6.4.1. Mathematics Course Prerequisites and Mathematics Placement Testing

There are three mathematics courses that have no prerequisites: MAT 111 Statistics, MAT 120 Introduction to Functions, and MAT 121 Applied Calculus. Also, the mathematics Core class, COR 314 Mathematics and Human Nature, has no prerequisites. Thus, any of these four courses can be taken at any time by any Oglethorpe undergraduate student, although junior standing (or higher) is strongly recommended when taking COR 314.

All other mathematics courses have prerequisites. The first several of these are:

CoursePrerequisite (Earning a grade of C- or better)
MAT 130 Advanced FunctionsMAT 120 Introduction to Functions
MAT 131 Calculus IMAT 130 Advanced Functions
MAT 132 Calculus IIMAT 131 Calculus I

Like all prerequisites, these can be satisfied in a variety of ways, including:

  • Passing the specified prerequisite course at Oglethorpe with a grade of C- or better, or
  • Taking a materially equivalent course at another regionally accredited post-secondary institution and transferring the credit to Oglethorpe (see Sec. 6.8.2. through Sec. 6.8.6. for additional details), or
  • Exempting the prerequisite via test scores, such as those from certain Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) tests (see 6.8.1. for additional details).

Another option is the student’s standardized test results (SAT-M or ACT-M). While Oglethorpe does not currently require students to take the ACT/SAT, it can be helpful in this case. College Board and ACT Inc provide data that students meeting a certain level on the mathematics part of their (SAT or ACT) exam can be placed as follows:

  • An ACT-M score of 28 or SAT-M score of 700 gives the student non-credit equivalency (NCE) in MAT 120 AND MAT 130, enabling them to register for any introductory science course or Calculus I.
  • An ACT-M score of 26 or SAT-M score of 600 gives the student NCE in just MAT 120, enabling them to enroll in BIO 110, CHM 101, and MAT 130 (as well as labs and other courses requiring MAT 120). It is suggested they take the second part of the placement exam if they feel like they could do well on it – that can be combined with this information to place them out of MAT 130 as well.

The final option for satisfying some of these prerequisites is taking the Math Placement Exam online. This exam is currently available online through Oglethorpe’s LMS or students with technical issues can be given permission to take it proctored through admissions or student success on an Oglethorpe computer.

The test will discern in which one of several 100-level mathematics courses the student is prequalified to enroll. For example, a student might need or want to take MAT 131 Calculus I. Rather than taking all conceivable prerequisites (which could include both MAT 120 Introduction to Functions and MAT 130 Advanced Functions), the student must take the mathematics placement exam. The results may indicate the student is prepared to take MAT 131 Calculus I already, without taking any of the prerequisites, or the placement test may indicate the student needs to take MAT 130 Advanced Functions first. At worst, the test will indicate the student needs to take MAT 120 Introduction to Functions and then MAT 130 Advanced Functions prior to taking MAT 131 Calculus I. Given the fact the test can potentially exempt students from all or some of the prerequisites, all undergraduate students who may need to take one or more mathematics courses having prerequisites are required to take the mathematics placement exam before they register for classes at Oglethorpe.

A student may be placed into MAT 131 if they obtain a 3 on the AP Calculus AB examination. This does not provide the student with any credit (just like the math placement exam explained above.