Math programs

The diverse courses of Northwestern’s math and physics departments will teach you both analytical and creative problem-solving skills. Together those add up so you equal an attractive candidate, whether you’re headed to the job market or graduate school.

“Advanced” actuarial science

Our actuarial science program is 1 of only 89 programs nationwide classified as “advanced undergraduate” by the Society of Actuaries—and 1 of just 3 among the 100 members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. Our curriculum covers everything on the first 3 professional actuarial exams, as well as some topics on the 4th and 5th of 8 exams. That means you'll be further along in the process of becoming a certified actuary—and you’ll rise to the top with future employers.

Math teaching

If you want calculated career preparation for teaching, you're set with either a math major or a math teaching minor. In addition to your math classes, you’ll pursue your secondary education certification through an education department that is one of only 4 in Iowa to be NCATE accredited.


Northwestern’s pre-engineering program is designed for the students who want to begin their college experience at a liberal arts college and then, after two or three years, transfer to a department of engineering at a university to complete the sequence of technical courses required for a degree in a specific field of engineering.

Northwestern College-University of Minnesota dual-degree program

A dual degree program, leading to a bachelors in an area of mathematics or physical science from Northwestern College and a bachelor’s degree in a branch of engineering from the University of Minnesota, is available to qualified Northwestern College students. This dual degree program will require at least three years of attendance at Northwestern College followed by two or more years of attendance at the University of Minnesota.

Northwestern students will be selected for entrance into the College of Science & Engineering based on the calculation of a cumulative grade point average using all grades including repeats. The minimum grade point average for admission will vary by major field and will be communicated to Northwestern College at the beginning of each academic year. No admission requirement will be greater than a 2.8 cumulative grade point average.

In the first three years of work taken at Northwestern College, students must complete appropriate courses in chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics for the sought after degrees at both schools. The College of Science & Engineering will work with Northwestern College advisors to recommend appropriate courses for each of its engineering programs. Attendance during the summer at the University of Minnesota may be recommended in some cases. This would allow Northwestern students to pick up courses unavailable and to minimize the length of their program.

Dual degree students should also take Integrative General Education courses to meet the graduation requirements at Northwestern College. However, dual degree students will not need to meet the liberal education requirements for the University of Minnesota.

Courses, passed with a grade of C- or better, will be transferred to the University of Minnesota transcript as credit for equivalent courses, even though they may not be required by the engineering curriculum selected by the student.

During the period of time at the University of Minnesota, students will complete the requirements specified in the College of Science & Engineering Bulletin at the time of admission to their engineering degree programs. The coursework, passed with a "C" grade or better, at the University of Minnesota will also be transferred to Northwestern College to complete the requirements for the selected degree.

When transferring to the College of Science & Engineering from Northwestern College, the student is expected to submit applications for admission, reciprocity, housing (if necessary), and financial aid on standard forms. These forms must be submitted in accord with the deadlines published in the current Institute of Technology documents.

Changes in curricula, at both institutions, will be accommodated as they occur. Students will be eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies at both Northwestern College and the College of Science & Engineering.

The College of Science & Engineering commits to report on a regular basis the performance of dual degree students currently enrolled. This will be sent to an appropriate person at Northwestern College.

A second program enables students to receive a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College and also to receive a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota. This program involves four years at Northwestern College and, typically, two years at the College of Science & Engineering. It may be necessary for students to take several extra courses before proceeding through the graduate curriculum; the number of such courses will vary by major and emphasis. Admission is not guaranteed.

Recruitment of students for this program will be the responsibility Northwestern College with the cooperation of the College of Science & Engineering.

Transfer to Iowa State University or other universities

Students can transfer to other universities for completion of their engineering degree. Such transfer usually occurs after spending two years at Northwestern. Special consideration is given to students who plan to transfer to Iowa State University as the program at Northwestern College is carefully coordinated with the programs in engineering at Iowa State University through the advising process.

Students interested in transferring to a university other than Iowa State University should obtain a catalog from the university of interest. They should then confer with the program director as the second step in the planning process after the first semester registration is completed.

Recommended courses
Social science-humanities electives (18 credits)
CHE 111 - General Chemistry
CHE 112 - General Chemistry
CSC 171 - Computer Science I
ENG 288 - Writing in the Professions
MAT 112 - Calculus I
MAT 211 - Calculus II
MAT 212 - Calculus III
MAT 312 - Differential Equations
PHY 211 - Classical Physics I
PHY 212 - Classical Physics II
PHY 270 - Classical Dynamics
Total credits recommended: 59