A Guide to First Year Mathematics Courses

All entering students are required to take the math placement exam, with the following exceptions:

  • students who transfer in college credit for Math 159, 160, 170, or 210;
  • students who score 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement AB calculus exam, and who report their score to Allegheny;
  • students who score 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement BC calculus exam, and who report their score to Allegheny;
  • students who score 3 on the Advanced Placement BC calculus exam with a 4 or 5 on the AB subscore of this exam, and who report their score to Allegheny.

The Math Placement Exam determines readiness for Calculus I (Math 160). The exam places students into one of two categories:

  • Math 160 or
  • Math 110/157/159

For students who place in Math 110/157/159:

Student Interest

Students considering a major or minor in: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Geology, or Computer Science

Recommended Placement

Math 159 (Precalculus) in the Fall and Math 160 (Calculus I) in the Spring

Students who need a calculus course (for example for Biology or Economics) but do not need the more theoretical Math 160 Math 157 (Calculus I for Social and Life Sciences)
Students who want a math course that will count toward natural science distribution credit, but do not need calculus Math 110 (Elementary Mathematical Modeling)

Math 159 Precalculus is a signature course intended solely to prepare students for Math 160. It cannot be taken by a student with prior calculus credit and does not count toward natural science distribution or toward a major or minor in mathematics.

Math 157 Calculus I for Social/Life Sciences does not count toward a major or minor in mathematics and cannot be taken by a student with prior calculus credit.

Math 110 Elementary Mathematical Modeling cannot be taken by a student with prior calculus credit and does not count toward a major or minor in mathematics.