Mathematical Sciences

College of Science

FAQs- Undergraduate Math Programs

1.  Q: I have taken a math course at another college or university which I believe is equivalent to a GMU math course, but I have not received transfer credit for this course.  What should I do?


    A: You should visit the math department office (ST I room 203) and fill out a request for transfer credit form, which will be evaluated by the department transfer credit committee.  You should be able to provide evidence for your case; evidence includes material such as course descriptions from  course catalogs or web pages, class notes, exams, and course text books.

2.  Q: What are the ways to get GMU credit for calculus courses taken at a high school?


   A: Students who have taken advanced placement calculus in high school may get GMU credit.  Students who  take the AB exam and score 4 or 5 are given credit for math 113.  Students who take the BC exam and score 4 or 5 are given credit for math 113 and math114;  if the BC exam score is less than 4 but the AB subscore is 4 or 5 then credit is given for math 113 only.  These are the only ways in which CREDIT for calculus may be given.

3.  Q: I believe I have mastered the material for a GMU math course but do not have credit for it.  Is there a way that I can be exempted from taking the course?


   A: Under very unusual circumstances a student can be exempted from taking a course without getting credit for the course.   The interested student student should discuss this with the math department undergraduate coordinator.  Solely at the undergraduate coordinator's discretion an exam may be given, which will determine whether or not the exemption will be given.  No exemptions will be given for courses below 113, and no exemptions will be given to students who have taken AP calculus and either did not take the AP exam or received a score of less than 4.
         Students in programs other than mathematics must still receive approval from their departments for not taking these courses, and may still have to make up the credits with other courses.

4.  Q:  I am a high school student and want to take a math course at GMU.  How do I proceed?

      A: In order to register you need a letter of approval from your high school and a signed approval form from the undergraduate coordinator of the math department.


1.   Q: How do I get an advisor?

      A: As soon as you declare yourself to be a math major, you are assigned an advisor who is a regular member of the math department.  However, you are free to change advisors at any time; in fact, it is desirable that your advisor be someone who knows you and who you know and like.  The change is initiated by you asking the prospective advisor.

2.  Q: Why should I keep in touch with my advisor?

      A:  Your advisor can help you choose courses which will better enable you to achieve your goals.  By keeping in regular contact with your advisor, you are more likely to avoid pitfalls which could keep you from graduating.

3.  Q: What are some of the pitfalls?

     A: Here is a partial list, but there are many others.

            (a) Forty five hours of upper division courses not taken, or the number of hours taken in any of the required categories is not met.

            (b) There is a difference of opinion with regard to transfer of a course.  Either the GMU equivalent or the number of credits given for the transfer are disputed.  If, for example, someone transferred only 3 hours of math 113 or math 114, they may end up with an insufficient total of degree hours.

            (c) English 302 is either not taken or a grade of "C" or better was not achieved.

            (d) More than 12 hours of "D" are included in the 120 needed for graduation, or more than 6 hours of "D" are submitted for the major requirements.

            (e) A student takes a course at another university without prior permission  and the course will not be accepted as equivalent to the desired GMU course.

            (f) A course fulfills more than one category for the general education requirement, but using it for both leaves the total short of what is required.  This is particularly important for B.A. degree candidates.

4. Q: What are the different undergraduate degree options?

     A:  There is a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.), and a Bachelor of Science  degree (B.S.).  There are three concentrations from which the B.S. student must choose one.