Academic Planning: Mathematics

The top 5 things to consider when planning a major in mathematics

  1. It is essential to follow your placement exam recommendation when registering for your first math course. Moving upward without proper placement usually leads to problems. If you are concerned about your placement, talk to a mathematics faculty member.
  2. Calculus I is the gateway course to the major. Most math majors take it fall semester of their freshman year. If you placed into Pre-calculus you are still on track if you take Calculus I spring semester of your freshman year. The next course that almost everyone takes is Calculus II.
  3. After Calculus I and Calculus II are completed, there is a lot of flexibility. The 2000-level required courses (Calculus III, Math Perspectives, and the statistics requirement of STAT 2601 or 2611) can be taken in any order. There are also several popular 2000-level electives that can be taken now. Students often take two math courses in one or both of their sophomore semesters.
  4. Students planning to get a Minnesota teaching licensure should be aware that two required courses (Geometry and History of Mathematics) are offered only every other year. Typically, students take one course their sophomore year and the other their junior year.
  5. You are highly encouraged to take Linear Algebra in your second year. Students should aim to take the other two 3000-level required courses (Real Analysis I and Abstract Algebra I) in their junior year, not later. Students should have completed either Real Analysis I or Abstract Algebra I before beginning their senior seminar. With these courses completed, there is a much broader spectrum of opportunities for your senior year, including 4000-level electives and more possibilities for senior seminar topics.