The most essential courses for an undergraduate student wishing to enter graduate studies in mathematics are the calculus sequence (often three one-term courses and a course in advanced calculus) and a course in linear algebra. For students interested in applied mathematics, the next most important courses would be introductory classes in ordinary and partial differential equations, followed by probability and statistics; it is also desirable for a student to master at least one computer language. For students interested in pure mathematics, a course in mathematical analysis would come next, followed by algebra or more advanced courses in analysis, depending on the student's focus.
Students can benefit from taking core courses from another department, such as physics, chemistry, biology or computer science. The Courant Institute welcomes applicants with undergraduate degrees in areas other than mathematics, such as physics, biology, computer science or engineering.