Both mathematics and statistics embody the spirit of the liberal arts. Mathematics is an art, a pure science, a language and an analytical tool for the natural and social sciences. Statistics is the science of giving meaning to data in the context of uncertainty. The first-year mathematics and statistics curricula is deliberately flexible. Our intent is to provide appropriate entry points whatever a student’s level of preparation.

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Can I Major in math or stats?

Yes! Our department offers Mathematics and Statistics majors, as well as a minor in Mathematics

How to get started in Mathematics

The first math course that Carleton students take is usually a calculus course. Please see our Calculus/Statistics Placement page to determine which course is the correct starting point for you.

  • Math 101: Calculus with Problem Solving. This course provides an introduction to the derivative and the integral. It is designed for students with little or no previous exposure to calculus who may benefit from extra review of pre-calculus topics.  Meetings are five days a week for this extra review. After completion of Math 101, students may take Math 120.
  • Math 111: Introduction to Calculus. This course provides an introduction to the derivative and the integral.  It is designed for students with little or no previous exposure to calculus but who have a solid background in pre-calculus topics. Upon successful completion of Math 111, students may take Math 120.
  • Math 120: Calculus 2. This course covers selected topics in integration and multivariable calculus, including integration by parts, improper integrals, differential equations, vectors, directional derivatives, double integrals, and Lagrange multipliers. It is strongly recommended for natural science majors. Upon completion of Math 120, students may take Math 210 (Calculus 3), Math 232 (Linear Algebra) or Math 240 (Probability).
  • Math 210: Calculus 3. This course continues Math 120, covering topics in multivariable calculus including triple integrals, cylindrical and spherical coordinates, line integrals, Green’s theorem, sequences and series, power series, and Taylor series.  It is intended only for students who have successfully completed Math 120.  Upon successful completion of Math 210, students may take Math 232 (Linear Algebra) or Math 240 (Probability).
  • Math 211: Introduction to Multivariable Calculus.  This course covers multivariable calculus including vectors, directional derivatives, Lagrange multipliers, double and triple integrals, line integrals, and Green’s Theorem. This course is the entry point for students who received an AP BC exam score of 4 or 5. Upon successful completion of Math 211, students may take Math 232 (Linear Algebra) or Math 240 (Probability).

If you have completed the calculus sequence, consider these courses:

  • Math 232: Linear Algebra. Topics include linear spaces and linear transformations, eigenvalues, eigenvectors and determinants.
  • Math 236: Mathematical Structures. An introduction to proof techniques (induction, proof by contradiction) as well as other foundational aspects of mathematics (equivalence relations, cardinality, etc.).
  • Math 240: Probability. (Previously Math 265) An introduction to discrete and continuous probability culminating in the Central Limit Theorem and Law of Large Numbers.

Refer to the Course catalog for a complete description.

How to get started in Statistics

There are several options for first-year students interested in statistics. There is no placement test for statistics.

  • Stat 120: Introduction to Statistics. If you are curious about statistics or data science or plan to major in the natural sciences, environmental studies, economics, political science or sociology/anthropology, you should consider Stat 120. Some departments accept AP Statistics credit for their major and questions about this should be directed to the individual department.
  • Math 240, Stat 250: Probability and Introduction to Statistical Inference. (Previously Math 265, Math 275) If you have completed Calculus through Math 120 or 211, we encourage you to consider this sequence (instead of Stat 120). These two courses are required if you plan to major in statistics.
  • Stat 230: Applied Regression Analysis. (Previously Math 245) If you have received a 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics exam, consider Applied Regression Analysis. Completing this course with a C- or better will earn you 6 credits for Stat 120.

Refer to the Course catalog for a complete description.

Questions

If you have questions regarding placement in Mathematics courses, please contact the Math Placement advisor.

If you have questions about which Statistics course to take, please contact the Stat Placement advisor.