Choosing a First Course

There are many options in studying mathematics at Wellesley.

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.

Students can begin with calculus (115, 116, or 120), multivariable calculus (205) or differential equations (215), introduction to statistics (101), or one of several first-year seminars offered by the math department. 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.

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 completes 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. You can access your placement in July via the Wellesley portal.  During First-Year Orientation we are available at the Advising Fair 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.