Undergraduate Program

Comparing the Calculus Sequences



First YearSecond Year
MTH 171 MTH 172 MTH 173 MTH 174
MTH 161 MTH 162 MTH 164 or MTH 165 MTH 164 or MTH 165
MTH 141 MTH 142 MTH 143 MTH 164 or MTH 165

Note: MTH 173-MTH 174 must be taken in order but MTH 164 and MTH 165 can be taken in either order; MTH 164 is NOT a prerequisite for MTH 165. Usually MTH 164 is taken before MTH 165 since its subject matter is more closely related to MTH 162.

There are three calculus sequences:

Each of the sequences meets the prerequisites for entering any of the engineering, science, premed, mathematics, computer science, or social science concentrations. See the placement page for more information on calculus placement.


Math 170 Sequence

Students with strong mathematical ability should consider taking the MTH 171 calculus sequence which is an honors calculus sequence for talented students interested in mathematics.

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Math 160 Sequence

The MTH 161 - MTH 165 sequence emphasizes practice in the mathematical techniques used in science and engineering. This is the standard calculus course taught at most universities, principally to students planning to major in mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, or engineering. Courses are generally taken in the following order:

It is possible to switch the order of these last two courses, if knowledge of differential equations or linear algebra is needed earlier, as a prerequisite for some other science course. MTH 164 and MTH 165 can be taken in either order; MTH 164 is NOT a prerequisite for MTH 165.

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Math 140 Sequence

The MTH 141 - MTH 143 sequence covers much the same material (using the same textbook) as the MTH 161 - MTH 162 series, but at a slower pace and takes an extra semester to complete.

Many students take MTH 141 and MTH 142 during their first year and MTH 143 during the summer, either at the University of Rochester or at another university. This allows them to take MTH 164 and MTH 165 in their second year.

Students placed into MTH 140, precaluculus, move on to MTH 141 the following semester.

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