The basic beginning college math sequences at the UW are MATH 111, 112 and MATH 120, 124. To register for either MATH 111 or 120 you must either pass a placement test or complete the noncredit algebra review course, MATH 098.
All the math courses required by UW majors, except the non-credit review course MATH 098, require either a prerequisite college math course or a passing score on a math placement test.
|MATH 098||MATH 111||MATH 112|
|MATH 098||MATH 120||MATH 124, 125, 126
other calculus options
MATH 098, Intermediate Algebra, is a non-credit algebra review course. It's equivalent to the second year of high school algebra. MATH 098 isn't covered by your regular tuition; it requires a separate fee of about $405. For students taking the placement exam for the UW, approximately one quarter place into MATH 098.
Most students who place into MATH 098 are understandably unhappy about having to start with a non-credit review course that, insult added to injury, even costs extra money. Many students retake the placement test, attempting to place higher. (There are restrictions on how many times and when you can retest. See the placement test page for more information.) While you may wish to do this, it's usually a better idea to take MATH 098 and get a solid review of algebra. Most students find UW math courses to be much more challenging than high school math. In particular, the functions you were allowed to complete on a calculator in high school you'll be expected to understand and be able to do yourself in college math courses.
Although you receive no credit for MATH 098, resist the temptation to add an extra course to your schedule to "make up" the credit. MATH 098 will take at least as much of your time as any 5-credit course, and it does count as 5 credits toward the minimum 12 credits/quarter required by financial aid (be sure to alert the Office of Student Financial Aid)
MATH 111, 112
The MATH 111, 112 pathway is taken mainly by pre-business students. It's a "terminal" sequence, meaning that it doesn't lead into higher-level math courses. The MATH 111, 112 sequence is accepted by UW programs that require only one quarter of calculus, including business, the economics B.A., and microbiology.
If your math placement test score is high enough, you can skip MATH 098 and start with MATH 111. You can't skip MATH 111 — you must take MATH 111 before MATH 112.
MATH 120, 124
The MATH 120, 124 pathway is taken mainly by students interested in science and engineering majors, and students preparing for professional programs such as medical, dental, or veterinary school.
MATH 124 is the first quarter of a year of calculus: MATH 124, 125, 126. If your math placement test score is high enough, you can skip MATH 098 and start with MATH 120, or skip MATH 120 and start with MATH 124.
If you are considering some majors that require MATH 124 and other majors that accept MATH 112, you should take MATH 124. Some science majors require only one or two quarters of calculus; if you're planning on a science major but haven't decided which one yet, we recommend that you complete the whole year of calculus. This keeps all your options open.
UW offers several options to the MATH 124 sequence. See calculus options, below.
Crossing Between Pathways
You can't cross over between sequences. MATH 111 can't be used as a prerequisite to MATH 120 or 124, and MATH 120 can't be used as a prerequisite to MATH 112.
MATH 124, 125, 126 is one of four different calculus sequences offered by the UW. All require at least MATH 120 or a passing placement test score. All majors that require MATH 124, 125, 126 (or any part of the sequence) will also accept the MATH 124H and MATH 134H sequences. Check the requirements of the majors you are considering to see if the Q SCI 291 sequence would be a good option for you.
MATH 124, 125, 126 - Calculus with Analytic Geometry
An introduction to single- and multivariable calculus, with emphasis on modeling and word problems. Recommended for students interested in engineering, computer science, physical science, and biological science majors. More information is available at the math department's home page.
Q SCI 291, 292, 293 - Analysis for Biologists
Introductory calculus sequence with an emphasis on biological problems, particularly in ecology. Recommended for biological science majors, particularly programs in Forest Resources and Fisheries. More information is available from the Center for Quantitative Science.
MATH 124H, 125H, 126H - Calculus with Analytic Geometry (Honors)
A parallel sequence to MATH 124/5/6, but with less emphasis on modeling and more emphasis on mathematical technique. Recommended for students interested in math-intensive disciplines such as math, engineering, and sciences. More information is available at the math department's home page. Entry code required; contact the mathematics adviser (firstname.lastname@example.org). MATH 124H is offered in autumn quarter only.
MATH 134H, 135H, 136H - Accelerated (Honors) Calculus
Appropriate for students with strong enthusiasm and talent for mathematics. More information is available at the math department's home page. Admission by special permission only; contact the mathematics adviser (email@example.com). MATH 134H is offered in autumn quarter only.
There are two special points about math prerequisites:
- Not only must you take the prerequisite course, but you must achieve a minimum grade. This grade, usually 2.0 or 2.5, is indicated in the Course Descriptions.
- Because you register for next quarter before you've finished this quarter's classes, you're allowed to register for the next course in the sequence while you have the prerequisite in progress. If you don't complete the prerequisite with the required grade, however, your registration in the next course will be cancelled.
Example: You must achieve at least a 2.5 grade in MATH 120 to continue on to MATH 124. If you register to take MATH 120 in autumn quarter you'll be allowed to register for MATH 124 for winter quarter, but if you receive a grade of 2.1 in MATH 120 your registration in MATH 124 will be cancelled and you'll be removed from the course. You must repeat MATH 120 and earn a higher grade (or pass the placement test, see below) to qualify to take MATH 124 in a later quarter.
You must have a passing score on a math placement test, or college credit for the prerequisite math course, to register for any UW math course numbered 111 or above. For more information, see our page on placement tests.
AP and IB scores
Your score on the College Board Advanced Placement Calculus exam can be used instead of a placement test to determine your math level. In fact, AP scores are the only way to qualify to start with the second or third college quarter of calculus; UW placement tests do not place students any higher than MATH 124.
See our AP tables for the chart of credit awards and placement for the Calculus AB and Calculus BC exams.
UW awards credit for International Baccalaureate Mathematics exam scores of 5 and above (Higher Level). See our IB tables for the chart of credit awards and placement for the Mathematics exam.