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Academic Policies

Mathematics Requirements

Revised 9/25/09: Math Readiness Test replaced with Math Placement Test

Mathematics Placement Test:

Registration in all MATH courses below MATH 129, as well as MATH 160, MATH 263, and MATH 302A, requires all students to take the UA Mathematics Placement Test. Test scores are valid for one year. This requirement includes transfer students with or without mathematics credit and students with credit by examination, such as Advanced Placement (AP), CLEP, or International Baccalaureate (IB). 

Eligibility rules and testing information may be found on the External Link Math Placement Homepage.

Foundations Mathematics Requirement:

All students, as part of their Foundations requirements, are expected to demonstrate mathematical knowledge and quantitative reasoning by completing one of the following 3-unit courses or by achieving a minimum math placement code as stated below:

  1. earning credit for LING 178, (The Mathematics of Language and Linguistics), or Math 105 (Mathematics in Modern Society), or PHIL 110 (Logic and Critical Thinking)—check prerequisites, such as a minimum math placement code (see the chart provided on the Math Placement Homepage); or
     
  2. earning credit for any 3-unit (or more) mathematics course numbered above Math 105, provided that the student has placed at the level required for the course (see the chart provided on the Math Placement Homepage); or
     
  3. achieving a math placement code equivalent to that of students who have completed UA College Algebra—by the end of the student’s first semester at the UA (see the chart provided on the Math Placement Homepage, as well as Proficiency and Exemption Exam Procedures and General Regulations).  [Note:  the placement code is determined by the catalog and math placement regulations in effect when an exam is taken.] If the Math Placement Test is used for this purpose, the test must be proctored per Math Department guidelines, which may be found on the Math Placement Homepage.

Beyond this general minimum, however, the appropriate course for an individual student will depend on the student’s major and the corresponding math strand appropriate to that major.

Math Strands:

Entry-level mathematics students should choose one of three strands according to their interests, preparation, and intended major. All strands presume that students will have completed the high school math required for entry to the University.

  • G-Strand (General Knowledge) -- This strand involves the general understanding and appreciation of how mathematics is used to solve problems in everyday life.  The G-strand does not prepare a student for any further work grounded in mathematics and assumes the student will not proceed beyond the basic Foundations level noted above.  Thus only those students whose major requires the most general knowledge of mathematics should take this strand.  The options to satisfy this strand are: 

1.    earning credit for LING 178, (The Mathematics of Language and Linguistics), or Math 105 (Mathematics in Modern Society), or PHIL 110 (Logic and Critical Thinking)—check prerequisites, such as a minimum math placement code (see the chart provided on the Math Placement Homepage); or

2.    earning credit for any 3-unit (or more) mathematics course numbered above Math 105, provided that the student has placed at the level required for the course (see the chart provided on the Math Placement Homepage); or

3.    achieving a math placement code equivalent to that of students who have completed UA College Algebra—by the end of the student’s first semester at the UA (see the chart provided on the Math Placement Homepage, as well as Proficiency and Exemption Exam Procedures and General Regulations).  [Note: the placement code is determined by the catalog and math placement regulations in effect when an exam is taken.] If the Math Placement Test is used for this purpose, the test must be proctored per Math Department guidelines, which may be found on the Math Placement Homepage.

  • M-Strand (Moderate Knowledge) -- The M-strand is for students who require mathematical facility at the level of at least MATH 110 (Collegiate Algebra). This strand involves reasonable facility with algebra and algebraic functions, graphs, and simple modeling. Students who choose the M-strand are prepared for further mathematical work. This work may include LING 178 (The Mathematics of Language and Linguistics), MATH 114 (Finite Mathematics), MATH 113 (Elements of Calculus), or a statistics class from outside the mathematics department.

  • S-Strand (Substantial Knowledge) -- This strand involves skill and facility with calculus. The S-strand begins at one of two calculus options - MATH 124 (Calculus I with Applications) or MATH 125 (Calculus I). Students who successfully complete the S-strand may continue on to MATH 129 (Calculus II), MATH 223 (Vector Calculus), or beyond. Those who choose but are not ready to begin the S-strand will be required to take preparatory work.

Each major indicates the mathematics strand, or specific course from a strand, that is most appropriate for its students.  It is important to note that each strand provides a different level of mathematical training, but students can satisfy the mathematics requirement in their major by completing a more advanced mathematics course. Because the S-strand presumes the M-strand and the M-strand presumes the G-strand, students will have the most flexibility in their major choice by aiming for the S-strand. A student who chooses to meet the general education mathematics requirement with the G-strand will have the most restricted set of major choices.

Please direct all Math Placement questions to the Math Department:

Math Department
Math Placement Coordinator
Mathematics Building, 108
617 North Santa Rita

Phone: (520) 621-6892
Fax: (520) 621-8322
Email: placement@math.arizona.edu
Web: External Link Math Placement Homepage
Web: External Link Math Department Homepage

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Page last updated:  March 11, 2010
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