Program Spotlight: Mathematics

Mathematics Transfer Pathway A.A. 60 credits

Studying mathematics at Inver Hills is a fun and exciting way to enhance your analytical and problem-solving skills while broadening your career options. From a practical standpoint, maybe Nikolai Lobachevsky, the Russian mathematician, said it best: “There is no branch of mathematics, however abstract, which may not some day be applied to phenomena of the real world.”

Mathematics is used in STEM fields such as engineering, chemistry, biology, physics, economics, statistics, actuarial science, environmental science, computer science and more.

As a mathematics student at Inver Hills, you will acquire a deeper appreciation for a field Albert Einstein called the “poetry of logical ideas.” As your skill set strengthens and you apply the power of math more and more in your daily life and career pursuits, you will find that you have developed the lifelong attitude of an inquisitive, resourceful mathematician.

Katherine Johnson
“We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and will go away, but there will always be science, engineering, and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics.”
— Katherine Johnson, American Mathematician for NASA

If you love the language of math, solving complex problems and exploring abstract concepts, then starting your college career by completing your Mathematics Transfer Pathway A.A. at Inver Hills adds up in a number of ways.

You can transfer as a junior to a four-year institution and complete your bachelor’s degree with far less student loan debt. You’ll also receive one-on-one instruction from our math faculty, something you probably won’t find at a university. The student support system provided by our Math department is second to none.

“Mathematics is the language in which the gods speak to people.”
— Plato, Athenian Philosopher

More about the Mathematics Transfer Pathway A.A.

The 60-credit Mathematics Transfer Pathway Associate of Arts (A.A.) offers you a powerful option: the opportunity to complete an A.A. degree with course credits that directly transfer to designated mathematics bachelor’s degree programs at one of the seven Minnesota State universities.¹ The entire curriculum has been carefully designed to guarantee you junior-year status. You can then can complete your bachelor’s degree by earning 60 additional credits.

The Mathematics Pathway consists of the Required Pathway Curriculum, the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), the Health and Physical Fitness Requirement, and any electives to bring your credit total to 60 credits.

Roger Bacon
“Mathematics is the door and key to the sciences.”
— Roger Bacon, English Philosopher and Franciscan Friar

Transferable Skills

Earning your Mathematics Transfer Pathway A.A. at Inver Hills will provide you with transferable skills that potential employers greatly value in their workforce. As a graduate with a math degree, you will have shown that you are team-oriented, organized, innovative, adaptable and experienced at solving problems.

Below are just a few of the skills you will acquire by studying mathematics:

  • Applying logic
  • Stating ideas and solutions clearly
  • Describing the physical world in terms of math
  • Analyzing data
  • Thinking precisely
  • Paying attention to detail
  • Following complex reasoning
  • Solving difficult problems
  • Identifying key issues
  • Showing flexibility
  • Investigating thoroughly
  • Listening effectively
  • Giving presentations
  • Mastering mathematical software
  • Organizing your time to meet deadlines
  • Succeeding under pressure
  • Working independently and cooperatively
  • Developing a rigorous, creative and determined mind
Maryam Mirzakhani
“It’s not only the question, but the way you try to solve it.”
— Maryam Mirzakhani, Iranian Mathematician and Fields Medal winner 2014

Mathematicians and Statisticians

Analyze data and apply mathematical and statistical techniques to help solve problems.


This is a very high-wage career that pays well above the statewide median of $21.49/hour

United States

Mean hourly wage for mathematicians: $51.57 (May 2019)
Mean hourly wage for statisticians: $46.00 (May 2019)
Median annual wage for mathematicians: $105,030 (May 2019)
Median annual wage for statisticians: $91,160 (May 2019)


Overall employment of mathematicians and statisticians is projected to grow 33 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Businesses will need these workers to analyze the increasing volume of digital and electronic data.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics • Occupational Outlook Handbook
George Pólya
“Mathematics is the cheapest science. Unlike physics or chemistry, it does not require any expensive equipment. All one needs for mathematics is a pencil and paper.”
— George Pólya, Hungarian Mathematician

Potential careers open to mathematics majors

Below are just a few examples of possible career paths that can begin with a Mathematics Transfer Pathway A.A.

Angela Gallant: Math Faculty Perspective

Angela Gallant

Angela Gallant began teaching at Inver Hills in 2001. Angela has an M.S. in Mathematics in the field of complex analysis from the University of Kentucky. She has a B.A. in Mathematics from the College of Saint Benedict.

“I love having a chance to meet a new group of people every semester,” Angela said, regarding her favorite part of teaching at Inver Hills, “to hear about students’ dreams and goals, and to know I’m playing a part in helping them reach those goals.”

Angela’s hobbies and interests include baking bread, working in the garden, reading, knitting, creating with her kids, riding bike, and playing the piano and flute.

Additional resources

Paul Dirac
“Mathematics is the tool specially suited for dealing with abstract concepts of any kind and there is no limit to its power in this field.
— Paul Dirac, English Theoretical Physicist

Why Inver Hills?

Completing your Mathematics Transfer Pathway A.A. obligations at Inver Hills is smart on several key levels:

  1. You will receive an excellent education with one-on-one interactions with mathematics faculty
  2. You will benefit from small class sizes while developing the practical, real-world skills of a mathematician
  3. You will save money and continue your academic and professional careers with less student debt

On a national scale, student loan debt has mushroomed to $1.56 trillion with 44.7 million borrowers. Minnesota is ranked ninth in the nation with an average student loan debt topping $32,000.

Tuition and fees for one year at Inver Hills costs less than $5,500. Compare that to $15,000 to $20,000 at a four-year school, or $40,000 to $50,000 at a private college or university. You can complete your first two years at Inver getting a topflight education working directly with mathematics faculty and then transfer to a four-year university with junior-year status all while saving thousands of dollars.

William Thurston
“Mathematics is an art of human understanding.”
— William Thurston, American Mathematician
Learn more about Mathematics at Inver Hills by contacting:

Janine Dahl, PhD
Mathematics Faculty

Admissions Team
College Center

¹ Mathematics Transfer Pathway A.A. universities in the Minnesota State system include:
Fern Hunt
“I began to get more of an aesthetic sense of mathematics when I started doing algebra. I think I did so well because it was a body of knowledge where things fit together.”
— Fern Hunt, American Mathematician
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