer Science
Women in Computer Science (WiCS) promotes gender equity for students interested in studying computer science and pursuing career in computing. WiCS has a very active student-run committee and offers events such as the Big CSters mentoring program, workshops, a speaker series, and panels about diversity in computer science and STEM.
There's also Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (WiSTEM), a student-run club that welcomes all students (regardless of gender) to promote equality in STEM. Opportunities include skills workshops, discussions, homework help, and guest speakers.
Pure Mathematics admission requirements
Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- Advanced Functions
- Calculus and Vectors
- Any 4U English
- One other 4U course
Recommended course: Grade 11 U Introduction to Computer Science
Admission averages: Individual selection from the high 80s
How to apply?
Apply to Mathematics and choose Pure Mathematics as your major at the end of first year. Once you've applied, you'll need to complete the Admission Information Form as part of the application process.
To be considered for entrance scholarships in the Faculty of Mathematics, you must write one or both of the contests. If you complete both contests, we'll use the results of the contest in which you performed best.
Connect with us
Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?
Contact Laura Jane Watkins, our Mathematics recruitment coordinator, who can answer any questions you have.