Which eCore Math Should You Take?

Every student must take at least one - and in most cases two math classes. Mathematics is an essential part of a strong liberal arts curriculum which is why it's included as part of the Core. But which math class should you take? The answer is, well - that depends. eCore faculty have created a variety of course sequences that allow you to fulfill your mathematics requirements. Which sequence you should take depends on your intended major, your mathematical preparedness, and your career interests.

We begin with the most straightforward case. The physical, natural, and computational sciences include majors such as Physics, Biology, Astronomy, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Computer Science. These fields generally require Calculus and above. If you are interested in pursuing one of these majors, you should plan to take MATH 1113 - Precalculus followed by MATH 1501 - Calculus. Although it is possible to place directly into MATH 1113, some students may need a little refresher first. If this is the case for you, then you should first take MATH 1111 - College Algebra to help you prepare. The thing to remember is that this sequence of classes is preparing you to move on to more advanced mathematics - the fun just keeps on going!

On the other end of the spectrum are the Humanities which include majors like Art, English, Drama, Comparative Literature, and History. These disciplines generally do not require any more mathematics than what is in the core curriculum. The courses MATH 1101 - Mathematical Modeling, followed by MATH 1401 - Introduction to Statistics, is a sequence that provides students with basic problem solving and reasoning skills that apply more to everyday life. In most cases, if your major is based in the Humanities, these are the only two math classes you will need to take.

What about those disciplines somewhere in between like Psychology, Business, Sociology, and Education? Well, now it gets a little fuzzier. It is likely that most of these majors will require MATH 1401, but whether you take MATH 1101 or MATH 1111 first depends on what your major requires. The best thing to do is check with an advisor to make sure that you're taking the right course.

One last note of advice. Whichever math class you enroll in , try to approach it with an open mind. Mathematics can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding and even fun if you let it. 

by Barry Monk, eCore Math Professor

Dr. Barry Monk is Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Associate Professor of Mathematics at Middle Georgia State College, Macon Campus