Mathematics Requirements

All students are required to satisfy proficiency in mathematics as well as complete a math course for Core Curriculum. Though you may opt not to enroll in a math course your first semester, you are asked to read the following thoroughly as it includes information valuable for your entire four years at CSB/SJU.

The Mathematics Proficiency Requirement

Proficiency in mathematics and placement in mathematics courses will depend on your performance in your high school mathematics courses and MATH ACT entrance test scores. If you are not granted proficiency at the time of registration, you may be placed in a 1 credit module of math with the intent of strengthening your math skills, depending on your math scores, grades, and noted area of interest. You will have opportunities when you come to campus in the fall to prepare for and take a proficiency exam at the Mathematics Skills Center. Once you have passed the proficiency requirement, you will be eligible to enroll in mathematics courses. A practice exam can be found at the Math Skills Center Web site.

The Core Mathematics Requirement

The Mathematics Department offers a variety of mathematics courses which fulfill the Core Mathematics Requirement. All 100-level mathematics courses assume students have successfully completed at least three years of college preparatory mathematics, including two years of algebra. Our calculus courses assume four years of college preparatory mathematics.

If you need some review of mathematics in order to prepare to pass the math proficiency requirement, or to prepare for a Core math class, or brush up on math skills in preparation for other courses, the following Academic Skills Course is available: (Note: This course is for preparation only; it does not satisfy a proficiency or Core requirement.)

Math 111 Preparation for College Math, Level 1 (2 credits)

A review of basic mathematics, including arithmetic skills, beginning algebra, and geometry. Emphasis will be placed on awareness and acquisition of problem-solving techniques. This course is designed for students who need to review to prepare for the math proficiency exam, but is also appropriate for others who would like to brush up on their math preparation for upcoming classes.

Note for Pre-Med Students

Medical schools have traditionally required one to two semesters of Calculus. Recently, some medical schools have started to replace this requirement with a semester of statistics. Calculus is still needed for some science majors. If you are considering medical school, please plan to consult with the pre-medicine adviser, or to review the pre-med homepage.


Because calculus is required for many majors and it is generally needed early on, taking calculus in your first semester is an important option for you to consider. If you are not sure whether your math skills are strong enough for you to succeed in calculus, you can find out by taking our Calculus Readiness Exam at the Mathematics Skills Center.

If you do need to improve your math skills before you take calculus, you can get help at the Mathematics Skills Center or take our Precalculus course. (Note: this Precalculus class does not fulfill the Core Mathematics Requirement.)

If you took Calculus I in high school but did not receive AP credit for it, you can still register for Calculus II if your Calculus I background is strong enough. You are encouraged to discuss this possibility with a member of the mathematics department. If you do begin with Calculus II and you earn a grade of C or better in the course, the mathematics department will grant you credit at that time for Calculus I.


The mathematics department offers concentrations in mathematics and mathematics/secondary education; it also offers a major in numerical computation jointly with the computer science department. Information about the numerical computation major is in a separate section for that major.

Special Requirements:
Students anticipating a major in mathematics and/or the natural sciences ordinarily begin their study of mathematics with 119. However, a student needing further preparation before beginning calculus, either 118 or 119, should enroll in 115. Students interested in advanced placement should contact the department chair.

Admission to the major requires a grade of C or higher in MATH 119, 120 and MATH 239 or 241.
Before admission to the major (ordinarily in the sophomore year), prospective majors must consult with their advisors in the mathematics department to plan their mathematics courses. Students should choose their courses and non-curricular activities with regard to their goals for careers and graduate school. Students should be aware of which semesters upper-division mathematics courses will be offered.

For students who entered SJU/CSB in Fall 2007 or later, Math 395, the Capstone, is also required. This is a 2 credit course which will be offered in both fall and spring semesters, beginning in Fall 2010.

Senior majors are required to take a comprehensive exam in mathematics (the Major Field Test).

Prospective majors should have familiarity with computer programming before taking upper-division mathematics courses. Students preparing for graduate school in mathematics should include 332 and 344 or 348.

Concentration in Mathematics (40--42 credits)
Required Courses (here is a sample 4-year plan):
119, 120, 239, 241, 331, 343, 395 (Capstone) plus 16 addition upper-division credits in mathematics.

Concentration in Mathematics/Secondary Education (40--42 credits)
Required Courses:
Same as concentration in mathematics, but includes 333, 345.

At least 1 credit in 105-108 or 300-303 (History of Mathematics) is also recommended. Check with the chairs of the education department and the mathematics department for requirements for certification by the Minnesota Department of Education. See the education department listing for minor requirements.

Minor (24 credits)

Required Courses:
119, 120, 239; plus either 12 additional upper-division credits in mathematics, or 241 plus 8 additional upper-division credits in mathematics.