At the University of Akron applied mathematicians develop and apply mathematical methods for the formulation, analysis, and solution of problems in the sciences and engineering. Given the interdependence between applied mathematics, the sciences and engineering, the question arises as to the type of training that the applied mathematician should receive. From an historical as well as a modern perspective an applied mathematician should ideally be a blend of a scientist or engineer, a mathematician, and even a computer scientist. There have been few such individuals throughout history. This fact, coupled with the complexity of modern research problems, has led to a call for interdisciplinary teams to attack problems in the sciences and engineering. The applied mathematician, working with such a team, should have an understanding of problems appropriate to the area of application as well as a broad knowledge of mathematics and computing.

Hence, the emphasis of the Applied Mathematics program at Akron is twofold: first, to provide training for students to analyze and solve contemporary and significant problems in the sciences and engineering using modern methods of mathematical analysis(both analytical and numerical), and second, to develop students' interdisciplinary communication skills, thereby enhancing their ability to interact with other professionals. Due to the interdisciplinary theme, the program's objectives center around achieving a balance between mathematics and an area of application .

The Master's program in physical sciences and engineering prepares the student to work in industry, a government laboratory, or to pursue further graduate work at the Doctoral level.

The Ph.D. program in Engineering Applied Mathematics will equip students to carry out research in an industrial or university environment. It will broaden the student's background in mathematics as well as a chosen engineering discipline and will provide the student with the interdisciplinary communication skills and problem solving experiences which are highly demanded of today's professional mathematicians