These are common questions from engineering students in the Pratt School of Engineering.
I have studied multivariable calculus while I was in high school, but Duke will not grant me official transfer credit because the course appears on my high school transcript. May I "skip" Math 212 Multivariable Calculus based on my work in high school?
Your Pratt School of Engineering academic dean might let you "skip" Math 212 Multivariable under certain circumstances. If you have an 800 on the SAT (or a 36 on the ACT), and a 5 on the BC AP exam, then you should talk to your academic dean about this possibility.
But here's the WARNING: if an engineering student "skips" Math 212 Multivariable Calculus and then does not do well in Math 216, then that student might be required to start over with Math 212 in the following semester and then re-take Math 216 only after successful completion of Math 212. Also keep in mind that any waiver of the Engineering School's requirement for a particular math course cannot be granted by the Math Department -- any student considering "skipping" a course should get written approval from your academic dean in the Pratt School of Engineering. Finally, keep in mind that permission from Pratt to skip their requirement for Math 212 does NOT automatically carry over to other second majors you might be considering. If you are considering the possibility of doing a second major in math, be sure to talk to the Math DUS, ADUS, or SFI as soon as possible since there are some related course choice considerations that you should think about.
And be sure you read the next question, because it's about an important implication of this issue.
[For more information on the transfer credit policy, you can read the page on Transfer Credit in the Pratt School of Engineering statement of policies and procedures.]
I'm an engineering student, and I plan to "skip" Math 212 Multivariable Calculus as described in the previous question/answer. Assuming I do well in Math 216 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations and all my other math courses, will the number of math courses I am required to take at Duke be reduced by one?
No. In most cases the Engineering school will require you to take the same number of math courses that they require of all students in your particular major. The effect of this policy is to replace Math 212 with a higher level math course (but in a later semester).
I am an engineering student, and I have pre-matriculation credit for multivariable calculus. I'm also considering studying mathematics as a double-major. What math course should I take?
Engineering students normally take Math 216 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations and Math 353 Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations after multivariable calculus. These courses cover the parts of three subjects (linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, and partial differential equations) that are most important to engineering students.
However, a student planning to major in math will need a stronger foundation and should instead take full semester courses covering these subjects -- Math 221 (linear algebra), Math 356 (differential equations), and ideally Math 453 (partial differential equations). Note that Math 221 is a prerequisite for the math major, and Math 356 (and Math 453 if you take it) will count toward the required number of courses for the math major. Interested students can confirm with the Pratt School of Engineering that they will accept these courses in place of Math 216 and Math 353.