Advising: Math Placement

Which Mathematics Courses Should I Take?

Q1: Do you have transfer or test credit for Calculus I (MAC 2311) or a higher level course?
If so, consult the Transfer and Test Credits section below. If not, proceed to Q2.

Q2: Are you considering a concentration in the natural or the social sciences?
If so, consult the With Calculus section below. If not, consult the Without Calculus section below.

Transfer and Test Credits

If you have transfer credit, AP credit, or IB credit, let your advisor know. This is especially important if you have credits at the level of Calculus I (MAC 2311) or higher. The credits you bring in will probably determine what class you should take. For instance, if you have AP Calculus AB credit, you may enroll in Calculus II (MAC 2312). If you have AP Calculus BC credit (4 or 5), you may enroll in Calculus III, Discrete Mathematics, Differential Equations or Matrix Theory (at least one of which is offered almost every semester).

Transfer credits for our standard core courses (MAC 1147, MAC 2311, MAC 2312, MAC 2313, STA 2023, MAT 1932, MGF 1107) can be used to satisfy the Honors College mathematics requirement. Transfer credit for other mathematics courses will count as credits toward graduation requirements, and may satisfy the core requirements. In particular, IB credit received for MGF 1106 shall be viewed as equivalent to our MGF 1107. Please see your advisor (or one of the math professors) if you have questions about a particular course.

With Calculus

If you wish to concentrate in the natural sciences or the social sciences (especially economics), you are strongly encouraged to take calculus. Many natural and social science concentrations require calculus, but even those that don't require calculus may recommend it. Talk to your advisor to be sure you understand the requirements for the concentration(s) you are considering.

If you have taken Calculus in high school:

  • But did not take the AP Exam, you should take MAC 2311.
  • And took the AP Exam, but got a score 3 or lower, you should take MAC 2311.
  • And took AP Calc AB and scored a 4 or 5, then you can take MAC 2312 H Calculus 2.

Regardless of the scores above, if you have not taken a Trigonometry course, enroll in Precalculus.

If you feel strongly that you want to take Calculus I, but your placement score suggests Precalculus, or vice versa, please speak with one of the math professors.

Without Calculus

If you opt not to take calculus in college (or in high school), you will find that all fields in science (including pre-medicine), technology, and economics will be inaccessible to you. A decision to not take calculus is essentially a decision to close the door on a very wide range of concentrations and career options. In particular, if you re not sure about your long term plans, we recommend that you go ahead and get started on the calculus track. The longer you wait between mathematics courses, the harder it is to get back in the swing of things. Taking calculus keeps all doors open!

If you have not taken Calculus in high school:

  • But your math SAT is greater than 600 or math ACT is greater than 25, you are ready to take MAC 2311. 
  • But your math SAT is between 550-600 or your math ACT is between 24-25, you should take MAC 1147 H PreCalculus. Please do not place yourself in MAC 2311 Calc 1 (unless you have taken PreCalc or Calc 1 in high school).
  • But your math SAT is less than 550 or math ACT is less than 24 AND you are in a science concentration, you are not advised to take math in the Fall. If this applies to you , we recommend you postpone taking PreCalculus/Calculus during your very first semester and take biology and chemistry along with one core course. The only exception is if you took PreCalculus or Calculus 1 during your senior year in high school, then you could take the MAC 1147 or MAC 2311. 

Precalculus (MAC 1147) is not usually recommended for students who do not plan to take calculus.