FIRSTYEAR 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 2201 SingleVariable Differential Calculus
 MATH 2202 SingleVariable Integral Calculus
 MATH 2260 Sequences and Series^{1}
 MATH 2281 Multivariable Differential Calculus for Engineering^{2}
 MATH 2282 Multivariable Integral Calculus for Engineering^{2}
 MATH 2301 Multivariable Differential Calculus^{3}
 MATH 2302 Multivariable Integral Calculus^{3,4}
 MATH 2400 Linear Algebra
^{1 }MATH 2260 is required for mathematics and statistics majors, and is prerequisite for many upperlevel mathematics courses, including some that are prerequisite for the Kellogg Certificate Programs. MATH 2260 is not required for most science and engineering majors. Students may take MATH 2260 any time after passing MATH 2202 or its equivalent. See below for further information.
^{2 }For McCormick School of Engineering students only.
^{3 }Not open to students in the McCormick School of Engineering.
^{4 }First offered in Winter 2020. In Fall 2019, firstyear students who place into multivariable integral calculus and who are not students in the McCormick School of Engineering may take MATH 2340 instead of MATH 2302.
MATH 2181,2,3 SingleVariable Calculus with Precalculus
MATH 2181,2,3 SingleVariable Calculus with Precalculus is an alternative sequence in singlevariable calculus that covers the same material as MATH 2201,2. 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 2181. Enrollment in MATH 2181 is by permission only.
Before registering for MATH 2181:
 Students who have not had any exposure to calculus should obtain permission to register from the Undergraduate Program Assistant in Lunt Hall Room 201.
 Students who have had limited exposure to calculus and are not confident about their mathematical preparation must obtain permission to register from the Director of Calculus.
MATH 2260 Sequences and Series
MATH 2260 is a course in sequences and series, including convergence tests, power series, and Taylor series. The course also provides an introduction to complex numbers, secondorder linear ordinary differential equations, and power series solutions of differential equations.
The prerequisite for MATH 2260 is MATH 2183 or MATH 2202. 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 2260.
MATH 2260 is not prerequisite for multivariable calculus courses such as MATH 2281,2 and MATH 2301,2. Students may take MATH 2260 concurrently with MATH 2281,2; MATH 2301,2; MATH 2901,2,3; or MATH 2911,2,3.
MATH 2260 is not required for most students. In particular, MATH 2260 is not required for majors in the McCormick School of Engineering.
The following students must take MATH 2260:
 Students who are majoring or minoring in Mathematics or Statistics. MATH 2260 is a required basic course for these majors and minors.
 Students who intend to apply to the Kellogg Certificate Programs. Many students take MATH 3101, MATH 3111, MATH 3140, or STAT 3201 to satisfy an admission requirement for the Kellogg Certificate Programs, and MATH 2260 is prerequisite for these courses.
 Students who will take any of the following courses:
 MATH 2500 Elementary Differential Equations
 MATH 3101 Probability and Stochastic Processes
 MATH 3111 MENU Probability and Stochastic Processes
 MATH 3140 Probability and Statistics for Econometrics
 MATH 3201 Real Analysis
 MATH 3211 MENU Real Analysis
 MATH 3250 Complex Analysis
 MATH 3270 Mechanics for Mathematicians
 MATH 3420 Introduction to Differential Geometry
 MATH 3541 Chaotic Dynamical Systems
 MATH 3601 MENU Applied Analysis
 MATH 3680 Introduction to Optimization
 STAT 3201 Statistical Methods 1
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 wellsuited for those considering a major in mathematics, the natural sciences, or economics.
 The firstyear MENU sequences are:
 MATH 2901,2,3 MENU Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus
 MATH 2911,2,3 MENU Intensive Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus
 The MATH 290 and MATH 291 sequences only begin in the Fall quarter.
 Enrollment in MATH 2911 requires permission from the Director of MENU.
 Students in MENU who are considering mathematics coursework beyond linear algebra and multivariable calculus and do not have credit for MATH 2260 should take MATH 2260. Students may take MATH 2260 concurrently with MATH 290 or MATH 291.
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 2301 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 201920.
MATHEMATICS PLACEMENT EXAMINATION
All incoming firstyear 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.
 The Mathematics Placement Examination is a 90minute examination that tests mastery of singlevariable calculus. The results of this examination, together with standardized examination scores and transfer credit, help the Department of Mathematics and firstyear advisers recommend appropriate mathematics course placement.
 The Mathematics Placement Examination will be available through Canvas beginning June 1.
 Incoming students should receive an email invitation to join a Canvas page to take the examination. Returning students who have not yet taken a calculus course at Northwestern may contact the Director of Calculus for permission to take the examination. Placement information will be available through Canvas by the end of August.
 If you completed a multivariable calculus course in high school, then complete the Multivariable Calculus Assessment (available through the Mathematics Placement Examination on Canvas) and contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Course Recommendations for FirstYear Students
If you did not study calculus in high school,
 and you do not plan to major in a discipline that requires further mathematics, but you need to satisfy the Area II Formal Studies distribution requirement, then register for
 MATH 1000 Quantitative Reasoning (offered in Spring only), or
 MATH 2020 Finite Mathematics (offered in Fall, Winter and Spring), or
 MATH 2110 Short Course in Calculus (offered in Spring only), or
 MATH 2181 SingleVariable Calculus with Precalculus (offered in Fall and Winter only), or
 MATH 2201 SingleVariable Differential Calculus (offered in Fall and Winter only).
 and you plan to major in science, engineering, economics, or journalism, then register for
 MATH 2201 SingleVariable Differential Calculus (offered in Fall and Winter only), or
 MATH 2181 SingleVariable Calculus with Precalculus (offered in Fall and Winter only).
 and you plan to major in a social science other than economics that requires mathematics, then register for
 MATH 2020 Finite Mathematics (offered in Fall, Winter and Spring), or
 MATH 2110 Short Course in Calculus (offered in Spring only), or
 MATH 2201 SingleVariable Differential Calculus (offered in Fall and Winter only), or
 MATH 2181 SingleVariable Calculus with Precalculus (offered in Fall and Winter only).
If you studied calculus in high school,
 and you are enrolled in the Integrated Science Program (ISP), Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS), or the McCormick School of Engineering, then your School or Program will provide mathematics placement advice.
 and you have studied multivariable calculus or linear algebra, then contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
 and you took an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate mathematics examination, then compare your score on the Mathematics Placement Examination with the recommended placement in the following table, and register for the most advanced course for which you qualify.
EXAMINATION  SCORE  RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT  OTHER POSSIBLE PLACEMENT 

