Advising Information

Your most important resource is your advisor. A list of advisors can be found here. If you are not sure who your advisor is, contact Dr. Brad Jackson (MH 316), who sends out emails to math majors notifying them of their assigned advisor during the first week of October in the fall and the first week of March in the spring. Announcements are now posted on our math advising blog. Please subscribe; it will help you keep up-to-date.

See our undergraduate advising how-to list (.DOCX) for importan information, such as "how does graduation work?" "how to apply for graduation?" "how does adding/dropping/repeating classes work?" or "how to register for calculus?"

  • Math minors should contact Dr. Marilyn Blockus (MH 311) for advising. Math majors who need advising or who want an advising hold removed should contact their assigned advisor. Students who want to change their major to math should contact Dr. Brad Jackson (MH 316).
  • Dr. Wasin So is the graduate advisor.
  • Credential students can find program information here.
  • For statistics graduate students, please contact Dr. Martina Bremer (admissions questions) and Dr. Andrea Gottlieb (advising questions).
  • The Advising Hub contains information regarding university policies.

Here are some general questions about advising. If you have any questions not covered by this page or the resources above (especially the how-to list), please contact us.  


Who is your advisor and why do you need one? 

Your advisor is going to help you plan your courses, internships and other academic activities while you are pursing your mathematics degree at SJSU. Written words in the catalog are sometimes vague about the requirements for the degree. We have assigned you an advisor based on your degree program and concentration; your major advisor will stay the same unless you are notified of a change or your change your degree program. Your advisor can gauge the difficulty of the courses and thus make your life easier for you. Use your advisor as a resource for information and ideas; we want to get to know you and help you. 

How often do you meet with your advisor? 

Every semester, an advising hold is placed on each student's record which prevents the student from signing up for courses. You must meet with your advisor to lift the hold, so you must meet your advisor once a semester. Even if you are a double major and your other advisor already lifted the hold, you should still meet with your math advisor every semester so that he or she can keep track of your progress.

What do I do if my advisor doesn't get back to me?

It is the advisor's job to stay in touch with you and offer all the advising help you need. If you do not get a response, try to meet your advisor in her or his office during scheduled office hours. Note that faculty are not required to report during the summer and winter breaks. If you are unable to get a reply from your advisor by phone or email during those times and your question is urgent, fill out the "Contact Us" form.

How do we (your advisor and you) plan your schedule?

At the start of your academic career, you will be taking some general education (GE) courses and beginning math and support courses. The lower division math courses are Math or Math 30P, Math 31, Math 32 and Math 42. Support courses are non-math courses required by your major (for example, Physics 50 is a support course for the BA Math program). It is important that you start taking your Math courses as soon as possible. When planning your schedule, start with the math courses you need to take. Then add the support courses. Lastly, fill in your schedule with your general education (G.E.) courses.

By the time you are taking Math 32, you and your advisor should make an academic plan for the remainder of your undergraduate career. Your advisor will help you select electives and will recommend a plan which is best suited to your needs and abilities. At this time, you may discuss your future plans such as career objectives and graduate school plans. This would help your advisor suggest courses and co-curricular activities like internships and summer research.

I'm a freshman / transfer student. What is special about my situation regarding advising?

Freshmen are required to attend Frosh Orientation where they meet with College of Science advisors and register for the first semester courses. There may be a math advisor at the advising session. If not, please contact us to verify that you are enrolled in the appropriate courses. 

Transfer students are required to attend TIP (Transfer Information Program). You will meet with an advisor from the Math Department when you attend the TIP. This advisor will help you plan your schedule for your first semester at SJSU. During your first semester at SJSU you should meet with our assigned advisor to make a long term plan for completing your degree. Bring a copy of all (unofficial) transcripts and grade reports to your transfer advising session.

How do I get credit for AP classes?

If you took AP classes, read the information on AP exams (http://info.sjsu.edu/static/catalog/ap.html). To get credit for your AP tests, you should have the results sent to SJSU.

I'm considering a Ph.D. program. What do I do?

If you are planning to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics, let your advisor know as soon as possible. Attend our Graduate School Workshop which is held in September. Apply to Ph.D. programs is much more complicated than applying to SJSU. You will need to take both the general and the math subject GRE's (http://www.ets.org/gre/), write a statement of purpose, research which graduate programs are best suited to you and find 3-4 people who will write letters of recommendation for you.

Special Notes about General Education (G.E.) courses

  • Area B1 and B3. Most math majors (see exceptions below) are required to take calculus based Physics which will satisfy these requirements.

  • Area B4. Even though it is not listed on the list of G.E. courses, Calculus will satisfy the Critical Thinking G.E. requirement. There is no need for you to take another math course from that list. A grade of C- or higher is required in the course used to satisfy the GE math concepts requirement.

  • Areas B, D for BS Applied and Computational Mathematics. The concentration in Applied Mathematics and Statistics required 2 lower division and 2 upper division support courses in an applied area. Sample sequences of support courses can be found in the document "Preapproved Support Courses" which is linked on our Forms and Documents page. For example, a student who decides to specialize in Genetics would have to take Bio 1A and Chem 1A. These two courses satisfy areas B1, B2 and B3. A student who follows the Economics sequence would have to take Econ 1B which satisfies area D1. We strongly recommend that these students discuss these options with their advisors as soon as possible.