Mathematics for the CALS Student


Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have the following options for completing the quantitative literacy requirement:

  • Earn a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus exam or a score of 5 on the AP Statistics exam.
  • Transfer an approved calculus or statistics course with a C or better.
  • Take an approved 3- or 4-credit math or statistics course at Cornell.

Cornell Placement Exams

Cornell placement exams are offered during orientation in August and January and are recommended for: (1) students who have had at least a semester of calculus but did not take a placement exam; (2) students who believe their placement is incorrect; (3) students who are uncertain of their grasp of the material. Students may use the higher of two placement recommendations. A failing score is not recorded on the student’s record.

See Advanced Placement for Calculus for more information.

Transfer Credit

The Mathematics Department will award transfer credit for an introductory statistics course only if it is offered by a mathematics or statistics department and is a satisfactory equivalent to MATH 1710. (See Transferring Credit from another institution for instructions.)  If the course is offered by a social science department (such as psychology or sociology), it must be approved by the corresponding social science department at Cornell.

Cornell Math Courses

Any 3- or 4-credit course offered by the Mathematics Department except MATH 1890 may be used. The following courses are particularly good options for CALS students:

  • MATH 1105 - Finite Mathematics for the Life and Social Sciences
  • MATH 1106 - Modeling Calculus for the Life Sciences
  • MATH 1110 - Calculus I
  • MATH 1710 - Statistical Theory and Application in the Real World
  • MATH 2310 - Linear Algebra with Applications

 Students who plan to take more than one semester of calculus should take MATH 1110 rather than MATH 1106.

Summer Session

Students who find mathematics to be especially challenging may benefit from taking a course during summer session, when attention can be focused on a single course. Options include MATH 1110, MATH 1910, and MATH 1920 during the 6-week session.

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