Overview of Lower Division Courses

General Information for First and Second Year Students:

Most incoming students interested in science, engineering or finance take courses from the standard calculus and linear algebra sequence 103-104-201-202 which emphasizes concrete computations over more theoretical considerations.  Note that 201 and 202 can be taken in either order. More mathematically inclined students, especially prospective physics majors, may opt to replace 201-202 with 203-204 for greater emphasis on theory and more challenging computational problems.

Students who are not prepared to begin with 103 may take 100, a rigorous introduction to calculus incorporated into a thorough review of topics from precalculus crucial for success in 103. MAT100 is offered only in the fall semester and intended for students whose highest math SAT score is below 650. 

Prospective economics majors can (minimally) fulfill their mathematical prerequisites with (100)-103-175.  MAT175 covers topics selected mostly from 201, with biology and economics applications in mind.  Students who wish to take ECO312, pursue graduate studies in economics or finance, or pursue a finance certificate are strongly advised to take 201-202 instead of 175. Success in 175 requires a solid knowledge of 103.

Prospective mathematics majors must take at least one course introducing formal mathematical argument and rigorous proofs.  The recommended first year sequence for prospective majors is 215-217.  Prospective majors who already have substantial experience with university-level proof-based analysis courses may consider the accelerated sequence 216-218 instead.  Other possible sequences for prospective majors include 214-204-203 and 203-204-215, although the latter two are relatively rare.  Note that 203 is offered only in fall, whereas 204 is offered only in spring, but these courses can be taken in either order.

Students who start in the 103-104-201-202 sequence can also succeed as mathematics majors.  Interested students should consult the placement officer or the associate departmental representative as early as possible.

Placement Overview:

Students with little or no background in calculus are placed in 103, or in 100 if their SAT mathematics scores indicate a need for precalculus review.  To qualify for placement in 104 or 175, a student should score 5 on the AB Advanced Placement Examination or a 4 on the BC Advanced Placement Examination.  To qualify for placement into 201 or 202, a student should have a score of 5 on the BC Examination.  Students who possess in addition a particularly strong interest in mathematics as well as a SAT mathematics score of at least 750 may opt for 203 or 214 or 215 or 216 instead.  


Undergraduate Placement Officer