AP Mathematics AB (or AB subscore of Mathematics BC)  13  MATH 2201  
4  MATH 2202  
5  MATH 2301 or MATH 2901 or MATH 2260  MATH 2911^{*}  
MATH 2281 (McCormick Only)  MATH 2260 or ES_APPM 2521  
AP Mathematics BC  4,5  MATH 2301 or MATH 2901  MATH 2911^{*} 
MATH 2281 (McCormick Only)  ES_APPM 2521  
IB Higher Level Examination  15  MATH 2201  
IB Higher Level Examination without the Calculus Option  6,7  MATH 2202  
IB Higher Level Examination with the Calculus Option  6,7  MATH 2301 or MATH 2901  MATH 2911^{*} 
MATH 2281 (McCormick Only)  ES_APPM 2521 
^{*}Contact the
Director of MENU.
 and you did not take an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate mathematics examination,

and you have a strong interest in mathematics, and excelled in differential and integral calculus, but have not studied linear algebra and multivariable calculus, then consult the Director of MENU about appropriate placement.

and you studied calculus outside of the United States, then consult the Director of MENU about appropriate placement.
 and you do not have a strong interest in mathematics, then register according to the results of the Mathematics Placement Examination.

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

John M. Alongi, Director of Undergraduate Studies  Lunt B3 

Back to top