Author: Katie Torrey

Which linear algebra and differential equations classes should I take?

You have three options for linear algebra:  MA 2320, MA 2321, and MA 2330.

You have four options for differential equations:  MA 3520, MA 3521, MA 3530, and MA 3560.

If you plan to take linear algebra and differential equations in the same semester, then you must take the accelerated (7 week) versions of these classes:  MA 2321 (2 cr) and MA 3521 (2 cr).  MA 2321 is offered track A and MA 3521 is offered track B during the fall and spring semesters.  The advantage with the accelerated classes is that they allow you to complete both classes in one semester.  This is important if you plan to start junior CM classes in the next semester, as you must be done with all of your math to start taking junior CM classes.  The disadvantage with the accelerated classes is that the course material comes very quickly, and for this reason we do not recommend the accelerated classes to students who have struggled with math classes in the past or who feel they need more time to grasp math concepts.

If you plan to take linear algebra and differential equations in different semesters, then you can take either MA 2320 (2 cr) or MA 2330 (3 cr) in the first semester and then either MA 3520 (2 cr) or MA 3530 (3 cr, fall semester) or MA 3560 (3 cr, spring semester) in the second semester. There is additional course material in the three credit versions.  You may read the course descriptions by clicking on the CRN when doing a class search in Banweb or searching for course descriptions on the Registrar’s Office webpage.

If you have struggled in your previous math classes then we recommend the semester long, two credit classes (MA 2320 and MA 3520).

If you are interested in a math minor and/or pursuing an engineering graduate degree then we recommend the semester long, three credit classes (MA 2330 and MA 3530/3560).  The extra credits from the three credit math classes can be used towards your technical electives or free electives.  See the ChE advisor for more information on applying these additional credit towards either of these areas of your degree audit.

Why can’t I register for Linear Algebra/Differential Equations? I keep getting a registration error.

Make sure that you are enrolling in the correct course.

There are two courses named “Elementary Linear Algebra”:

  • MA 2320 Elementary Linear Algebra (2 cr – 14 week semester long course)
  • MA 2321 Elementary Linear Algebra (2 cr – 7 week accelerated course, track A)

There are also two courses named “Elementary Differential Equations”:

  • MA 3520 Elementary Differential Equations (2 cr – 14 week semester long course)
  • MA 3521 Elementary Differential Equations (2 cr – 7 week accelerated course, track B)

If you plan to take both linear algebra and differential equations in the same semester, then you must enroll in MA 2321 and MA 3521.  These courses are co-requisites.

If you only want or need to take one of these classes, then you must enroll in the semester long version of the class, either MA 2320 or MA 3520.

Do I need to bring anything to my appointment?

Yes.  Please be prepared.  Before your appointment, take a look at your transcript on Banweb.  It is important that you know exactly what classes are on it.

Bring the following with you to your appointment:

  1. The flowchart with classes crossed off that you’ve already completed and are currently taking.
  2. A list of any classes on your transcript that you don’t know where they belong on the flowchart.
  3. A list of classes that you plan to take next semester and beyond, even if it is a rough draft.  The semester planning worksheet will help with this.
  4. Anything we worked on during previous appointments.
  5. The folder containing advising handouts that you got during orientation or when you changed majors.

Copies of the advising handouts are also available on the department’s Advising Handouts webpage.  Appointments with an advisor may be made using the University email system.

A class that I planned to take is full. Can I still get into it?


If the course is a Chemical Engineering course, then email with your request.  We will increase capacity of almost any CM class, with only a few exceptions.  Lab sections cannot be expanded.

If the course is in another department, please contact the department or the instructor of the class with your request.

If you still are not able to get into the class then you should periodically check the enrollment until the semester starts.  If another student decides to drop the class then a seat will open up.  Remember that you can add/drop classes on Banweb from when registration opens through the first week of classes of that semester.

Senior UO and plant design classes are full. Can you get me into them?

Don’t worry.  Yes, we will get you into these classes.

The capacities (maximum number of students that can enroll) in these classes are purposely set low.  The reason that we do this is because we need to have the same number of students in each section as close as possible.  It is very difficult to predict how many seniors we will have with students leaving and returning from co-op.

If you cannot get into one or both of these classes, then you will need to email with the following information:

  1. Which class(es) you need to enroll in.
  2. Which section you prefer.
  3. Why you prefer that section.  Be specific.

You WILL get into the classes, however we cannot guarantee that you will get into the section that you prefer.  We do our best to match preferences whenever possible.