Freshman Math

Your choice of the intro level math course depends generally on two things, the school you are enrolled in and your potential major.

To meet the needs of students with different goals and interests, there are four sections below; read the one that most closely matches your situation.

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Read this section if one of these statements is true:

  • You are a CCAS student and you are interested in sciences (physical, mathematical, biological or the quantitative social sciences).
  • You are a SEAS student.
  • You don't know what your potential major is but you like math and you are simply interested in it.

Course to take:  Calculus. Which level ?

  • Start with the placement test. It is a tool to help you find the calculus based math course most appropriate for your level of preparation. 
  • Math 1231 is the typical starting place for students who have not received AP credit for calculus but have a good precalculus background.
  • For students who are not quite prepared for Math 1231, the Math Department offers Math 1220-1221, a one year course sequence that combines precalculus with calculus. 
  • If you took AP Test Calculus AB and received a 4 or a 5 (or AB subscore on the BC test) then this earns you credit for Math 1231. You should take Math 1232 Calculus II.
  • If you took AP Test Calculus BC and received a 4 or a 5 then this earns you credit for both Math 1231-1232. You should take Math 2233 Multivariable Calculus

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Read this section if one of these statements is true:

  • You are a CCAS student and your potential major does not require calculus.
  • You are a CCAS student and you don't know what your potential major is but you are not a "math person" and you only take math to satisfy the quantitative reasoning requirement.

Course to take: Choose from among Math 1009 Mathematical Ideas I, Math 1010 Mathematical Ideas II, Math 1007 Mathematics and Politics, Math 0801 Dean's Seminars.

These courses are designed with the non-technical student in mind seeking to meet the general education curriculum requirement in quantitative reasoning. They require little background in mathematics and provide an introduction to actual fields of mathematical research. Remember that you also have an option of taking a statistics course instead of math to achieve learning goals for quantitative reasoning.

Be aware that calculus keeps academic and career options open that the four courses listed in this section do not, so, unless your path is firmly set on a non-technical area, you still may be best served by a calculus course.

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Read this section if :

  • You are a School of Business student.

Course to take: You must take two math courses chosen from: Math 1051 Finite Mathematics for the Social and Management Sciences, Math 1252 Calculus for the Social and Management Sciences, Math 1231 Calculus I, Math 1232 Calculus II. Specifically, take one of the pairs: Math 1051 and 1252, or Math 1051 and 1231, or Math 1231 and 1232.

The choice of the two courses is not random. Math 1051 and 1252 are specifically designed for Business school students, you can take them in any order. Math 1231 and 1252 are both calculus courses, so credit for only one of the two may be applied toward a degree. Math 1252 is not part of the standard calculus sequence and it does not prepare you adequately to take Math 1232.

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Read this section if :

  • You are an Elliott School student.

Course to take: You are required to take one or two math courses (depending on the date of your admission).

If you like math or perhaps are planning to minor in sciences then you should choose a calculus based course, Math 1220, 1231, or 1252. Take the placement test to determine which one is the most appropriate for your level of preparation. If you only want to satisfy the quantitative reasoning requirement then you should choose from among Mathematical Ideas I, II (Math 1009 or 1010), Mathematics and Politics (Math 1007), and Dean's Seminars (Math 0801). These courses require little background in mathematics and provide an introduction to actual fields of mathematical research.

Be aware that calculus keeps academic and career options open that the four non-calculus courses listed in this section do not, so, unless your path is firmly set on a non-technical area, you still may be best served by a calculus course.

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If none of the statements above applied to you consult your Academic Advisor about your program's specific math requirements.