Math FAQ

→ Can I take BYU classes or challenge exams when I am not a current BYU Student?

→ Which classes does the AP Calculus Exams exempt me from taking?

→ Can I test out of Math 102? If so, how?

→ If I need to fill the Quantitative Reasoning G.E. and the Advanced Language G.E. does that take two classes or can one cover both?

→ How do I know what math class to start out with?

→ What class do I take if I’m not ready for Math 110, but I will need to in order to take a higher Math class for my major?

→ Which math course should I take next?

→ What is a pretest?

→ What pretests are available to take?

→ How do I take the Math 110/112 Pretests?

→ How can I enroll in Math 119?

→ I've never heard of Math 116 or Math 118; who are these classes for?

→ How many times may I take a pretest?

→ Do I have to enroll in the class if I take the pretest?

→ What is the time limit when taking the pretests?

→ Does the pretest system give me a grade, and if so, when will it show up?

→ If I don’t pass the pretest will I be unable to register for the class?

→ How do I set up an appointment with an advisor?

→ Where is the College Advisement Center for Math?

→ May I take certain classes, which are prerequisites to a class, concurrently?

→ How do I get a job in the math department?

→ Where can I find information about the colloquium?

→ Where may I turn in my homework?

→ Where may I find contact information for my teacher or TA?

→ Who do I contact to make a complaint about my teacher?

→ How do I take the challenge exam for Math 97, 110, 112, 113, etc.?

→ What if a class is full online, but I really need it?

→ What classes transfer?

→ Does the math department recommend a particular calculator?

→ The catalog says I have to take honors Math 112/113 to graduate. May I take regular Math 112/113 instead?

→ I’ve taken the GRE Math Subject Test. Am I still required to take the Major Field Test in order to graduate?

→ The program requirements say that three of my math electives have to form a "coherent set with an identified educational goal." What does that mean?

→ I’ve heard that up to 2 of the required 5 math electives can be mathematical courses taught by other departments. Is that true?

→ I want to get a job in industry after getting my bachelor’s degree. What math electives should I take?

→ I did poorly in a course, and I notice that the math major requires a grade of C or better. What can I do?

→ When should I take math 290?

→ How do I get involved in undergraduate research?

→ What mathematics courses may I take in spring and summer to graduate quicker?

→ Who do I talk to to declare a double major?

→ Who do I talk to to change my major?

→ What is the best way to prepare for graduate school in mathematics?

→ Can I get into the Master’s program in math without having a Bachelor’s in Math?

→ How do I apply to the Master’s Program?

→ Can I get into the Master’s program in math without having a Bachelor’s in Math?

Can I take BYU classes or challenge exams when I am not a current BYU Student?

No, only currently enrolled students may take BYU classes offered on campus. BYU Independent Study offers a few classes that may fill some requirements. Challenge exams are only given to enrolled BYU students who are able to take the exams in the Testing Center.

 

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Which classes does the AP Calculus Exam exempt me from taking?

Advanced Placement (AP) credit is available as follows:

 

  • A score of 3 on the calculus AB exam gives credit for Math 110 and 111; a score of 4 or 5 on the calculus AB exam gives credit for Math 110 and Math 112.
  • A score of 3 on the calculus BC exam gives credit for Math 110 and 111; a score of 4 on the calculus BC exam gives credit for Math 110 and Math 112; and a score of 5 on the calculus BC exam gives credit for Math 112 and 113.
  • It is recommended that an AP student without credit for Math 112 begin with Math 112H; and for an AP student without credit for Math 113 it is recommended that they begin with Math 112H or 113H.
  • AP students should direct Education Testing Service (ETS) to report scores to BYU to have credit posted.

 

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May I test out of Math 102? If so, how?

The only way to waive the Math 102 (Basic Math Requirement) is to get an ACT score of 22 or higher, there is no Challenge Exam for Math 102.

 

If I need to fill the Quantitative Reasoning G.E. and the Advanced Math or Language G.E. does that take two classes or can one cover both?

It takes at least two classes. Math 102 (or any higher-level course) will fill the Basic Math Requirement at BYU. Taking one of our calculus courses (i.e. Math 112 or 113) will fill the Advanced Math or Language Requirement, but you may need to take the prerequisites for these beforehand. The same higher-level class cannot be used to fill both requirements.

 

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How do I know what math class to start out with?

This would depend on the highest-level math class you took last, how long it has been since you took it, what level of math your major requires, and where you feel most comfortable in math. Please call the office at 801-422-2061 so that we can help you determine this in detail. Our general suggestion would be to see what classes you need for your major, then look at your progress report and determine if any of them have been fulfilled by classes or tests that you took in High School. Then investigate which Math class would be next in your major requirements. (There is a Math Refresher Course offered through Engineering Tech, 295R, more information is on their website http://engt295r.groups.et.byu.net/index.html.)

 

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What class do I take if I’m not ready for Math 110, but it is a prerequisite for a higher Math class for my major?

Math 97 is Intermediate Algebra and is available to the students at the Salt Lake Center and through BYU Independent Study. This was the prerequisite for Math 110 and should prepare the student for this class.

 

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Which math course should I take next?

There is a detailed chart of which math course should be taken according to your level here.

 

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What is a pretest?

A pretest is a test used to indicate how well prepared the student is to take the class and is given the first week of class.

 

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What pretests are available to take?

Math 110 and Math 112 offer a pretest during the first week of class.

 

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How do I take the Math 110/112/119 Pretests?

  1. Go to <math.byu.edu>
  2. Click on “Exams” under “Courses & Services”
  3. Click under "Online Exercises"
  4. On the new page that comes up, sign in using Route Y ID and password
  5. Click on Pretests and Placement exams
  6. Three options should come up in the center of the screen, Math 110, Math 112, and Math 119. There is a review and a pretest for each one. Suggestion: look at the review first to refresh your memory because you can only take each one twice (refer to “How many times can I take them” question for further details on this).

 

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How can I enroll in Math 119?

Beginning Fall 2011, Math 119 will only be offered through Independent Study.  Go to

BYU Independent Study to enroll.  Or visit New Courses for more information.

 

I've never heard of Math 116 or Math 118; who are these classes for?

In order to better meet the changing needs of students in a variety of disciplines, we will be offering two new courses beginning Fall 2011, Math 116 Essentials of Calculus and Math 118 Finite Mathematics.  Most students majoring in business will most likely want to take Math 118, and depending on the business emphasis may want to take Math 116, as well.  Math 110, College Algebra, will be a pre-requisite for both of these classes.  We recommend that students meet with their Academic Advisor to ensure they register for the proper courses required for their major.  for more information, visit New Courses.  To find your advisor, click one of the following links: 

 

 

For Declared Majors, go to Academic Advisement and click on the college for your major.

 

 

For Undeclared majors, go to the University Advisement Center

 

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How many times may I take a pretest?

Each one may be taken twice (per semester), if you think you have a special circumstance please call our office at 422-2061. (Remember to save often during the pretest.)

 

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Do I have to enroll in the class if I take the pretest?

No.

 

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What is the time limit when taking the pretests?

There are no limits on the amount of time you take, just remember to save often and allow enough time to finish (a few hours on average, but everyone is different, if you struggle with math then allow yourself more time).

 

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Does the pretest system give me a grade, and if so, when will it show up?

Your score should appear right after you submit your answers.

 

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If I don’t pass the pretest will I be unable to register for the class?

You may still register for the class, but it is not recommended. You may still be able to do well in the class if you fail the pretest, but it will require additional effort on your part. The pretests are designed to help you so that you do not waste time in a class for which you are unprepared.

 

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How do I set up an appointment with an advisor?

Email the Undergraduate Assistant at ugradassistantatmath [dot] byu [dot] edu or come to 275 TMCB to see when he is in the office. He will be glad to help you when he is in. Don’t be afraid to set up an appointment, the teachers are very happy to meet with you!

 

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Where is the Advisement Center for Math?

The Advisement Center for the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences is located in N-179 of the Eyring Science Center, just inside the north doors of the building.

 

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May I take certain classes, which are prerequisites to a class, concurrently?

Yes, Math 313 and Math 314 are the most common examples of this. Math 313 is a prerequisite for Math 314, but it can also be taken concurrently (at the same time). If you have questions about particular classes, please talk to the teacher of the given course on a case-by-case basis or set an appointment to meet with the undergraduate advisor.

 

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How do I get a job in the math department?

To work in the Math Lab, see http://math.byu.edu/home/mathlab#employment. If you'd like to work as a grader or teaching assistant, you may register your interest with the department office or directly with a faculty member you’d like to work for. There is a listing of courses and instructors for each semester on the bulletin board in the west hallway outside of 275 TMCB.

 

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Where can I find information about the colloquium?

  1. Go to <math.byu.edu>
  2. Click on “Seminars, Colloquia, & Events” under “Events”

 

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Where may I turn in my homework?

This is up to your professor. Please contact your professor or your TA/grader to learn how they prefer to accept your homework.

 

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Where may I find contact information for my teacher or T.A.?

Most information should be available online from math.byu.edu, you may also come to 275 TMCB and look at the contact information posted outside on the bulletin board in the west hallway.

 

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Who do I contact to make a complaint about my teacher?

Either come to 275 TMCB to make an appointment or email the secretaries at officeatmath [dot] byu [dot] edu and we will set up an appointment for you with Dr. Doud.

 

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How do I take the challenge exam for Math 97, 110, 112, 113, etc.?

You may challenge a math course if you can answer yes to the following questions:

 

  1. I have not had the class (at BYU) that I want to challenge (i.e. you cannot challenge a course in order to change your grade).
  2. I have not had a higher-level class (at BYU) than the one I want to challenge (i.e. if you want to challenge Math 110, you cannot have taken Math 112 here at BYU).

 

If you answered, “yes” to the questions, you should come to the Math Department office in 275 TMCB and complete a Challenge Exam Form.  The form needs to be signed by the associate chair of the department. You take the form to the Testing Center, pay a $20 fee there, and you will be given the exam.  Whatever letter grade you receive on the exam will be added to your transcript as if you had taken the course. If you like your grade, the Testing Center will send the form with the grade to the Records Office.  If you do not like your grade, let them know and they will shred the exam and results. If you decide not to turn in the form, then you will not be able to take the exam again but must take the class in order to get credit.

 

If you wish to challenge a course other than Math 97, 110, 112, 113 or 119, you will need to inform the secretaries in the department office. They will find a faculty member to write and grade the exam.  This will require at least 2 weeks. If you chose this route, take the challenge exam form to the Cashier’s Office in D-155 ASB, pay the fee and return the form to the department office.  We will let you know when the exam is ready to be taken. It will probably be given in the Math Lab.

 

Do the credits for the course that is being challenged count toward the credits for the semester?

 

The number of credit hours for the course that is being challenged are added to your transcript with the grade, but DO NOT count toward your semester credits.  For example, if you challenge Math 112 for 4 credits at the beginning, during, or at the end of the fall semester, those 4 credits DO NOT count toward the total number of credits taken for the fall semester, they are only recorded on your transcript.

 

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What if a class is full online, but I really need it?

During the first week or so of classes, you should attend the class and keep trying to add it on the computer. If by the end of the first week you are still unable to register, contact the department secretary (Lonette Stoddard, 276 TMCB, 422-2062) and she can try to help you.

 

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Which classes transfer?

Dr. Paul Jenkins is our current Transfer Credit Evaluator. If you need to have a class evaluated please come to 275 TMCB and get the form that tells you what you need to get your particular class evaluated. The College Advisement Center also has a list of classes from a number of Utah based Universities as well as other LDS Institutions that should be equivalent. The site is http://cpms.byu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Math-and-Stats.htm.

