There are three awards: Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction in Mathematics. All mathematics majors (prime or second majors) are eligible for these awards. In practice, second majors will probably only choose to work toward Distinction in Mathematics, since the High and Highest Distinction awards require an honors thesis in mathematics.
If a student in Arts & Sciences earns High or Highest Distinction in Mathematics and meets the College's Requirements for Latin Honors, the Department will recommend that Latin Honors be attached to the student's degree. Students in other divisions (such as Business or Engineering) should check with the undergraduate office in their division about requirements for Latin Honors. Additional information about Latin Honors.
Of course, every major must complete the courses required for one of the major tracks. However, courses used to fulfill major track requirements can also count toward the coursework requirements listed below.
Every level of Distinction Award requires that a student start by fulfilling the Coursework Core. This Core, by itself, earns no award.
a) at least 3.65 GPA over all upper level mathematics (L24) courses, and
b) completion with grades of B or better (not B-) of
i) one of the course sequences 4111-4121, 429-430, 493-494, 449-450, and
ii) three additional 400-500 level regularly scheduled mathematics courses. For this requirement, "regularly scheduled mathematics course” means an L24 course that is home-based in the Mathematics Department and is not an independent study. L24 courses that are not home-based are those crosslisted from other departments; these usually have course numbers ending with a C. For example, such as L24 501C is identical with L31 Physics 501 and is not home-based in the Mathematics Department.
Note: courses transferred to W.U. or courses taken abroad in a mathematics or statistics department as part of a W.U. approved overseas study program will count toward the mathematics courses required, provided they are transferred to W.U. as 400-level mathematics courses and the transcript indicates a level of performance comparable to a "B" or better at Washington University. However, because grades for such courses never appear on the WU record, the grades for such courses will not be included in calculations for the GPA requirements.
Distinction in Mathematics
Awarded for Coursework Core plus
a) completion of one additional regularly scheduled mathematics course at the 400-500 level with grade at least B (not B-), or
b) passing the first actuarial exam (P) from Society of Actuaries. The exam must be taken early enough so that we can get official notification of a passing score in time to certify award recipients. For May graduates, the certification happens at the end of March.
High Distinction in Mathematics
Awarded for Coursework Core plus satisfactory completion of an honors thesis.
Highest Distinction in Mathematics
Awarded to students who earn High Distinction and whose
a) coursework includes completion of at least one of the graduate level sequences 5021-5022, 5031-5032, 5041-5042 (or 5043), 5051-5052, 5061-5062 and passing the graduate qualifing exam for that course sequence**, or
b) coursework includes all the requirements for the Honors Program in Statistics with grades of B or better (not B-) in all required 400-level courses
(**) if it happens that graduate qualifying exams have not been evaluated before the College requires submission of distinction awards, then the recommendation of the qualifying course instructor will be followed instead.