Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to take a math class?

There is no university requirement that you take a math class, although Brandeis does require at least one semester of course work from the School of Science. However, many students choose to take a math course out of interest or need to take one to satisfy another department's requirements. Departments that require their majors to take a math class include Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, and Neuroscience. Details can be found on each department's website.

What math class should I take?

It is essential that you enroll in a math class at the right level, so you should take one of the math department's placement exams. The placement exams are available online. If you have any questions about the calculus placement exam, contact Professor Rebecca Torrey. If you have any questions about the MATH 22a placement exam, contact Professor Bong Lian.

How do I switch from one section of a course to another?

If the section you want is open, you can simply switch sections using SAGE. If the section you want is closed, you can keep trying SAGE to see if a spot opens up. Students who check SAGE frequently usually get into one of their top choices. You should attend a section from the first day of class even if you haven't yet been able to enroll in your first choice, since you will be responsible for all of the material covered in the course.

Can I use AP or IB credit to place out of a math class?

Yes, but you should still take one of our placement exams (see above). Be sure to consult the registrar’s information on AP, IB and other transfer credit.

Note: Some departments that require a math course do not accept AP credit for their requirement. Always check individual department web sites for requirements.

I'm interested in a career in medicine or another health profession. What math course should I take?

The majority of medical schools have no math requirement, but some require one semester of calculus and a few (3 or 4) require two semesters. The safest choice is to take one semester of calculus and another semester of college mathematics. Statistics is often the best choice for the second course. There are a number of statistics courses available at Brandeis: MATH 8a, BIOL 51a, PSYC 51a, ECON 83a, MATH 36a. In general, it's fine to use AP credit for one of your math classes if you are premed.

Requirements for other health professions schools vary. For more information, visit the Academic Services website. If you have more questions, contact Katie Stutz in the Office of Academic Services. You can also contact Professor Rebecca Torrey in the math department.