Math 131: Other calculus courses

Should you be taking some calculus course other than Math 131? Here are some alternatives.

Calculus for Life and Social Sciences (Math 127–128).

Most students majoring in life sciences, social sciences, and management who take calculus usually take Math 127–128 rather than 131–132. However, mathematically well-prepared students these fields (especially economics) may be advised to take Math 131–132 instead of Math 127–128. There’s a significant difference between 131–132, on the one hand, and 127–128 on the other.

Honors Calculus I

Prospective math majors or others needing an enriched treatment of the material should consider enrolling instead in Math 131H.

Calculus II (Math 132)

Did you already take AP calculus in high school and take the AP exam? If so, you might be better off skipping Math 131 and going directly into Calculus (Math 132). You may even get credit for Math 131 after taking Math 132! (See the Department’s AP credit policy.) Or, you could take the Honors version, Math 131H, of Math 131.

A score of 5 on either the AB or the BC Advanced Placement Exam surely means you should skip Math 131 and go into Math 132 (or beyond—see below). And a score of 4 there means very likely the same thing. On the other hand, an AP exam score of 3 is problematic.

If you took AP calculus in high school but did not take the Advanced Placement Exam, the decision will be more difficult.

In any case, if you are in doubt as to whether you are ready for Math 132 after taking AP Calculus, here are a couple of things you can do to help you decide:

  • take a look at the topics list on the syllabus page here;
  • try solving problems on the old Math 131 exams posted on this web site—start at the Exams page and either follow the links to the old mid-semester exams, for which solutions are posted, or the link to the old final exams;
  • sit in on a few meetings of Math 132;  and/or
  • talk directly to a Math 132 instructor.

Multi-variable Calculus (Math 233)

See the Prerequisites page at the Math 132 course web site.

If you think you might be ready to skip directly beyond Calculus I–II (Math 131–132), you should also meet with the Mathematics Chief Undergraduate Advisor about taking another course in addition or iinstead, such as Linear Algebra (Math 235), Differential Equations (Math 331), or Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics.

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