St. Bonaventure University

Careers & Internships

John Butler, Class of 2017, at the graduation ceremony
John Butler, Class of 2017, put "QED" on his graduation cap. The letters stand for the Latin phrase "Quod Erat Demonstrandum," meaning "which was to be demonstrated." The acronym is a traditional way to conclude a mathematical proof, and a wonderful way to conclude a B.S. in mathematics.

Mathematical careers

Why is a degree in mathematics so valuable and versatile?

  • Mathematics has the power to reveal and quantify patterns in every human discipline.
  • The world of the 21st century is a world suffused with numerical information.
  • The deep study of mathematics endows one with the ability to reason carefully, to communicate with precision, and to focus on details.

For these reasons, the array of careers that one can enter with a degree in mathematics is enormous and varied. Here are a few of the paths open to those with a degree in mathematics.

  • Actuarial science
  • Applied mathematics (engineering, modeling, simulation, mathematical physics)
  • Art (sculpting, painting, music, fashion design)
  • Business administration
  • College teaching
  • Computer science
  • Cryptography
  • Editing (mathematical books and articles)
  • Finance (financial analysis, financial planning, economics)
  • Law
  • Mathematical exposition (popular-press books and articles, educational television)
  • Medical research
  • Medicine (pre-med)
  • Operations research
  • Quality control
  • Secondary teaching
  • Statistics

Most of these careers involve the frequent use of mathematics. Some, like law, have little mathematical content, but require the skills that one acquires by obtaining a degree in mathematics. These skills–logical thinking, precision of language, attention to detail, perseverance–are invaluable in any career. As one of the mottos of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics says, If you can do math, you can do anything.

For two of the careers listed above, St. Bonaventure offers additional educational preparation. Students interested in business administration may obtain an MBA at SBU by remaining for a fifth year. See the Master of Business Administration page for detailed information. Students desiring certification in secondary teaching may obtain a master's degree in secondary education at SBU. See the MSEd Adolescence Education page for detailed information.

If you love math but are unsure what you'd do with a math degree...

You are not alone! With so many career paths available to you, it can be difficult to choose one. To help you make an informed decision, you have many resources at your disposal. Here are a few...

Resources for mathematical careers

Internships, REUs, and other summer programs

Would you like real-world experience while an undergraduate? Certain agencies and institutions offer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) or other summer programs in which undergraduate students may get a taste of graduate school or professional life. Programs are offered for mathematics and a wide range of other disciplines.

The NSF, AMS, MAA, NASA, and NSA links provided below offer expansive listings of summer mathematics programs.

St. Bonaventure can guide you to a program that fits your interests and goals. For assistance with mathematics programs, see Dr. Maureen Cox or Dr. Chris Hill. For additional resources concerning experiential education, visit the SBU Career and Professional Readiness Center (CPRC).