Selecting Your First Math Course

We offer suggestions on what students should take in the first year at Bates.

Students wishing to satisfy the [Q] requirement
There are [Q] courses in many departments and programs. Garnet Gateway allows you to search for these: try the “Schedule of Courses” link from the log-in page.  In both fall and winter semesters of 2017-2018, the mathematics department will offer MATH 110 (Great Ideas in Mathematics) as a non-calculus-track [Q] course.

Students requiring Calculus and beyond

The first math course a student takes depends on his or her background. In most cases, it will be MATH 105 (Calculus I), 106 (Calculus II), 205 (Linear Algebra), or 206 (Multivariable Calculus). Here are some common situations:

  1. If you have AP, IB, or A-level credit for just MATH 105 (Calculus I), sign up for MATH 106 (Calculus II).
  2. If you also have AP, IB, or A-level credit for MATH 106 (Calculus II), sign up for MATH 205 (Linear Algebra).
  3. Even if you do not have official credit, if you have a strong background in Calculus, we urge you to sign up for the next level after what you have completed.  Successful completion of MATH 106 (Calculus II) fulfills any Bates requirements for MATH 105 (Calculus I).  Successful completion of MATH 206 fulfills any Bates requirements for both MATH 105 (Calculus I) and MATH 106 (Calculus II).  This includes the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.
  4. Students with moderate or more calculus experience on their high school transcript are normally not permitted to enroll in Math 105. If such a student would like to take Physics 107 without concurrently or previously taking Math 106, Math 205, or Math 206, the student should email the Physics 107 instructor to request a prerequisite override.
  5. If you are planning to apply to medical school, consult this list of mathematics requirements for U.S. medical schools.

In general, we encourage you to not repeat a course you have already taken and understood.  Some students find repeating a course boring and unmotivating.  Others have difficulty learning similar material from a different textbook.  Additionally, you must give up your AP/IB/A-level math credit before you can sign up for a course in which you have already earned credit.

Please take our non-binding, anonymous placement exam to further assess which course best suits you. If you have further questions and would like to contact someone, please consult Mathematics Department Contacts.