Math Course Selection and Advice
About Calculus for Math and Physical Science Majors
Students pursuing or likely to pursue majors in Mathematics, Chemistry, Geophysics, Geology-Geophysics, or Physics, or following the B.S. program in Computer Science, should take one of the Calculus courses required by their major in the first Fall semester. You will choose from the following:
- MT102 Calculus I - Math & Science Major
- MT105 Calculus II-AP - Math & Science Major
- MT202 Multivariable Calculus
These Calculus courses are also open to, and recommended for, students in other majors who are mathematically inclined and highly motivated.
Not Had (Much) Calculus Yet?
If you've taken no more than one semester of Calculus in high school, your choice is simple: take MT102 Calculus I (Math & Science Majors). In the Spring semester, you'll take its direct continuation MT103 Calculus II (Math & Science Majors), and then complete the basic Calculus with MT202 Multivariable Calculus in your third semester.
Even if you've taken no Calculus or PreCalculus, MT102 Calculus I (Math & Science Majors) is still the correct choice for a first-semester Calculus course.
Had (a lot of) Calculus Already?
Which of the MT102, MT105, or MT202 courses is the most appropriate for you is determined by these major factors:
- the type of high school Calculus curriculum you studied ("AB," "BC," or "Other");
- the results you achieved in these courses;
- the results you achieved on the AP exam, if you took one;
- your attitude towards mathematics;
- your motivation to pursue a demanding program; and
- your desire to advance more quickly through the requirements of your major.
Our general recommendations on which course you should choose as a first Calculus course can be found in the following table. In all cases where we suggest choosing one of two possible courses, you should almost always take the higher-numbered course if you have a positive attitude towards mathematics and are motivated to pursue a demanding program.
|Calculus Curriculum You Studied/AP Test You Took|
|The Result You Achieved||AP Score of 5||MT202||MT105||---|
|AP Score of 4||MT105 or MT202||MT102 or MT105||---|
|A year of high school Calculus with mostly grades of A||MT105||MT102 or MT105||MT102|
|A year of high school Calculus with mostly grades of B||MT102||MT102||MT102|
- MT105 Calculus II-AP (Math & Science Majors) assumes that you've studied the transcendental functions (exponential and logarithm). If you studied Calculus but did not learn the Calculus of these functions, then you should take MT102.
- MT105 Calculus II-AP (Math & Science Majors) is a Fall-only course. Its nearest Spring equivalent is MT103 Calculus II (Math & Science Majors), which is the direct continuation of MT102 Calculus I (Math & Science Majors). If you feel you are not strong with integration, but that you know differentiation very well, the best option may be to not take math in the Fall, and then take MT103 in the Spring.
- Secondary Education students in LSOE having an A&S major that requires Calculus for Math and Science Majors (MT102 or MT105) must ask registration staff to enroll them "by hand" in MT102 (when you register for courses on the second day of Orientation). This is a known problem with the system -- your registration can only be made by registration staff or the Mathematics Undergraduate Vice Chair.
- CSOM and CSON students may register for MT102 only after obtaining permission from the Mathematics Undergraduate Vice Chair.