What math course should a first year School of Science student take?

What math course should a first year School of Science student take?

One important decision for freshman is in the area of mathematics.  Eventually, all school of science majors,  except Environmental studies majors,  must successfully complete Calculus I (MATH 110) and Calculus II (MATH 120) in order to complete the major.  Only students who are well-prepared for each respective math course should take it.  So what should you do?  We have listed several common scenarios below:

1. Students who have not had a Preparation for Calculus course, or who are somewhat weak in math, or who simply want to be absolutely certain they are ready for college-level Calculus I, should take Preparation for Calculus (MATH 050).  This is a one semester course that will count as general elective credit.  Students may opt to take this in their Fall semester, so that they can take Calculus I the following Spring.  Calculus II will then be taken in the sophomore year.  Alternately, students may delay taking MATH 050 until the Spring of their freshman year.  These students can take Calculus I and Calculus II in their sophomore year.  If you choose not to take a math course in your first semester at Siena, we recommend that you take a Core curriculum course (e.g. one of the disciplinary courses).

2. Students who have completed a Preparation for Calculus course in high school and who did well in the course should take Calculus I.  Note that the math department provides a mechanism by which students in Calculus I have the option of stepping back (with absolutely no penalty or negative mark on their record) to a section of Preparation for Calculus during the first several weeks of the semester.  Thus, there is little risk in choosing Calculus I – you can always step back to Preparation for Calculus.  Doing so will not “put you behind.”  You will still be able to complete all your required classes without any problem. 

3. Students who have had some Calculus in high school often opt to take college-level Calculus I in the Fall semester of their freshman year and Calculus II in the Spring semester. 

4. Students who have taken AP Calculus (and scored a 4 or 5 on the AP exam), or who have college credit for Calculus I, or who take an exam given by the Siena math Department, may receive credit for Calculus I and enroll in Calculus II (Math 120). 

5. Students who have credit for Calculus I and are particularly strong in math may opt to enroll in an Honors section of Calculus II.  Some students may even be able to receive credit for both Calculus I and II.  Students with strong math backgrounds should feel free to inquire about their options.