Department of Mathematics

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General Information about Studying Mathematics

Why study Mathematics?

Mathematical studies at university impart expertise of mathematical methods which are indispensable today in technology and in the economy. Students also acquire skills that are in great demand in many occupational areas, for example analytical abilities, a systematic and constructive approach to complex problems and a precise working method. This demand combined with a decreasing number of graduates leads to an increasing need of mathematicians on the part of the companies. But above all mathematics is fascinating. Its academic studies – given an appropriate interest – are exciting.

Which are the occupational fields for mathematicians?

Today mathematicians can be found in the following occupational areas:

  • Banking and Insurance Industry
  • Consulting and Controlling
  • Information Technology and Tech Industry
  • Universities and Research Institutions
  • Education

Many of these fields are particularly strong in and around the city of Munich. Moreover, the average earnings of mathematicians are the highest among all university graduates in the math and science sector.

What are the requirements for studying mathematics?

The only formal requirement is a university-entrance diploma like the German Abitur. There are no other admission restrictions. Though, it is very important to show interest and excitement for mathematics. A certain inclination is also necessary.

When does the degree programme in mathematics start?

The programme can be started in winter or summer semester. Introductory courses in minor subjects are sometimes offered only in winter semester.

What does the degree programme in mathematics consist of?

At the beginning of the studies there are mainly three different types of courses:

  • Lectures: A lecturer explains the most important subject matter.
  • Exercise sessions: During the exercise session the content of the lecture is reviewed. Every week there is an exercise sheet which has to be solved by the students. The sheets are corrected by the exercise instructor. Then the corrected exercise sheets are discussed in small groups. Attending the exercise courses is of paramount importance for understanding the subject matter. After all, mathematics and its methods can only be truly grasped by “doing it yourself”.
  • Seminars: Seminars are study groups where the students give a presentation on a certain subject.

Besides this, there are complementary courses on offer.

Which final degrees are offered?

There are different degree programmes which lead to one of the following final degrees:

Generally it is possible to switch between the degree programmes at a later stage. So the decision for one degree programme is not necessarily final.

What does a typical schedule look like?

During the first two semesters students generally attend two lectures: Analysis I (Differential and Integral Calculus) and Linear Algebra I (Systems of Linear Equations and Vector Spaces). The lectures take place twice a week each, normally for 90 (2 x 45) minutes (sometimes with a break of 15 minutes). The respective exercise course takes another 90 (2 x 45) minutes. Altogether this adds up to 2 x (4+2) = 12 lessons per week. Depending on the degree programme there might also be courses in the minor.