Summer Math Courses at Other Institutions

The Math department recommends that math courses needed as a foundation for more advanced quantitative work be taken here at Princeton whenever possible. Even at peer institutions, the compressed schedule of summer courses simply cannot deliver the same depth and rigor as courses offered in the academic year. Summer math courses should be considered only as a last resort since the more superficial training they provide will put you at a disadvantage in your future quantitative work.

General Requirements

  • Courses used to satisfy the university's QR or QCR requirement must be taken here at Princeton.
  • Courses taken for Princeton credit must be real courses taken at a 4-year institution. This means NO community college or independent study courses can be approved.
  • A single course at a school on the quarter system cannot count as a Princeton math course equivalent. Note: this includes Stanford and many other well-respected schools out west.
  • Minimal requirements (number of weeks, hours of instruction) are detailed on the ODOC website (https://odoc.princeton.edu/criteria-courses-taken-other-institutions).
  • Approval for math courses numbered 214 and higher will be considered only if there are compelling reasons to do so (such as study abroad or a course deficiency incurred during the senior year).
  • The normal deadline for summer course approvals is dean's date of the spring semester. Requests received after that date will be considered only when a last minute emergency develops.

 

Application/Preapproval Procedures

  1. Step One: Fill out the Transfer Course Application Form, available on the ODOC website.
    1. Fill out the Student Contact Information and Course Details
    2. Attach a detailed description of the course including a syllabus that outlines:
      1. Description, frequency, and duration of course instruction sessions. This should also identify the interactive components of the instructional sessions. (If there is no or limited interaction between the instructor and the students, the course is unlikely to be approved.)
      2. A list of assignments that reflects a minimum of three (3) significant and varied requirements over the duration of the course (exams, problem sets, etc.)
      3. The textbook to be used in the class
      4. You should also attach a screenshot of the course listing in the institution's catalog that shows that it is a regularly offered course normally offered in a semester time frame.
    3. If the Princeton course you wish to replace has prerequisites (like 104 or 201), explain how you have satisfied the course prerequisites (AP exams, courses taken at Princeton). It may be helpful to include scores and grades for the prerequisite courses, as well as some basic information about why you want to take a summer math course.
  2. Step Two: For courses taught in the U.S., submit your packet to your dean or director of studies; for international courses, submit your packet to the director of study abroad.
  3. Step Three: Once you have received the approval in step 2 of the application, submit it to the Placement Officer, Dr. Ana Menezes (Fine Hall 510, amenezes@math.princeton.edu). You can also submit your form to the Undergraduate Administrator, Michelle Matel (mmatel@princeton.edu). Once the course has been reviewed by the Mathematics department, your form will be returned to you for the next steps in the process.

Notes:

  • Incomplete applications will be rejected.
  • A one paragraph list of topics from the course catalog is not sufficient documentation of the course content.
  • Sample exams are especially helpful to us. If the instructor is unwilling to send them to a student, you can ask them to send the exams directly to Dr. Menezes or Ms. Matel.
  • Syllabus and sample exams from the regular academic year are acceptable if these are not yet available for the summer course.
  • BSE students who want approval for a summer course in Ordinary Differential Equations (to substitute for MAE305) need to apply through the MAE department, not the Math department.
  • The Math department does not currently offer any statistics courses, and therefore such courses will not be considered for math credit. Instead, we suggest you consult a Princeton department (such as ORFE or PSY) that does teach statistics.

Approval Options:

  • General Lower Division Credit: If we are not satisfied that the course is substantially equivalent to any Princeton math course currently offered (in both content and academic rigor), we may approve the course for general lower division credit. In that case it may be used to remove a course deficiency, counting only as general credit towards graduation.

  • Fulfilling a Requirement: For students who wish to use a summer course to replace a standard Princeton math course and fulfill departmental or program prerequisites or requirements, a higher standard of documentation is needed. By far the most useful form of documentation is a sample final exam from a previous semester that demonstrates the academic rigor and content of the course.

    Also useful, but less definitive, is documentation that the school has an ABET-accredited engineering program and documentation that this particular course fulfills a calculus or linear algebra requirement for engineering students in that program. If you choose to provide documentation of this second type, organize this information carefully. Do not include superfluous pages and do highlight the relevant passages so we can find them easily.

Contacts

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Chair
Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies
Undergraduate Placement Officer