Information for First-Year Students

Answers to frequently asked questions.

Where are you on campus?

  • The department office is in Valentine Hall. If you see a shark on the wall, you're close.
  • The professors have offices on the 2nd floor of Valentine and the 1st floor of Bewkes.

What degrees do you offer?

When should I start taking courses?

  • If you're considering a major, try to take the first two courses during your first year.
  • It's surprisingly common for students who take CS 140 late to wish they had taken it sooner.

What course should I start with?

  • Math: probably somewhere in the Calculus sequence (Math 135 = Calc I, Math 136 = Calc II, Math 205 = Calc III). Contact any math professor for help deciding which level is right for you. If you start in Calc II or III, you can get automatic credit for the previous course(s). You can also switch between levels during the first month if necessary.
  • Computer Science: with CS 140, unless you have already studied programming. Contact any computer science professor for further guidance.
  • Statistics: with the Calculus sequence (see Math) and/or Stat 113, unless you have already studied statistics. Contact any statistics professor for further guidance.

What if I have a weak math background?

  • Math 134 is for students who want to take calculus but need pre-calculus first.
  • Math 110 is for students who don't intend to take any more math afterwards.

What do my scores on AP exams count for?

  • A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus AB exam earns credit for Math 135.
  • A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam earns credit for both Math 135 and Math 136.
  • A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Computer Science A exam earns credit for CS 140.
  • A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics exam earns credit for Stat 113.

Which courses in this department satisfy the QLR requirement?

  • Math 110, Math 123, Math 134, Math 135, Math 136, CS 140, CS 219, and Stat 113.
  • Note that other departments (like Economics and Philosophy) have QLR courses too.

What can I do in the department besides courses?

What could I do with a Math/CS/Stat degree?

  • Our majors are eligible for many of the Top 10 Best Jobs in the 2015 Jobs Rated report!
  • Actuary (#1), Mathematician (#3), Statistician (#4), Data Scientist (#6), Software Engineer (#8).