Information on


Where do I start in Mathematics?

The first math course that Carleton students take is usually a calculus course. To determine what calculus course to start with, please start by looking at the Calculus Placement Decision Chart below. Please see the Advanced Coursework section if you’ve taken math courses beyond calculus. Questions can be emailed to mathplacement@carleton.edu.

Math placement decision tree

Carleton Math Placement Exams

The Carleton Math Placement Exams are hosted on Moodle, Carleton’s course management site.  You must authenticate with your Carleton College username and password.  If you are an incoming freshman, you should receive your authentication credentials in early May.

  • Placement Exam #1 gauges preparation in algebra and precalculus to determine placement into one of two introductory Calculus courses:  Math 101 (Calculus with Problem Solving) or Math 111 (Calculus 1).
  • Placement Exam #2 gauges preparation in calculus (limits, differentiation, and integration) to determine placement into Math 111 (Calculus 1) or Math 120 (Calculus 2).
  • Placement Exam #3 gauges preparation in calculus (limits, differentiation, integration, sequences and series) to determine placement into Math 120 (Calculus 2) or Math 211 (Multivariable Calculus).
  • Placement Exam #4 gauges preparation in multivariable calculus to determine placement into Math 211 (Multivariable Calculus) or Math 232 (Linear Algebra).

Guide to Calculus

  • 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. Admission to Math 101 is by placement via Carleton Placement Exam #1 only. Upon successful 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. Placement is through Carleton Placement Exam #1 or Carleton Placement Exam #2. 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. Placement into Math 211 requires an AP Calculus BC score of 4 or 5 or Carleton Placement Exam #3. Students who took Math 120 (Calculus 2) should register for Math 210, not Math 211.  Upon successful completion of Math 211, students may take Math 232 (Linear Algebra) or Math 240 (Probability). 
  • Beyond Calculus.  Students who have studied multivariable calculus elsewhere should take Carleton Placement Exam #4 to determine whether to register for Math 211, or to be placed out of Carleton’s Calculus sequence.  Students who place out of the calculus sequence may register for Math 232 or Math 240, or discuss placement with the math placement adviser by emailing mathplacement@carleton.edu.

AP Calculus Credit

  • Calculus AB Score of 4 or 5: take Math 120.  After successfully completing Math 120 with a grade of C- or better, you will receive 6 credits for Math 111 (which can count towards graduation and the mathematics major, but not the mathematics minor).
  • Calculus BC Score of 4 or 5: take Math 211.  After successfully completing Math 211 with a grade of C- or better, you will receive 12 credits for Math 111 and 120 (which can count towards graduation and the mathematics major, but not the mathematics minor).
  • No advanced placement credit is awarded for AP scores below 4.  Students with these scores should take Carleton Placement Exam #2 to determine the appropriate Calculus placement.

IB Credit

  • If you scored a 5 or higher on the Analysis & Approaches Higher-Level (HL) International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam, take placement exam #3.
  • If you took other IB courses or exams, please contact the Math Placement Advisor.

Advanced coursework

Students with more extensive background in mathematics may wish to consider Math 232 (Linear Algebra), Math 236 (Mathematical Structures) or Math 240 (Probability).  Please consult the Carleton Course Catalog  and contact the Math Placement Advisor


Where do I start in Statistics?

There isn’t one place to start in our statistics curriculum, but the guide below outlines three options for getting started with statistics. Note that there is no statistics placement test. Please consult the Catalog description of Statistics Courses for information on the content of our courses or the Statistics major for information on majoring in Statistics.

Which Statistics course to take?

  • 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.

AP Stats Credit

  • Score of 4 or 5: placement into Stat 230 (formerly Math 245) Applied Regression Analysis. If you complete Stat 230 with a grade of C- or better, then you will receive 6 credits for Stat 120.

Questions?

If you have questions about which Math course to take, please contact the Math Placement advisor mathplacement@carleton.edu. If you have questions about which Stat course to take, please contact the Stat Placement advisor statplacement@carleton.edu.