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.


Female student writing equation on whiteboard

The Department of Pure Mathematics at Waterloo specializes in five major research areas: algebra, analysis, geometry, number theory, and logic.

#1First faculty of mathematics in North America

briefcaseGain two years of paid experience through the co-op program

globeWaterloo is an international leader in Mathematics


Pure Mathematics admission requirements

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.

We strongly encourage you to participate in the Canadian Senior Mathematics Contest and/or the Euclid Mathematics Contest to enhance your admissions status.

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.

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First-year Pure Mathematics courses

You may select advanced-stream courses for algebra, calculus, and computer science if you meet the requirements. 

September to December

  • MATH 135 - Algebra for Honours Mathematics
  • MATH 137 - Calculus 1 for Honours Mathematics
  • Choose one of:
    • CS 115 - Introduction to Computer Science
    • CS 135 - Designing Functional Programs
  • One communication skills course
  • One elective

January to April

  • MATH 136 - Linear Algebra 1 for Honours Mathematics
  • MATH 138 - Calculus 2 for Honours Mathematics
  • Choose one of:
    • CS 116 - Introduction to Computer Science 2
    • CS 136 - Algorithm Design and Data Abstraction
  • Two electives

After first year

The majority of your required courses will be pure mathematics courses, with additional courses in mathematics. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

View a list of courses required for your degree.

Sample upper-year courses

PMATH 348 - Fields and Galois Theory
PMATH 365 - Differential Geometry
PMATH 440 - Analytic Number Theory
PMATH 450 - Lebesgue Integration and Fourier Analysis


book iconAvailable as a major and minor

math tieOffered by the Faculty of Mathematics

Graduation capEarn a Bachelor of Mathematics degree


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

Customize your Bachelor of Mathematics degree in Pure Mathematics

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students.  

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.

Recent graduates

  • 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.

Ready to learn more?