Tag: Math

I’ve been enrolled in or taken a higher-level math class but I don’t have credit for the lower-level math class on my transcript. Does this matter?

Yes, this matters because you need to have credit for all of your required math classes in order to meet graduation requirements. This situation can also negatively impact future class scheduling if you are missing a math prerequisite for a class in which you trying to enroll.

The most common situation where this occurs is when a student receives a marginal score on their AP calculus test. Currently, if you receive a 3 on the calculus AB test, you are allowed to enroll in calculus II (MA 2160) but you will not receive credit for calculus I unless you receive a C or better in calculus II. There are similar rules for the AP calculus BC test. Go to the Admissions AP, IB, and CLEP Scores page for the latest information on these requirements. They are listed on the required scores page for AP credit.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are missing credit for a required math class then contact your academic advisor ASAP for assistance in resolving this issue.


Which math class should I take next?

Staying on track with your math classes is very important because you will need to be done with all of your required math classes before you can start the junior-level chemical engineering courses.

If you came in with credit for some of your required math classes then this is very helpful because it allows you to move forward with your math more quickly and will give you some flexibility in your class schedule down the road.

  • If you have completed calculus I (MA 1160 or MA 1161) then take calculus II (MA 2160) or linear algebra (MA 2320 or MA 2330).
  • If you have completed calculus I and II (MA 1160/1161 and MA 2160) then take multivariable calculus (MA 3160) or linear algebra (MA 2320 or MA 2330) or linear algebra/differential equations (MA 2321 and MA 3521)
  • If you have completed calculus I and II and multivariable calculus (MA 1160/1161, MA 2160, MA 3160) then take linear algebra (MA 2320 or MA 2330) or linear algebra/differential equations (MA 2321 and MA 3521).
  • If you have completed calculus I and II, multivariable calculus, and linear algebra (MA 1160/1161, MA 2160, MA 3160, MA 2320/2330) then take differential equations (MA 3520 or MA 3530 or MA 3560).

There are several options with the linear algebra and differential equations courses. Go to FAQ: Which linear algebra and differential equations classes should I take?


I’ve been placed into precalculus (MA 1032 or MA 1120) but would like to start in calculus. Can I challenge my math placement?

Yes. If you have been placed in a math class below calculus then you can take a math placement test to try to move to a more advanced course. The math placement test can place you as high as calculus I. The test is called ALEKS and information on taking it is on the Math’s Department webpage.

If you plan to take the placement test then you should do so as soon as possible because your math course determines the rest of your first semester schedule.


I’m starting out in precalculus (MA 1032 or MA 1120). Can I still graduate in four years?

If you are willing to take summer classes, then yes. You’ll need to take summer classes after your first year and maybe after your second year too to make this work. You can take summer classes at Michigan Tech or at a community college and then transfer in the classes.

If summer classes are not feasible or you can only take a limited number of summer classes then you could also consider adjusting your classes so that you can co-op during the five years. Having engineering work experience through a co-op prior to graduation will help you with landing summer internships and your first full-time job because many employers look for this type of experience when hiring.

If you’d like help getting your options sorted out then set up a meeting with your advisor during a less busy time (week 3-7 of the semester).


I’m enrolled in MA 1120 Single-Variable Calculus with Integrated Precalculus I and I don’t see this on the flowchart or sample schedules. What is this class?

MA 1120 Single-Variable Calculus with Integrated Precalculus I is a part of a new math course sequence for students starting out in precalculus. MA 1120 is equivalent to MA 1032 Precalculus. In the five-year schedule for students starting in precalculus, this course is being taken in place of MA 1032.

If you are enrolled in MA 1120, then the next math class you will take will be MA 1121 Single-Variable Calculus with Integrated Precalculus II. MA 1121 is equivalent to MA 1160/MA 1161 Calculus with Technology I. In the five-year suggested schedule, this course will be taken in place of MA 1161 in the spring.

After you are done with these classes then you’ll take the remaining required math classes: MA 2160 Calculus with Technology II, MA 3160 Multivariable Calculus with Technology, MA 2320/2321 Elementary Linear Algebra, and MA 3520/3521 Elementary Differential Equations.


Which math lab section do I enroll in?

The calculus math classes, MA 1160 and MA 1161 (calc I), MA 2160 (calc II), and MA 3160 (multivariable calc), require that you enroll in corresponding recitation and lab sections.  For example, if you are enrolling in R01 then you also will need to enroll in L01.  R02 enrolls in L02, R03 enrolls in L03, etc.  If you do not enroll in the corresponding recitation/lab sections then you will get a registration link error.


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.


How can I prepare academically for graduate school in chemical engineering?

The first year of graduate school in chemical engineering typically involves taking advanced courses in transport, thermodynamics, kinetics, and mathematics (partial differential equations).  It may also involve specialty courses specific to your area of chosen specialization. Anything that makes those required courses easier is a good idea.  I feel that at Michigan Tech we do not go far enough in transport, so I recommend that you take the graduate transport class (CM5300 Advanced Transport Phenomena I, 3 credits, Spring, prereq=CM5100) or Polymer Rheology (CM4650, 3 credits), either of which will introduce you to the use of tensors in mathematical analysis.  After that I recommend taking our graduate math class (CM5100 Applied Mathematics for Chemical Engineers I, 3 credits, Fall) or any advanced mathematics course that interests you (some examples might be MA