Calculus at Bucknell
Bucknell offers two essentially different introductory calculus courses, both of which presuppose a high school course in pre-calculus. MATH 201 is the first course in the core calculus sequence for mathematics, science, and engineering students; MATH 192 is a one-semester course designed for students in the social sciences.
All courses satisfy the divisional learning goals in the College Core Curriculum, and all calculus courses satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.
Calculus for Mathematics, Science, Engineering, and Liberal Arts
The core calculus sequence consists of MATH 201 (Calculus I), MATH 202 (Calculus II), and MATH 211 (Calculus III). This sequence or its equivalent is required of almost all mathematics, physical science, and engineering students at Bucknell. Most students in the life sciences are required to take only MATH 201 (and a statistics course), but may wish to complete the calculus sequence. Other students to whom we particularly recommend this calculus sequence include the more mathematically inclined Management and Economics students, and students wishing to explore college-level mathematics.
Calculus for the Social Sciences
MATH 192 (Topics in Calculus) is a one-semester calculus course offered in the spring semester only and is designed for economics and management students. It satisfies the minimum calculus requirement for economics majors. Students hoping to enter graduate school or who are mathematically inclined are encouraged to take MATH 201, thereby enabling them to continue the calculus sequence should they so desire.
The Bucknell Pre-calculus Requirement
To ease the transition to mathematics at Bucknell, the Mathematics Department is providing an online preparation course for all students who will take calculus at Bucknell. Students who will take a calculus course at Bucknell (MATH 192, 201, 202 and 211) are required to take the Prep. for Calculus online course this summer. Incoming students can check their myBucknell reminders for more information and details of how to get started. Questions about this requirement should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Many students enter Bucknell with one or more calculus credits obtained either from the Advanced Placement Examination or by transfer from another college. Furthermore, all entering students are asked to tell us whether they have taken a high school calculus course. This will form the basis of credit given and calculus placement. (See the column at right, "AP Credit and Placement".)
No placement policy is perfect, and exceptions to the above guidelines are possible. Students who continue to be uncomfortable with their placement after attending a few classes should discuss their situation with the Chair of the Mathematics Department. Sometimes they may be placed in a more advanced course than is prescribed by the guidelines, although without receiving credit for the course skipped. Conversely, it is possible to make changes for students who find themselves unprepared for the course they have been assigned.
Sophisticated calculator skills are a required part of every calculus course. The TI-89, available from the book store, is the required calculator for MATH 201 and 202. The TI-89 has symbolic capabilities as well as the usual numerical and graphical ones, and instruction on its use is included in each course.
Drop-in calculus help sessions are held Sunday-Thursday evenings, usually 7:00-9:00 p.m. They are staffed by graduate students and upper-class undergraduate students. (See the column at right, "Succeeding in Calculus" for additional tips.)