A university degree with a major in mathematics is regarded highly for several reasons:

- Historically, mathematics has a rich heritage as a fundamental academic subject area that is characterized by logical development, precision, and accuracy.
- Contemporary mathematics continues the tradition of providing the underlying basis and structure for virtually all modern scientific and technological developments.
- A university graduate with a degree in mathematics is acknowledged to have a thorough understanding of how to analyze and solve problems and a versatility that permits this knowledge and skill to be used in a broad array of applications, from space flight trajectories to life insurance tables, and in many fields, from accounting to zoology.
- There are many professional opportunities for the mathematics major in addition to those traditional ones such as teaching and serving as a mathematician in government or industry. Various graduate and professional schools, such as law schools, regard a mathematics major quite favorably.
- Modern sciences, whether natural, biological, social, or engineering, are so infused with mathematical concepts that individuals studying these areas should consider a minor or a second major in mathematics to complement the science major and to greatly enhance employment opportunities.

The Mathematics Department at Humboldt offers a strong yet flexible curriculum designed to portray both the beauty and importance of mathematics. Students are treated as individuals. Upon completion of a mathematics major, a student should feel better equipped to be a participant in a scientifically complex environment. From a subjective point of view, the graduate should have an improved grasp of the art and beauty of rational reasoning and discourse, both as an observer and participant. From an objective point of view, the graduate should have acquired skills which, alone or in combination with others, will enhance both understanding of and performance in the scientific world. Furthermore, he/she will either be prepared to pursue a career in an area related to mathematics or to embark upon a course of study leading to an advanced degree.

In addition, the Mathematics Department offers a graduate program in mathematical modeling within the context of the masters degree in Environmental Systems. The graduate courses in applied mathematics emphasize mathematical modeling of renewable natural resources and environmental systems.