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College of Arts and Sciences

Planning for Courses in Bachelor of Arts

department of mathematics

Calculus

Most B.A. candidates will begin their program with a Calculus course. The earlier you complete the required Calculus courses, the easier your scheduling becomes.

Programs for Those Beginning With Calculus for Math and Science

These are the usual scheduling grids we see among our majors who started right away in first semester of freshman year in a Calculus course designed for Math and Science majors:

About 20% begin by taking MT 102 Calculus I in their first semester. Many of these students have had little or no Calculus before entering BC, while some have taken a semester or more of Calculus but do not feel prepared to enter Calculus II right away. Several of these students may actually begin a major other than mathematics (the usual suspects: Chemistry, Computer Science B.S. Program, Geology-Geophysics, Geophysics, and Physics).

For these students, the major requirements can be satisfied as follows:

  Fall Spring
Freshman MT 102 MT 103
Sophomore MT 202 MT 210
MT 216
Junior MT 320 or MT 310
MT elective
MT 310 or MT 320
MT elective
Senior MT elective
MT elective
MT elective
MT elective

About 45% begin with MT 105 Calculus II-AP in their first semester. If you are prepared to enter MT 105 right away in the Fall of your freshman year (e.g., you got at least a four on the Calculus AB Advanced Placement Exam), then your major requirements can easily be satisfied as follows:

  Fall Spring
Freshman MT 105 MT 202
Sophomore MT 210 MT 216
Junior MT 320 or MT 310
MT elective
MT 310 or MT 320
MT elective
Senior MT elective
MT elective
MT elective
MT elective

Almost 35% begin with MT 202 in their first semester. If you are prepared to enter MT 202 in the Fall of your freshman year (e.g., you got a five on the Calculus BC Advanced Placement Exam), then your requirements are reduced to

  Fall Spring
Freshman MT 202 MT 210
Sophomore MT 216 MT 320 or MT 310
Junior MT 310 or MT 320
MT elective
MT elective
MT elective
Senior MT elective
MT elective
MT elective

All of the proposed schedules above are conservative. None requires more than two courses in any semester, none proposes any acceleration during the first two years, and none proposes completing more than a minimal program. But some students will be eager to learn more mathematics sooner; some may plan on taking an extra mathematics elective or two while at BC; and some may have specific preferences for courses which match career goals. Please see the closing sections of this page for comments about these situations.

What If You Don't Start with a Math and Science Calculus Course?

About 15% of our eventual B.A. candidates do not take one of the required Calculus courses for Math and Science Majors in their first semester. Many of these students probably elected majors which required them to take other Calculus courses. One example would include:

A student who completes one of MT 100 or MT 101 in the first semester (example: a Biology major) can transition to and complete a mathematics major by moving into MT 103 in the second semester:

  Fall Spring
Freshman   MT 103
Sophomore MT 202 MT 210
MT 216
Junior MT 320 or MT 310
MT elective
MT 310 or MT 320
MT elective
Senior MT elective
MT elective
MT elective
MT elective

Almost every student who joins the B.A. program after the first semester will require an individualized recommendation for arranging his or her program of study, and he or she should consult the Mathematics Assistant Chair for Undergraduates as soon as possible.

Variations in Scheduling

There are reasons why the schedules proposed above will have to be modified for some students. The typical variations we see, together with proposed modifications, include these:

Junior Year Abroad (worst case, assuming you don't take any mathematics courses while abroad -- although most of our majors who go abroad take at least one mathematics course while they're away from BC):

  Fall Spring
Freshman MT 105 MT 202
Sophomore MT 210
MT 216
MT 320 or MT 310
MT elective
Junior semester
abroad
MT 310 or MT 320
MT elective
Senior MT elective
MT elective
MT elective
MT elective

LSOE Student (LSOE students are required to student-teach for one semester, usually in the Fall semester of senior year):

Late Change to Mathematics (worst case: a student who took MT 100-MT 101 in first year):

  Fall Spring
Freshman MT 105 MT 202
Sophomore MT 210 MT 216
MT elective
Junior MT 320 or MT 310
MT elective
MT elective
MT 310 or MT 320
MT elective
Senior student
teaching
MT elective
MT elective
  Fall Spring
Freshman    
Sophomore MT 105
MT 202 or MT 210
MT 210 or MT 202
MT 216
Junior MT 320 or MT 310
MT elective
MT 310 or MT 320
MT elective
Senior MT elective
MT elective
MT elective
MT elective

Nevertheless, no matter what variations might affect your situation, we strongly urge that you adhere to these basic recommendations in working out a scheduling of courses for the major:

  1. Complete MT 202 as early as you can;
  2. Complete at least one of MT 210 or MT 216 no later than first semester of sophomore year, and complete both no later than the end of sophomore year (MT 210 is usually completed before MT 216, but there may be situations in which this need not be the case);
  3. Complete at least one of MT 310 or MT 320 in first semester of junior year; and complete both no later than the end of junior year (these courses are independent and can be taken in either order);
  4. Complete at least one elective course no later than first semester of junior year; and at least two elective courses no later than the end of junior year.

Questions?

If you have a question about getting started in the major (for 99% of our students, this will be somewhere in the Calculus sequence MT 102 - MT 103/MT 105 - MT 202), please visit the Mathematics major advisement pages of our Math Advisement Website.

For More Information and Advice

Feel free to contact any of the following:

Chair Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Programs Assistant Chair for Graduate Programs

Robert Meyerhoff
Carney 316
Contact: Jo-Ann Coe
617-552-1201
mathchair@bc.edu

William Keane
Carney 319
617-552-3751
mathugrd@bc.edu
Tao Li
Carney 320
617-552-3767
mathgrad@bc.edu