Choosing a First Course

There are many options in studying mathematics at Wellesley.

Students can begin with calculus (115 or 116), or an introduction to statistics (101), or a course to explore applications of mathematics without calculus (102). Students with an extensive background in mathematics may begin in upper level courses such as Linear Algebra (206), Combinatorics (225), or Number Theory (223). You can learn about our courses from the Wellesley College Course Catalog.

The logical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills you gain in math classes are valuable in all fields, even if you do not end up using the particular course material that you learned.

Calculus is not a required course at Wellesley College, but it is required for many majors, including economics and most pure and applied sciences. In addition, it is frequently required for admission to medical school. Every entering student is sent a brief placement questionnaire to assess precalculus and calculus skills. We use your placement questionnaire and your SAT scores (as well as your AP score, if applicable) to determine the calculus course that we believe is most appropriate for you. Letters are sent out in July with placement information. During First-Year Orientation we are available at "Advising Day" to answer any questions that you have. Our calculus placement FAQs may also be helpful.

All mathematics courses satisfy the Mathematical Modeling requirement and the courses focusing on statistics also satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning Overlay requirement.

Upcoming Events

Monday, Oct 20

The weekly student seminar meets in room 362 at 12:20.  This week we'll have a summer research programs panel.  The department will provide lunch, and one of your peers will provide a great talk.  All are welcome to attend!

Wednesday, Oct 22

Our Applicable Math Lecture series kicks off for the year with Mike Remolona from Wolfram Research Inc giving a talk discussing Mathematica 10 and how to get the most out of wolframalpha.com.  We'll have a reception (with food!) at 3:45 in SCI 362, then move to SCI 296 at 4:15 for the talk.

Thursday, Oct 23

Our second Putnam problem session meets today and runs from 12:30 to 1:20 in SCI 364.  This week we'll have homemade cookies (chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and ginger molasses) to help fuel our problem solving neurons.  Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday, Oct 23

Our second department colloquium is given by Megan Heenehan (Wellesley '03) from Eastern Connecticut State University. We'll meet in SCI 362 for snacks and socializing at 3:45, then the talk will begin at 4:15 in SCI 396.  Everyone is welcome to attend!  

Monday, Oct 27

The weekly student seminar meets in room 362 at 12:20.  This week Angela Gu will be speaking.  The department will provide lunch, and one of your peers will provide a great talk.  All are welcome to attend!

Want e-updates?

Want to hear about the latest events in the math department via email?  Join the department's Google group by signing up here!