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Math Course Selection and Advice

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About Our Calculus Courses

Two Curricula for Single Variable Calculus

Our Calculus offerings very much mirror the familiar "AB" and "BC" Advanced Placement curricula.

  • We offer the MT100 - MT101 Calculus sequence mostly for majors in the Social Sciences, Biology and Geology majors, students in pre-Medical/pre-Dental/pre-Veterinary programs, and students in the Carroll School of Management. The topics covered in these two courses are almost identical to the Calculus AB curriculum.
  • We offer the MT102 - MT103 Calculus sequence for Math and Science majors, as well as for students looking for a more challenging alternative to the MT100-MT101 sequence. The topics covered in these two courses are almost identical to the Calculus BC curriculum.

There is a stronger emphasis on technical (algebraic) detail in the MT102-MT103 sequence for Math and Science majors. The MT100-MT101 sequence places less emphasis on algebra and more emphasis on the use of a graphing calculator, the interpretation of numeric data, and overall conceptual language.

For Those with AP Credit

Students who have completed a year of an Advanced Placement Calculus curriculum in high school should strongly consider bypassing the first course in either of these curricula.

  • For students taking the MT100 - MT101 Calculus curriculum, MT101 is often an appropriate choice for your first semester. Please see the page describing this curriculum for more info about whether skipping MT100 and starting with MT101 is the right choice for you.
  • For students who will take the Math and Science curriculum MT102 - MT103, a special version of MT103 is offered in each Fall semester, labeled MT105 Calculus II-AP (Math and Science majors). This course very nicely bridges your high school Calculus background with the goals of the MT102 - MT103 sequence, allowing you to move more quickly to Multivariable Calculus after only one semester of study. Please see the Math and Physical Science Major Calculus page for more detail on whether MT105 would be the correct starting point for you.

Continuing to Multivariable Calculus

Students who complete either the MT102-MT103 (Math and Science Major) sequence or the MT105 Calculus II-AP course, and wish to pursue more mathematics, should continue to MT202 Multivariable Calculus.

Students who complete the MT100-MT101 sequence and wish to pursue more mathematics may continue to MT202 Multivariable Calculus. (Although some topics such as sequences and series may have been omitted in this transition, none is prerequisite to MT202.) However, it may be appropriate for students to first complete either MT103 (in Spring) or MT105 (in Fall) before entering MT202. Please consult your MT101 instructor or the Math Advisor for a personal recommendation on which choice is appropriate for you.

More Detail on the Differences

You can compare topic coverages of these courses and sequences in the following table.

  First Course
Differential Calculus
Second Course
Integral Calculus
Third Course
Multivariable Calculus
The Basic Calculus Sequence MT100 (4 hours)
Some pre-Calculus, derivatives, applications of derivatives, introduction to integration.
MT101 (4 hours)
Basic integration notions, basic techniques of integration, applications of integration, and an introduction to differential equations.
MT202 (4 hours)
Partial derivatives, gradient, level curves and surfaces, optimization in several variables, multiple integration, alternative coordinate systems for double and triple integration, parametric curves in the plane and in space, line integrals, and Green's Theorem.
Math & Science Major Sequence MT102 (Fall: 4 hours)
In addition to the topics of MT100, this course includes technical notions of limits and continuity, as well as more depth on applications of derivatives, especially in optimization techniques.
MT103 (Spring: 4 hours)
In addition to the topics of MT101, this course includes several more integration methods, and provides an introduction to infinite sequences and series (including Taylor series).
MT105 (Fall: 3 hours)
This course reviews the major integration methods and their interesting applications, then provides an introduction to infinite sequences and series (including Taylor series).
  • Any student who thinks he or she may eventually become a major in Math, Physics, Geophysics, Geology-Geophysics, Computer Science/BS, or Chemistry should take the Science major sequence.
  • Any student who would prefer a deeper, more demanding program in Mathematics should also prefer the Science major sequence.