More than 250 undergraduates major in math at Boston College and another 60 minor in the field. Students receiving a B.A. or B.S. in mathematics are in demand in a wide range of job areas. Our mathematics faculty conducts highly regarded research in Algebraic Geometry, Geometry, Number Theory, Representation Theory, and Topology.
The Department of Mathematics is engaged in an ongoing effort to assess our programs. We have organized this effort around several learning goals. We measure student outcomes in these areas annually, and we use that information to improve the structure and content of our major, and of our doctoral program.
The learning outcomes to be attained for undergraduates are:
- Students will perform computations and solve problems in calculus and linear algebra.
- Students will effectively use mathematical language and notation.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to reason mathematically and to write clear and concise proofs.
- Students will demonstrate knowledge of the key concepts and theorems of abstract algebra and of real analysis.
These goals focus on the core mathematics that all BC mathematics majors learn. Naturally, we hope that many of our majors will not only meet them, but go beyond them, increasing the depth and breadth of their mathematical knowledge in a way that reflects their particular interests in mathematics (whether theoretical, applied, computational, statistical, or educational).
Mathematics Learning Center @ Maloney 536
This is a walk-in resource in Maloney 536 where students can bring questions on their mathematics coursework. The center is staffed by math majors and others with experience in the subjects.
This service is most appropriate for students in our core-level and Calculus courses as well as Linear Algebra. Come and bring your questions!
All students are also welcome to use this as a collaborative space to do math.
Tutoring Services at The Connors Family Learning Center
The Connors Family Learning Center in O'Neill Library maintains a regular tutoring service during the semester. They are primarily responsible for providing free tutoring to the student body at large, support services to students with learning disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorder, and instructional support for graduate students and faculty.
The Mathematics Office does not maintain a regular list of private tutors (tutors for hire). However, from time to time students and some non-BC individuals do advise us of their availability for tutoring. Please contact the department office in Maloney Hall during normal business hours to check whether anyone has indicated their availability for the term. We do not make this list available online.
About Advanced Placement
In May of each year, the College Board administers Advanced Placement tests in calculus at two different levels:
- The Calculus AB Advanced Placement Examination covers the topics of differential and integral Calculus.
- The Calculus BC Advanced Placement Examination includes the topics of the AB Advanced Placement Examination as well as additional material on infinite series.
Only results from these two exams affect whether a student may or may not be exempted from The University Core Curriculum requirement in mathematics, and what, if any, mathematics corequisites may be omitted in a student's major program. In particular, note that results achieved in the Statistics AP Placement Examination have no impact with regards to mathematics requirements.
AP credit in math at Boston College
We consider a student to have Advanced Placement ("AP") credit in mathematics if he or she has received a score of four of higher on either the Calculus AB or Calculus BC Placement examination.
Earning AP credit from the Calculus AB exam can be roughly equated to successfully completing our Calculus courses MATH1100 Calculus I and MATH1101 Calculus II. Earning AP credit from the Calculus BC exam compares very closely with successful completion of our Calculus courses M1ATH102 Calculus I (math and science majors) and MATH1103 Calculus II (math and science majors).
Using AP credit in math at Boston College
It's important to understand that AP credit at Boston College serves a variety of different functions.
- In all schools and colleges, AP credit exempts the student from The University Core Curriculum requirement in Mathematics.
- In the Carroll School of Management (CSOM), AP credit exempts the student from the CSOM Calculus requirement.
- In many programs or majors (e.g., chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, and psychology), AP credit may exempt the student from having to meet mathematics core requisites specified by the program or major.
- In some majors or programs (e.g., Biology-BS and the Pre-medical program), AP credit is used primarily to properly place the student in a required calculus course, allowing the student a wider range of options in how he or she may complete a mathematics corequisite in the program.
The pages of this website that specify mathematics requirements according to a student's school or college and then by major or program define as precisely as possible how AP credit can be used in each of those majors or programs.
AP credit in math is not course credit
Note that AP credit is not considered as course credit. That is, each student is required to complete 38 or more courses for graduation, depending upon their school or college. AP credit does not reduce the number of courses needed to graduate.
In short, AP credit allows a student to be properly placed into courses when mathematics is an essential component of his or her program or major, often bypassing corequisite mathematics courses, and almost always giving students more options in completing requirements in their majors and programs.
Recording AP credit in mathematics
Students must ask that their scores be transmitted by the College Board to Boston College. Once scores are received by Boston College, appropriate designations are made on the student's transcript - MATH1011 and MATH1012 AP designations are made on the student's transcript when qualifying scores are received.
It is the responsibility of every incoming student to make sure that results of their AP examinations are correctly transmitted to Boston College. Please contact the College Board and/or Boston College Admissions if your examination scores are not properly transmitted. All questions regarding the recording of AP credit in math must be resolved by Boston College Admissions.
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.
Choose Your Calculus Sequence
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: