1. I want to take a math course. Do I still need to take the placement test if I already have a prior math course?
  2. I know I need to take calculus. Which calculus sequence should I take?
  3. I am a high school student and will have AP scores in math. Can I get math credits?
  4. What is MATH340/MATH341?
  5. I am a transfer student. How can I get my math courses evaluated?
  6. Is there a way I can tell whether a math course I took (or plan to take) has been evaluated by the math department?
  7. What is Credit-by-Exam?
  8. I want to be a math major. How do I declare it officially?
  9. I am not a math major but I want to sign up for a permission-required math course. What should I do?
  10. I am trying to register for a math course but the class is full. Is there a way I can get in?
  11. I wish to register for a math course but I do not have the prerequisites. Is there a way I can get in?
  12. I am very interested in mathematics, but what can I do with a math degree?
  13. I will be a senior math major next year.  When should I start looking for jobs or graduate schools?

Question 1:

I want to take a math course. Do I still need to take the placement test if I have prior math credits?

Answer 1:

It depends. In general, if you wish to take a math course here, you will either need a math placement from the Math Placement Test or an appropriate prior math course leading to the course you wish to take here. For example, if you want to take MATH140, you will need either a placement for MATH140, or prior credits that are equivalent to MATH115 (MATH115 leads to MATH140). If your prior credits are, say, equivalent to MATH113, then you will not be able to register for MATH140 without taking the placement test. Please note that certain colleges on campus will not accept prior credits outside UMD as sufficient to place students into MATH140. These colleges will accept only the results of the placement test as sufficient to place students into MATH140. For college-specific details regarding the placement test, please consult your major advisor. Return to Top 


Question 2:

I know I need to take calculus. Which calculus sequence should I take?

Answer 2:

The math department offers 3 calculus sequences: in order of increasing rigor, these are MATH220/MATH221, MATH130/131 and MATH140/141. For many majors in the social sciences (eg. business and economics), the MATH220/221 sequence will suffice. For some majors (eg. biological sciences), the MATH130/131 sequence will suffice. For technical majors (eg. math, physics, engineering), the MATH140/141 sequence is required. Note that MATH220/221 is a terminal sequence. This means that this sequence does not generally lead to higher math courses. The MATH130/MATH131 sequence does lead to some higher math courses under certain circumstances, and the MATH140/141 is the standard sequence that leads to all higher math courses. If you think you might need higher math courses down the road, you should consider taking MATH140/141, if your ability allows. Many majors will accept MATH140/141 instead of the MATH220/221 or MATH130/131. If you want to find out whether MATH140/141 is suitable for you in terms of level of rigor, please consult a math advisor (email ). If you want to find out whether MATH140/141 is acceptable toward your major requirement, please consult your major advisor. Return to Top


Question 3:

I am a high school student and will have AP scores in math. Can I get math credits?

Answer 3:

If you score at least a 4 on Calculus AB, you will get credits for MATH140. If you score at least a 4 on Calculus BC, you will get credits for MATH140 and MATH141. By the way, if you are getting MATH140 and/or 141 credits through AP, you must be good at math. We would like to encourage you to consider adding math as a major! About half of our math majors are double majors. Return to Top


Question 4:

What is MATH340/MATH341?

Answer 4:

This two-semester sequence covers the material of the sequence Math 240-241-246, but with greater rigor and depth and with a unified approach. Some additional topics are often covered. The prerequisites are Math 140-141, or a 4 or 5 on the BC Calculus AP exam, plus permission of the department (if you expect to score a 4 or a 5, you can still request permission to register for now, as long as your AP score will be available by the first day of classes). The course is reserved for our most advanced and most motivated incoming students who have already studied some multivariable calculus in high school. Students seeking permission for Math 340 should send an email to stating why they feel that Math 340-341 is the appropriate sequence. Please note that permission and registration for MATH340 are available on a first-come, first-served, basis. Return to Top


Question 5:

I am a transfer student. How can I get my math courses evaluated?

