About Calculus

Choosing the Right Calculus Course

There are two different tracks in Calculus. To choose a calculus course that best matches your requirements and abilities, you must first choose which "curriculum" or "sequence" of calculus courses you'll be taking. After you make this choice, another page will follow that helps you place yourself appropriately in that curriculum.

Please be sure that you have visited other areas of this website according to your choice of school/college and your intended major or program, and have determined whether you must or should take calculus. Please check also to see if any, and how many, specific calculus courses are required for your program.


The first choice you must make in considering a calculus course is to decide which calculus sequence is most appropriate for you. Your options fall into one of these categories:

  • Calculus courses for "math and physical science" majors - for students pursuing majors in mathematics, chemistry, geophysics, geology-geophysics, or physics, or following the B.S. program in computer science;
  • Calculus courses for "most everyone else" - for students pursuing majors in the social sciences, biology, geology, environmental sciences, or following the pre-medical or pre-dental or pre-veterinary programs, and all students in the Carroll School of Management.

What are the differences in these choices?

  • There is a stronger emphasis on technical and algebraic detail in the calculus courses for math and science majors.
  • There is less emphasis on algebra and more emphasis on the use of a graphing calculator, the interpretation of numeric data, graphical data, and overall conceptual language in the "everyone else" sequence.
  • The math and science major courses are a little more demanding than the others, and are recommended to students with strong mathematical backgrounds and high motivation.

To continue learning about calculus options, you need to make a choice: