First-Year Math Courses

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Important Dates

July 22, 2020 - AP credit posted to online transcript
July 27-29, 2020 - Registration begins. NOTE: Registration was originally scheduled to begin on July 13.
August 14, 2020 - Registration ends. You'll be able to change your schedule again beginning at orientation.


Each program has different requirements regarding what mathematics courses are needed. Students should consult the Course Catalog to determine the mathematics courses that are required and recommended by different degree programs.


MATH 005: Introduction to Mathematical Thought (3 credits)     

This course introduces students to the meaning, content, and methods of mathematical thought. The course considers mathematical topics of interest for their own sake, rather than for specific applications. Topics used for illustration will vary. Students do not need a strong high school mathematics background. Math 005 is well suited to students majoring in the humanities. The mathematics content is ‘real,’ and students should expect to perform mathematics. MATH 005 is offered in spring only.

MATH 012: Basic Statistics (4 credits) 

This course provides a foundation for the statistical description and analysis of data, which are fundamental issues in the social sciences. Students in certain social science programs take MATH 012 while students in natural sciences and engineering typically take a different statistics course such as MATH 231. Math 012 is offered in fall and spring.  

MATH 043: Survey of Linear Algebra (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to linear algebra. This is the mathematics underlying Google search engine, Markov chains (which have applications in many areas of natural and social sciences), the analysis of big data, as well as many other areas of application. Students in engineering and some programs in sciences will take a different linear algebra course such as MATH 205. MATH 043 is offered in fall only.


There is a big difference between calculus study at Lehigh and calculus at most high schools. A solid high school pre-calculus course is necessary background for calculus at Lehigh. Students need a strong foundation in functions and trigonometry to really thrive in calculus. Most students who take calculus in high school are accustomed to using a graphing calculator. Calculators are not permitted in exams or quizzes in Lehigh calculus classes. With three different calculus sequences, the Mathematics Department is able to tailor its offerings to students with different preparations and needs for studying calculus. First-year students who plan to take MATH 051, MATH 021, MATH 075, or MATH 081 will be required to complete the ALEKS online assessment of precalculus skills during the summer before beginning study at Lehigh.

ALEKS Placement Assessment

If you intend to enroll in MATH 021, 081, 051, 075, or 000 for the Fall 2020 semester you must complete the ALEKS placement assessment. If you plan to take a math course other than the ones listed above (such as MATH 005, 012, 043, or any more advanced course MATH 022, 023, 052) or do not plan to take a math course in Fall 2020, then you do not need to complete the ALEKS assessment. The assessment should take about 90 minutes to complete, and you have five opportunities to take the assessment. Once you have completed the assessment and received a score, please refer to our placement advice guide for help in interpreting your score. We also have an ALEKS FAQ should you have additional questions about the assessment. 

For any advising questions, please contact the Mathematics Department or the Associate Dean's office of your College. For technical issues with ALEKS, please contact the ALEKS support team.

MATH 000: Preparation for Calculus (2 credits) fall

This course is for students who need more preparation before moving on to calculus. This 2 credit course does not count toward the total number of credits required for graduation or the math distribution requirement, but the grade does count in the student’s GPA. Students taking MATH 000 should pass with a grade of C– or better before taking MATH 051, 021, or 075.

  • MATH 051: Survey of Calculus I (4 credits)
  • MATH 052: Survey of Calculus II (3 credits)

The 50s sequence covers much of the material covered in the 20s sequence but not in as much depth, allowing the material to be completed with fewer credits (totaling 7 credits). This sequence is suited for Architecture, Biological Sciences, the Pre-Health Track, and some Natural Science programs. MATH 021 is usually an acceptable substitute for MATH 051 but not the reverse, and MATH 021 is an acceptable prerequisite for 052 but 051 is not a prerequisite for 022; students with strong mathematics backgrounds might consider starting with the 20s sequence if they have any question about which sequence best suits their curriculum.

MATH 081: Calculus with Business Applications (4 Credits)

MATH 081 is a first semester calculus class aimed at students in business and economics. MATH 081 is usually an acceptable substitute for MATH 051 but not the reverse. Students in the College of Business and Economics meet their calculus requirement with MATH 081 or MATH 021 or the sequence MATH 075 and MATH 076. MATH 051 does not satisfy this requirement. MATH 081 is not an acceptable replacement for MATH 021. Students who want to take take MATH 022 and further mathematics courses should take MATH 021.

A follow-up course, MATH 082 Mathematics for Analytical Finance, is also available to students who plan to study in areas of business and economics that are particularly quantitative.  Students with interests in such areas should consult with the Department of Mathematics and with their advisors for more information.

  • MATH 021: Calculus I (4 credits)
  • MATH 022: Calculus II (4 credits)
  • MATH 023: Calculus III (4 credits)
  • MATH 075: Calculus I part A (2 credits) - offered in fall only
  • MATH 076: Calculus I part B (2 credits) - offered in spring only

All or part of the 20s sequence (12 credits) is required of all engineering students as well as majors in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, and many Natural Science programs. The three semesters cover single– and multiple–variable calculus and introduce differential equations. MATH 075 and 076 (2 credits each) divide the material of MATH 021 into two semesters for those who are not prepared to go directly into MATH 021. Successful completion of MATH 021 or MATH 076 is a prerequisite for MATH 022.


This course covers the same topics as MATH 023 (Calculus III), but the topics are considered from a more thorough and rigorous point of view. The prerequisite is a score of 5 on the AP Calculus BC exams or a grade of A- or A in MATH 022.