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Preparation for Studying Mathematics

Since many degree programs within the University require courses in mathematics, students are encouraged to complete four years of high school mathematics. In general this would include two years of algebra, a year of geometry and a year of precalculus that includes trigonometry.

Students with Advanced Placement AB credit (score of 4 or 5) or Math IB Higher Level (score of 5, 6, or 7) start college mathematics in Calculus II, while students with AP BC credit (score of 4 or 5) start in Calculus III. AP credit in Statistics (score of 4 or 5) is equivalent to MATH 037.

Unless exempted, students are tested for quantitative skills during student orientation sessions. A quantitative fundamental skills requirement is part of the general education program and requires passing an Intermediate Algebra or higher level test during orientation or completing a college level Statistics or College Algebra course.

In order to enroll in mathematics department courses numbered 033, 035, 041, 045, 051, 053, or 161, students must take and pass a mathematics placement examination appropriate to the course prerequisite. Some courses in Economics, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Psychology, the Educational Resource Center and Political Science also have mathematics placement requirements.

Students will choose the test level to be taken in consultation with their faculty adviser. These tests include placement tests in Calculus for students who have had Calculus but do not have AP credit or do not know their AP score. The Calculus (Form E placement) test is for placement only and does not award credit for Math 51. Subject material for the examinations and sample questions are available at the Educational Resource Center website.

For students needing additional preparation before entering introductory college mathematics courses, the Mathematics Lab of the Educational Resource Center in the Benerd School of Education offers developmental skill courses in the areas of fundamental mathematics, algebra and Trigonometry.

Preparation for the Major


The first course in all Mathematics majors is Calculus I, II or III depending on the student's high school preparation in mathematics. Majors with AP Math AB or IB Math HL credit should start in Calculus II. Majors with AP Math BC credit should start in Calculus III.

Students who are not able to start in Calculus I because of deficiencies in their algebra or Trig skills will start in MATH 041, Precalculus. Students who place lower than MATH 041 should discuss with their adviser how much extra time will be required to complete their degree program because of the required developmental work.