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Math Placement and Sequencing

Math placement is one of the most vexing advising issues with entering students. Students who do not want to continue in math should know that there is no specific “math requirement”; there is, however, the QDS (Quantitative or Deductive Science) requirement, which, it should be noted, can be filled by a number of non-math courses.
(see Science Courses for the Non-Major)

Students who want to take a math course to fulfill their QDS requirement but do not want to pursue math or do not need Math 3 or above for other requirements (for instance, pre-health or chemistry requirements) should consider Math 5 (Exploring Mathematics), Math 6 (Intro to Finite Mathematics) or Math 10 (Introductory Statistics)

Many will have placement through pre-matriculation credit or testing and will be placed into one of the following:

Math 3:

Intro to Calculus

Math 1-2:

Covers in two terms what Math 3 covers in one term, and is supported by the Integrated Academic Support Program (IAS) run out of the Academic Skills Center.
If a student successfully completes the Math 1-2 sequence they can continue into Math 8 in the spring.

Math 8:

Calculus of Functions of One and Several Variables

Math 11:

Multivariable Calculus, designed specifically for first-year students who place out of Math 3 and 8 and is offered only in the fall.
Note that if a student is placed into 11 or 12 but does not want to take math in the fall, s/he will most likely take Math 8, and this will result in losing a pre-matriculation credit.
Such a student should talk with Professor Scott Pauls.

Math 12:

An Honors section of Math 11.  Note caution above.

The typical sequence is: Math 3, Math 8, Math 13 (14)

Note that:

Math 4:

Applications of Calculus in Medicine and Biology, is designed for students interested in the Life-Sciences or fulfilling pre-health requirements.
(Many health profession schools require two calculus courses and this serves as a second course after Math 3.)
It cannot serve as a prerequisite  for any other courses in math and has MATH 3 (or its equivalent) as a prerequisite.

Math 12:

is the honors section of Math 11.

Math 13:

Calculus of Vector-Valued Functions, is the course that follows MATH 8, and covers much of the same material as MATH 11 but is not interchangeable with Math 11.

Math 14:

an honors section of Math 13

Math 17:

An Introduction to Mathematics Beyond Calculus, is designed for first-year students with credit for 3 and 8 who are particularly motivated and interested in Math.  The aim is to introduce a potential Math major to interesting questions in the discipline of Mathematics bef ore the student undergoes the rigors of the major .   After taking 17, a student would likely take Math 13/14 or 11/12 if they have not already done so.
While it is possible to take Math 17 without credit for Math 3 and 8, it is likely in the student's best interest to take calculus in their first year and then take Math 17 in the second year.  A student who wishes to take Math 17 without credit for Math 3 and 8 should consult directly with Pete Winkler, who is the instructor of that course in 2014-15.


This will occur in a placement record only for students whose placement is being determined by British A-levels.  In this case, an “EX” actually indicates a “recommended placement”.  In this case, a student should consult directly with Professor Scott Pauls about placement if the student wants to take Math.

Professor of Mathematics Scott Pauls (6-1047) serves as the First-Year Advisor, and is available for consultation.  A phone call is the best way to get immediate advice.

Typical Introductory Sequencing of Classes
The appropriate course for a first-year student is dependent upon his or her math placement (if any).  Characteristic sequences are as follows:

Placement Track Fall Winter Spring
None Integrated Academic Support Math 1
(by invitation)
Math 2 Math 8
None or Math 3 Standard calculus sequence I Math 3

Math 8

Math 13 or 14
None or Math 3

Standard calculus sequence II
(delayed one term)

No Math Math 3 Math 8
None or Math 3 [+] Pre-health or life-sciences major,
terminal sequence
Math 3
(or place out)
Math 4  
Math 8 Advanced placement sequence Math 8 Math 13 or 14 Math 22
(or other)
Math 11 Accelerated calculus sequence Math 11 or 12 Math 24  
Math 11 [+]   Math 13 or 14
(by department placement)
Math 24  
Math 11 [+] Possible math major Math 11/12 or 13/14 Math 17 Math 24
(or other)

Last Updated: 9/4/13