The Rob and Melani Walton Center for Planetary Health at Arizona State University

Applied mathematics for the life and social sciences, BS

Do you want to help prevent disease outbreaks, disasters or addictions? Today, we have access to more data than ever before, making math crucial to understanding and improving human safety, health and security. Learn the practical theories, models and approaches of this new scientific movement.

Program description

The BS in applied mathematics for the life and social sciences is unlike any other math program. It offers a novel approach to investigating, integrating and solving problems in the physical, life and social sciences in such topics as mass violence, contagion, wildlife-human interactions and the transmission of behaviors through influence.

Degree seekers in this program are immersed in the use of mathematical theory, modeling and computational methods while collaborating with and contributing to diverse fields such as anthropology, global health and environmental social science.

The insights and skills gained allow graduates to confidently create accurate, versatile and practical answers desperately needed in order to improve or remedy real-life issues.

STEM-OPT for International Students on F-1 Visas

This program may be eligible for an Optional Practical Training extension for up to 36 months. This OPT work authorization term may help international students gain skills and experience in the U.S. Those interested in an OPT extension should review ASU degrees that qualify for the STEM-OPT extension at ASU’s International Students and Scholars Center website.

The OPT extension only applies to students on an F-1 visa and does not apply to students completing the degree through ASU Online.

Career opportunities

Graduates of the program possess the quantitative, scientific and analytical skills that are critical for professionals working in the environmental, life, health, mathematical and social science fields. Nationally recognized experts ensure graduates are well equipped for prestigious career paths in government, medicine, technology, security or other fields requiring rigorous data analysis, with an insight into human behavior.

The need for scientists and professionals quantitatively trained in the life and social sciences is strong in Arizona and the nation. This program’s applied use of mathematics, modeling, statistics and simulation methodologies are in high demand and provide excellent training for future academics and professionals in industries including:

  • bioinformatics
  • computational sciences
  • ecology
  • genomics
  • data mining
  • mathematical analysis
  • mathematical epidemiology
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • population dynamics
  • social science

Career example titles and salaries listed below are not necessarily entry level, and students should take into consideration how years of experience, geographical location, and required advanced degrees or certifications may affect pay scales.

Career*Growth*Median salary
Actuary (Financial Risk Analyst)20.8%$113,990
Clinical Trial Manager5.9%$144,440
Health Sciences Manager5.9%$144,440
High School Teacher4.6%$62,360
Mathematical Science Assistant6.6%$71,700
Mathematics Professor6.0%$77,420
*Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).