The mathematics program at St. Olaf is nationally recognized for innovative and effective teaching, for scholarship, and for service to the profession. We see mathematics as interesting, important, useful, and appropriate for students with a wide variety of interests. Welcome to our mathematical community.

Do I have to take a math class at St. Olaf?

The short answer is no, but the longer answer is that all B.A. students must satisfy the Abstract and Quantitative Reasoning (AQR) General Education requirement (B.M. students may choose to complete a general education requirement with an AQR course). Students complete the AQR requirement either by taking a designated course in Mathematics, Statistics, or Computer Science or through successful completion of an equivalent course prior to arriving at St. Olaf. Get started on the Math and AQR Placement Process (that does not require a mathematics test) by clicking here.

Do I have to complete the AQR requirement at St. Olaf?

Some students have taken the right kind of courses in high school or have had other academic experiences that give them credit for the AQR. Visit our AQR Placement page to see whether or not this includes you.

How do I satisfy the AQR requirement?

There are several different courses in mathematics, statistics, and computer science that satisfy the AQR requirement. Which kind of course you should take depends on your academic strengths and interests. Click here to get started on the Math and AQR Placement Process and you'll find your way to the information you need.

I know that I want to take a math, stats, or cs course at St. Olaf, but which one should I take?

Excellent--we're glad you want to take a course in MSCS! In order to gather information and report it to your advisor we need you to go through the Math and AQR Placement Process. Click here to get started and you'll find your way to the information you need.

New students can get their mathematics and computer science placement results by logging onto SIS. Depending on your interests, goals, and high school preparation, we can recommend the best course(s) in mathematics, statistics and computer science to help you achieve your long- and short-term goals. For more information, ask the chair, Prof. Jill Dietz, ask any MSCS faculty member, or attend an information session during Week One.

Here's some basic information on MSCS courses required or recommended for other majors, more detailed information can be found by clicking here:

  • Chemistry: requires Calculus 1 and Calculus 2 (more for the ACS major)
  • Economics: requires Calculus 1 and Statistics for Economics (or Stat 272 plus Econ 385)
  • Environmental Science: Stats 212 or Stats 272 is one way to fulfill a requirement for the major
  • Family Studies: recommends a statistics course
  • Physics: requires Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, and Intro to Differential Equations
  • Psychology: requires a statistics course (usually Stats 110 or Stats 212)
  • Sociology/Anthropology: requires Stats 110