Answer 5:

If you are a transfer student, the math courses you took from your previous institution, if transferrable, will transfer as elective credits (not math credits), unless those courses have been evaluated by the math department. If you want us to evaluate your math courses to see if they can be transferred as math credits, please complete a Transfer Credit Evaluation Form (available at MATH 1117) and attach the required documentation. While the vast majority of the evaluations will be completed in just a few days, please allow two weeks before inquiring about the status of an evaluation. Return to Top


Question 6:

Is there a way I can tell whether a math course I took (or plan to take) has been evaluated by the math department?

Answer 6:

Yes, the Transfer Credit Center maintains a website listing all the courses that have been evaluated by the Math Department and other departments on campus. To visit that website, click here. Return to Top


Question 7:

What is Credit-by-Exam?

Answer 7:

In order to help smooth the transition for incoming freshmen and transfer students, the Math Department offers Credit-by-Exam in some courses to eligible students so that they may capture some of the previous credits that are deemed not transferrable, in particular to satisfy course prerequisites and major requirements. Please note that students must apply to take the CBE and approval is not guaranteed. There is a $30 fee to take the exam, and no refunds will be made if you miss the exam. In addition, once your exam is graded, you will need to sign for it within 4 weeks. If you do not sign for your exams within the 4-week period, a "W" will be posted on your transcript. For additional information on CBEs, click here. Return to Top


Question 8:

I want to be a math major. How do I declare it officially?

Answer 8:

If you want to declare math as your major, all you need to do is to see a math advisor. We will review your transcript and recommend a plan to degree for you as appropriate. As math is important in many other disciplines (and some students simply love math for its own sake) we have many students who choose to double major in math. For example, we have math majors who are also physics majors, engineering majors, computer science majors, economics majors, education majors, music majors, English majors, history majors, etc. If you want to find out how a major in math can complement or enrich your academic and intellectual experience, feel free to stop by and see a math advisor. Return to Top


 Question 9:

I am not a math major but I want to sign up for a permission-required math course. What should I do?

Answer 9:

We welcome students from other majors to take math courses with our department. We believe having students from other majors will add to the academic vibrancy and diversity here. Hence, if your interest and ability allow, and if taking a math course would not hinder your progress in your major, we strongly encourage you to take a course with us. However, due to their high demand, certain math courses are designated permission-required. Non-math majors who wish to take these courses will need to complete a BPO Form (available at MATH 1117) and will not be able to register for these courses until one week before classes start. We apologize for any inconvenience this policy may cause, but we hope you understand its necessity. Return to Top


Question 10:

I am trying to register for a math course but the class is full. Is there a way I can get in?

Answer 10:

If the math course for which you are trying to register is full, please put yourself on the waitlist. We monitor the waitlist constantly to see what the demand is. If you do not put yourself on the waitlist, we will not see that there is a demand. While there is no guarantee, we try to accommodate everyone on the waitlist by either opening up new sections or increasing the seat limit of a particular section. Return to Top


Question 11:

I wish to register for a math course but I do not have the prerequisites. Is there a way I can get in?

Answer 11:

We enforce the prerequisite requirements as listed in the Undergraduate Catalog and we will start dropping "unqualified" students about two weeks before classes start. Under very limited circumstances, a student may be allowed to stay registered for a course for which he or she does not meet the stated prerequisite requirement. For additional information, please see a math advisor. Return to Top


Question 12:

I am very interested in mathematics, but what can I do with a math degree?

Answer 12:

There are many kinds of career you can pursue with a math degree.  In addition to becoming math professors and math teachers, many math majors have become doctors, lawyers, game designers, corporate managers, etc.  For additional information, please contact the Undergraduate Advising Office.  Return to Top


Question 13:

I am a senior math major.  When should I start looking for jobs or graduate schools?

Answer 13:

Most math majors start their job search and/or graduate school search the summer before their senior year.  If you are interested in employment upon graduation, be sure to visit the University Career Center.  If you are interested in graduate school upon graduation, here are a few factors you should consider:

1) Which grad schools offer the math specialty I am interested in?
2) Is your GPA competitive enough for grad schools? Some grad schools are more selective than others.
3) Is your GRE Math score competitive enough for grad schools? Again, some grad schools are more selective than others.
4) Are you able to secure meaningful references? Your references should come from faculty members or research mentors who are familiar with your academic/research work.
5) Are you meeting the application deadlines? Like college applications, grad school application is an involved process so you should be aware of the application deadlines. Return to Top