 

(This contains either contact info for a transfer coordinator or a spreadsheet on a link that shows basic and most common transfer equivalencies like college algebra and quant reasoning from schools like Utah Valley University, the University of Utah, Utah State.)

 

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Does the math department recommend a particular calculator?

Specific calculators are not required for any math department courses, however, if students want a calculator, a scientific or graphing one is fine. If a student had a calculator in high school, the one used will be sufficient.  It should be noted that the use of calculators is not allowed on many exams, particularly in calculus.

 

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The catalog says I have to take honors Math 112/113 to graduate. May I take regular Math 112/113 instead??

Yes.

 

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I’ve taken the GRE Math Subject Test. Am I still required to take the Major Field Test in order to graduate?

No. Just make sure that BYU receives your GRE subject test score.

 

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The program requirements say that three of my math electives have to form a "coherent set with an identified educational goal." What does that mean?

Not much. You do have to have an advisor formally approve a three-course set, but our definition of "coherent" is very lenient. It is unlikely that you will be able to construct a set of three math electives that we won’t approve.

 

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I’ve heard that up to 2 of the required 5 math electives can be mathematical courses taught by other departments. Is that true?

Yes. The courses have to involve advanced mathematics and a lot of mathematics, and you have to get them formally approved as substitutes by Dr. Grant. Courses often used as substitutes include Econ 478, Econ 580, Econ 582, Econ 588, Philosophy 405, and Physics 318.

 

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I want to get a job in industry after getting my bachelor’s degree. What math electives should I take

It depends on the industry, but taking numerical analysis classes (like Math 410, Math 411, Math 510, and Math 511) and computer science classes beyond CS 142 is probably not a bad idea.

 

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I did poorly in a course, and I notice that the math major requires a grade of C or better. What can I do?

You may petition to have one course in which you received a C- count toward your major. Submit that petition to Dr. Grant. Any other required courses in which you received a grade lower than a C will need to be retaken. While the averaged grade will be used to compute your GPA, only your highest grade in each course needs to be a C or better to fulfill Math Department requirements.

 

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When should I take math 290?

Math 290 requires you to reason logically and to express that reasoning clearly. As soon as you feel ready for a course like that, you should register for Math 290. It is a prerequisite for 11 other undergraduate courses, including 4 required ones, so you shouldn’t postpone taking it too long.

 

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How do I get involved in undergraduate research?

See http://math.byu.edu/home/undergraduate/research.

 

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What mathematics courses may I take in spring and summer to graduate quicker?

The science core of Math 112, 113, 313, 314, and 334 is offered every semester and term. Recently, Math 371 has been regularly offered in the spring and Math 352 has been regularly offered in the summer. Elective offerings in spring and summer are typically very few in number.

 

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Who do I talk to to declare a double major?

Contact the College Advisement Center.

 

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Who do I talk to to change my major?

Contact the College Advisement Center.

 

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What is the best way to prepare for graduate school in mathematics?

A few good things to do would be:

  • Gain a solid understanding of the core areas of algebra, analysis, and topology.
  • Participate in enrichment activities like mentored research or the Putnam Exam.
  • Participate in mathematics instruction as a tutor or teaching assistant.
  • Learn to write well.

 

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May I get into the Master’s program in math without having an undergraduate degree in Math?

It is not recommended. On the rare occasions when students have been admitted into the program without the bachelor’s degree, they have been required to take the prerequisites for all of the classes required for a master’s degree before starting their master’s program.

 

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How do I apply to the Master’s Program?

  1. Go to math.byu.edu.
  2. Click on “Applications & Deadlines” under “Degree Programs > Graduate”

 

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The catalog says that students planning to do doctoral work should take 3 semesters of topology. Why is that?

It’s a good idea for those headed to graduate school to get a solid foundation in the core areas of algebra, analysis, and topology, but there is no special connection between topology and doctoral work.

 

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