Registration Advice for Freshmen

Regarding Math, General Education and Elective Courses

For freshmen registering for the fall semester.

Any questions?  Please contact Robyn Berg, the advisor for freshmen and sophomore math majors, or Nikolaus Vonessen, the Math Department's Associate Chair for the Undergraduate Program.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences basically offers three different majors:

  • The mathematics major, all options except mathematics education. This includes options in both pure and applied mathematics as well as statistics.
  • The mathematics major with an option in mathematics education, intended for future high school math teachers.
  • The combined major in mathematics and computer science (which requires less course work in mathematics than a regular mathematics major, but also substantial course work in computer science). One could describe this as a “2/3 mathematics, 2/3 computer science” major.

For which courses you should register depends partly on the major you choose.

All Mathematical Sciences Majors:

The first mathematics course required for your major is Calculus I (M 171).  Based on your performance on the Mathematics Placement Exam (and any Dual Credit math courses you took), Robyn Berg will pre-register you for Calculus I or some other appropriate mathematics course (for example College Algebra or Precalculus).  In some cases, however, you might want to change your pre-registration (during a Bear Tracks registration event or the Fall Orientation) to a different mathematics course:

  • AP Calculus:
    • If you took AP Calculus in high school (but not the AP exam) and are confident in your mathematics background, consider changing your registration to Calculus II (M 172).  If you are interested in doing this, please talk with Robyn Berg or Nikolaus Vonessen about a prerequisite waiver.
    • If you earned a score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement Calculus AB Exam, you will get credit for Calculus I (M 171) – no need to take it again.  Change your registration to Calculus II (M 172). 
    • If you earned a score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement Calculus BC Exam, you will get credit for both Calculus I and II.  Change your registration to Linear Algebra (M 221) or Multivariable Calculus (M 273).
  • If you took an International Baccalaureate (IB) Math Exam, please contact Nikolaus Vonessen for correct placement.
  • If the Math Placement Exam placed you into Precalculus (M 151) but you are confident in your mathematics background, consider changing your registration to Calculus I (M 171).  If you are interested in doing this, please talk with Robyn Berg or Nikolaus Vonessen about a prerequisite waiver.

Registration Advice Depending on Your Specific Major

A. Mathematics Majors (except Mathematics Education Majors)

During your freshman year, take at least some of the following courses:

  1. One or two courses from the following areas:  astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, forestry, geosciences, and physics.  One of them should be a general education science course with a lab.
  2. As a mathematics major, you must either take two semesters of a foreign language, or an appropriate computer science course.  Begin taking courses to fulfill this requirement during your freshman year.  If you decide to take a computer science course and have no programming experience, you should take the introductory course CSCI 100 (please note that the number will probably change for Fall 2020).  If you have programming experience, please discuss with Robyn Berg which course to take.
  3. Otherwise, fill your schedule with general education courses.

B. Mathematics Education Majors

During your freshman year, take at least some of the following courses:

  1. PSYX 100S (Intro to Psychology) – this is a strongly recommended course for which you should be pre-registered.  (Consider not taking PSYX 100S if you already have 3 "S-credits" counting towards General Education Group VII (Social Sciences).)
  2. COMX 111A (Intro to Public Speaking) and NASX 105H (Intro to Native American Studies).   These courses are not required, but strongly recommended.  You will likely be pre-registered for one of them.
  3. If you are bringing in college-level credit equivalent to WRIT 101 (e.g. English Language and Composition Advanced Placement credit, college-level coursework taken while in high school, etc.), we recommend that you take one of LIT 110L (Intro to Literature) or LIT 120L (Poetry), since these courses are double-dippers (they are Intermediate College Writing courses and L-courses).
  4. A general education science course from one of the following areas:  astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, forestry, geosciences, and physics.

C. Combined Mathematics/Computer Science Majors

During your freshman year, take at least some of the following courses:

  1. Based on your programming experience, you should be pre-registered for an appropriate computer science course.  Otherwise, if you have no programming experience, you should take the introductory course CSCI 100 (please note that the number will probably change for Fall 2020).  If you have programming experience, please discuss with Robyn Berg which course to take.
  2. You should also be pre-registered for the required courses CSCI 106 (Careers in Computer Science) and COMX 111A (Intro to Public Speaking).  If not, sign up for them.
  3. Beyond this, fill your schedule with general education courses.

Any questions?  Please contact Robyn Berg or Nikolaus Vonessen.