First-Year Courses: Calculus

Guide to First-Year Calculus Courses

Saint Mary’s offers three ‘tracks’ through the Calculus;¬† Math 27, or both Math 13 & Math 14, or the Math 12-13-14 sequence. We place students into the track that we believe is most likely to lead to their long-term success. The tracks are explained below.

Calculus is required of:

  • All STEM majors (Allied Health, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, 3+2 Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Physics)
  • Some Psychology majors – those in the Neurobiology concentration.
  • Some Economics majors¬† – those in the Bachelor of Science track
  • Some Business Administration majors – those in the Business Analytics Concentration

Math 27: Calculus I

  • This is a standard first-semester college-level calculus course.
  • Enrollment requires Math Placement Level 4.
  • This course is appropriate for students with strong algebra skills, and success in a pre-calculus course.
  • Success in pre-calculus (or calculus) in high school, 600 or better on the Math SAT are some of the indications that this course is appropriate.
  • It is most common for STEM majors to take Math 27 in the fall, and then Calculus II or Probability & Statistics in the spring.

Math 13 & 14: Calculus with Elementary Functions I & II

  • This is a two-semester course on Calculus I which incorporates a study of related pre-calculus topics. A student who completes Math 13 followed by Math 14 receives credit for Calculus I.
  • Enrollment requires Math Placement Level 3 or higher.
  • This course is appropriate for students with good algebra skills but who didn’t achieve in a pre-calculus course.
  • Strong grades in high school Algebra II, 560 or better on the Math SAT are some of the indications that this track is appropriate.
  • Students who start in Math 13 in the Fall can also begin the introductory Chemistry or Physics courses. Most students take Math 14 in the spring. Those who excel in the fall may take Math 14 during the January Term, and then Calculus II or Probability & Statistics in the spring.

Math 12: Math Readiness for Calculus

  • This is an intense review of the Algebra skills necessary for success in Math 13 & 14.
  • Enrollment is appropriate for those with Math Placement Level 1 or 2, and whose major requires calculus.
  • The most common reason students struggle in calculus and the introductory lab science is a lack of facility with algebra. So for those who need calculus but who have not shown routine mastery of Algebra I & II skill we offer the Math 12-13-14 sequence.
  • Students start in Math 12, which provides in depth coverage of the algebra needed for calculus, before going on to Math 13 in the January Term or Spring, and then Math 14.
  • Students in this sequence start their lab science courses in the spring. .
  • Does not satisfy the Core Mathematical Understanding learning goal.

Possible Schedules

Please consult the following table to determine the most efficient way to schedule your required courses given your placement level.

Placement Level 1 or 2 Level 1 or 2 Level 3 Level 3 Level 4
Fall 2020 Math 12 Math 12 Math 13 Math 13 Math 27
(B- or better) (C- or better) (B- or better) (C- or better)
Jan 2021 Math 13 Math 14
Spring 2021 Math 14 Math 13 Math 28 or 38 Math 14 Math 28 or 38
(if needed) (if needed)
Fall 2021 Math 38 Math 14 Math 38
(if needed) (if needed)