Following are frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding math course choices for incoming freshman. We also have a listing of View Graduate FAQs.
- Q. What is the average class size?
- Q: What are the mathematics requirements for liberal arts students?
- Q: Do I need a particular calculator or computer for my math classes?
- Q: I am a freshman liberal arts major and I received my course selection form. I see a list of computer science and mathematics courses and I must choose just one. Which one is the best for me?
- Q: What if I choose a course now and later change my mind?
- Q: Can I get credit for my AP calculus course?
- Q: What are the differences between all these calculus and statistics courses?
A: The average class size is 25 with a maximum of 32. This enables the faculty to provide quality instruction to our students. Our courses are taught by faculty members; we do not use graduate assistants for teaching.
A: Liberal Arts students either take two mathematics courses, or take one mathematics and one computer science course, in either order.
A: Most students bring the calculator they used in high school (the TI-83 seems to be most common) and many instructors allow calculators to be used on tests. Graphing calculators are certainly not required for any testing, though a cheap scientific calculator is very helpful. All full time students are given a laptop. For more information on computer connectivity on campus, see http://unit.villanova.edu/support.
Q: I am a freshman liberal arts major and I received my course selection form. I see a list of computer science and mathematics courses and I must choose just one. Which one is the best for me?
A: Frankly, students succeed in courses that most interest them. So we hope you will read the course descriptions and we heartily recommend any of these courses if it interests you. For the truly undecided Arts majors, we recommend Math 1230, Introduction to Statistics I, a course designed specifically for liberal arts students. Many of our majors (e.g., communication arts, political science, psychology, and sociology) have upper level research courses that are essentially statistics courses. Math 1230 can help prepare a student for such courses. Math 1230 and 1235 are also required for the business minor.
Over the years, we have learned that many students are not really sure what they want to major in. Your choice of math course might depend on the major you are considering. For instance, if you are contemplating switching to business, you should take calculus Mat 1500. If you are contemplating switching to biology, then take biology calculus Math 1310. If you are considering computer science, you might take CSC 1051.
Math 1500 is the standard engineering/science calculus course. All engineering, chemistry, math, computer science, and physics majors must take Math 1500 and 1505. If you are considering a math minor, take Math 1500. If you get AP credit for Math 1500 and 1505, we can place you in the third semester of calculus, Math 2500, a requirement for the math minor.
To recap, please take the course that appeals to you. CSC 1020, CSC 1030, Math 1220, Math 1230, and Math 1320 are all designed for liberal arts majors. Math 1230 is the default choice for many Liberal Arts majors, but your success hinges on taking the course that motivates you! If you have further questions, please call the Mathematics & Statistics Department at 610.519.4850.
A: No problem! You can call over the summer to adjust your schedule or request a change in major, or you can wait until you arrive on campus. The freshman orientation program has a time for students to adjust their courses, and all students can change schedules during the first five days of classes.
A: If you take the AB or BC version of the AP calculus exam and score a 4 or 5, or the Higher Level IB exam and score a 6 or 7, you can receive credit for both Math 1500 and Math 1505. Incoming freshman should request the scores be sent to Villanova University. Most AP scores for incoming freshman reach Villanova by mid-July. Any schedule adjustments based on your AP scores are handled in August, generally before you arrive on campus or during the first week of classes. Guidelines for granting credit for the courses that are equivalent to Advance Placement are included in the Undergraduate Handbook, The Enchridion, under the Matriculation Requirements section.
Calculus and Statistics Options: Various calculus and statistics courses have overlapping content with differing applications. One cannot receive credit for two such overlapping courses. For instance, one cannot receive credit for both MAT 1310 and MAT 1500; a second example is MAT 1230 and MAT 1250. Contact the Department of Mathematics & Statistics for permission before taking two different varieties of calculus or statistics courses.
A: As you can see, we offer a variety of different first year calculus sequences. Math 1310-1315 emphasizes life sciences applications and is typically taken by first year biology majors. Math 1320-1325 is designed for liberal arts students and emphasizes the concepts of calculus. Math 1500-1505 is a four credit course sequence (the others are three credits) and is the standard "AP" type of calculus required for engineers, physics, chemistry, computing science and math majors.
The statistics courses are also varied. Math 1230-1235 is a two semester sequence designed for liberal arts students. The Math 1250 covers similar topics but focuses on nursing applications. In the Villanova School of Business, the DIT department offers a STA 2010 statistics course which is for their students who have taken Math 1330 or another calculus course. This course does not count toward the Liberal Arts Core Math requirement. Math 2310 is designed for life science and computing sciences majors and has calculus as a prerequisite. Math 4310 has a prerequisite of Math 1505 Calculus but is a higher level statistics course that counts for math major or math minor credit.
Many of the calculus and statistics courses have overlapping content with differing applications. One cannot receive credit for two such overlapping courses. For instance, one cannot receive credit for both MAT 1310 and MAT 1500; a second example is MAT 1230 and MAT 1250. Contact the Department of Mathematics & Statistics for permission before taking two different varieties of calculus or statistics courses.