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FIRST-YEAR FOCUS

Are you a returning student with questions about what course you should take? Read the Calculus Guide for Returning Students.

 

STANDARD Calculus and Linear Algebra courses

Beginning in Fall 2019 Northwestern's standard courses in calculus and linear algebra are:

MATH 226-0 is required for mathematics and statistics majors, and is prerequisite for many upper-level mathematics courses, including some that are prerequisite for the Kellogg Certificate Programs. MATH 226-0 is not required for most science and engineering majors. Students may take MATH 226-0 any time after passing MATH 220-2 or its equivalent. See below for further information.
For McCormick School of Engineering students only.
Not open to students in the McCormick School of Engineering.
First offered in Winter 2020. In Fall 2019, first-year students who place into multivariable integral calculus and who are not students in the McCormick School of Engineering may take MATH 234-0 instead of MATH 230-2.

MATH 218-1,2,3 Single-Variable Calculus with Precalculus

MATH 218-1,2,3 Single-Variable Calculus with Precalculus is an alternative sequence in single-variable calculus that covers the same material as MATH 220-1,2. This sequence is for students who certify that they have not had any exposure to calculus, or who have had limited exposure to calculus and are not confident about their mathematical preparation. Students who have taken precalculus, but not calculus, qualify for MATH 218-1. Enrollment in MATH 218-1 is by permission only.

Before registering for MATH 218-1:

MATH 226-0 Sequences and Series

MATH 226-0 is a course in sequences and series, including convergence tests, power series, and Taylor series. The course also provides an introduction to complex numbers, second-order linear ordinary differential equations, and power series solutions of differential equations.

The prerequisite for MATH 226-0 is MATH 218-3 or MATH 220-2. Students who earned a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Mathematics BC Examination and submit their scores to Northwestern will earn AP credit for MATH 226-0.

MATH 226-0 is not prerequisite for multivariable calculus courses such as MATH 228-1,2 and MATH 230-1,2. Students may take MATH 226-0 concurrently with MATH 228-1,2; MATH 230-1,2; MATH 290-1,2,3; or MATH 291-1,2,3.

MATH 226-0 is not required for most students. In particular, MATH 226-0 is not required for majors in the McCormick School of Engineering.

The following students must take MATH 226-0:

Mathematical Experience for Northwestern Undergraduates (MENU)

Mathematical Experience for Northwestern Undergraduates (MENU) is a flexible program of challenging courses designed to provide qualified undergraduates with a thorough foundation in mathematics suitable for advanced study in mathematics and its applications across a wide range of disciplines.

MENU offers students an opportunity to expand their mathematical knowledge while retaining flexibility about their majors. Although MENU attracts students with a variety of interests and majors, the program is especially well-suited for those considering a major in mathematics, the natural sciences, or economics. 

MENU is the preferred pathway to a mathematics major or minor and is the preferred preparation for applicants to the Program in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS) and to the Kellogg Certificate Programs. More information, including a description of the differences between MATH 290 and MATH 291, is available at the MENU webpage.

Area II Formal Studies Distribution Requirement

Completing any one course offered by the Department of Mathematics numbered 230-1 or higher with a grade of C- or better satisfies the Weinberg College Formal Studies (Area II) distribution requirement.

 

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Examination Credit

See Credit Recognition for Students Entering 2019-20.

 

MATHEMATICS PLACEMENT EXAMINATION

All incoming first-year and transfer students who intend to take a calculus course at Northwestern and are not in the McCormick School of Engineering must complete the Mathematics Placement Examination by 11:59 PM on July 31.

Course Recommendations for First-Year Students

If you did not study calculus in high school,
If you studied calculus in high school,

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Examination Recommended Placement

EXAMINATION SCORE RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT OTHER POSSIBLE PLACEMENT
AP Mathematics AB (or AB subscore of Mathematics BC) 1-3 MATH 220-1
4 MATH 220-2
5 MATH 230-1 or MATH 290-1 or MATH 226-0 MATH 291-1*
MATH 228-1 (McCormick Only) MATH 226-0 or ES_APPM 252-1
AP Mathematics BC 4,5 MATH 230-1 or MATH 290-1 MATH 291-1*
MATH 228-1 (McCormick Only) ES_APPM 252-1
IB Higher Level Examination 1-5 MATH 220-1
IB Higher Level Examination without the Calculus Option 6,7  MATH 220-2
IB Higher Level Examination with the Calculus Option 6,7 MATH 230-1 or MATH 290-1 MATH 291-1*
MATH 228-1 (McCormick Only) ES_APPM 252-1

*Contact the Director of MENU.

If you are unsure about your appropriate placement, then contact the Director of Calculus.

 

Contact Information

Contact Information
FOR CONTACT OFFICE EMAIL ADDRESS
Calculus placement

Aaron Peterson, Director of Calculus Lunt B2 calculus@math.northwestern.edu
Mathematical Experience for Northwestern Undergraduates (MENU) Santiago Cañez, Director of MENU Lunt B27 menu@northwestern.edu
  • Transfer credit for mathematics courses
  • 300-level course advising
  • Declaring a mathematics major or minor
  • Mathematics major and minor advising
John M. Alongi, Director of Undergraduate Studies Lunt B3

dus-math@northwestern.edu

  • Mathematics majors and minors can schedule advising appointments on Inspire.  
  • Students who have not yet declared a mathematics major or minor can schedule advising appointments by contacting the Undergraduate Program Assistant.

 

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