The Department of Mathematics has recently made some changes in their introductory offerings. Note that there will not be any “placement” or “readiness” testing or other determinations done about mathematics courses. Students and advisors should read the following advice and make a decision about which course or courses to take based primarily on what course of study the student is planning to pursue. Feel free to direct any questions to the department chair (Dr. Mark Woodard) or other department members.

Note that Summer I 2016 will be the last term that MTH-140 will be offered. Summer II 2016 and Fall 2016 are the last terms that MTH-141 will be offered.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Mathematics & Formal REASONING (MR)GER Course

MTH-110 (Finite Mathematics): This is a stand-alone MR course in mathematics, especially appropriate for students who do not need or want a calculus or statistics experience. It has no prerequisites, and does not serve as a prerequisite for any other courses at Furman. It should not be taken to “get ready” for either MTH-150 or MTH-145.

MTH-120 (Introduction to Statistics): This is an introductory course in statistics. It carries MR credit. A student may not receive credit for both this course and ECN-225, so Accounting, Business Administration, and Economics majors should take ECN-225 instead of MTH-120. This is an especially appropriate MR choice for students who are considering careers where statistics play a role. Increasingly, this includes a large, diverse set of careers. For certain majors leading to a B.S. degree, this course (together with MTH-145) satisfies the mathematics requirement. See "Additional Noteworthy Items" below for more details.

MTH-145 (Calculus for Management, Life, and Social Sciences): This is an introductory calculus course for students majoring in business or the life or social sciences. It is a good MR choice for any student who needs a calculus course, but does not need a course on the level of MTH-150. It has no prerequisites. For certain majors leading to a B.S. degree, this course (together with MTH-120) satisfies the mathematics requirement. See "Additional Noteworthy Items" below for more details.

MTH 150 (Calculus and Analytic Geometry I): This is the traditional first course in calculus, designed for those majoring in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Mathematics-Economics, Physics, Pre-engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, or other fields that might require more advanced mathematics courses. A student with a strong mathematical background who is considering majoring in Biology, Economics, Environmental Science, Health Sciences, Information Technology, Psychology, or Sustainability Science might also consider this course. While there are technically no prerequisites for this course, students should be advised that historically, students who are successful in this course have had a strong precalculus course or some previous experience with calculus. In particular, students should be familiar with precalculus concepts such as functions, algebra, and trigonometry. Students familiar with AP Calculus should think of MTH-150 as being very similar to AP Calculus AB, but at twice the pace, as it is taught over one semester as opposed to the year-long experience that is typical of AP Calculus.

Additional Noteworthy items

Some majors require that a student eventually finish MTH-150. These include Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Mathematics-Economics, Physics, Pre-engineering, Chemistry, and Computer Science.

Other majors might only require a calculus course, in which case either MTH-150 or MTH-145 would suffice. These include Accounting, Biology (B.S.), Business Administration, Earth and Environmental Science (B.S.), Economics, Health Sciences (B.S.), Information Technology (B.S.), Neuroscience, Psychology (B.S.), and Sustainability Science.

Also, note that for any B.S. degree involving majors on this second list, the student must do ONE of the following:

  1. Complete MTH-145 and MTH-120
  2. Complete MTH-150

Mathematics and Health Career Advising

Some health professional schools will be content with students having MTH-145 as their calculus experience (if one is required at all). However, students who are required to take PHY-112 for their health professional school should note that MTH-150 is a prerequisite for that course. Most graduate health programs require some form of statistics, and are happy to see a course like MTH-120 on a student’s transcript.


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