The following are questions frequently asked by students in Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, or engineering students who are double majoring in both engineering and a major from Trinity College.
Will my AP credit for calculus satisfy the "Quantitative Studies" curriculum requirement at Duke?
No, advance credits do not satisfy any field of knowledge or mode of inquiry requirements in the curriculum. If you have AP credit for calculus and don't want to pursue higher level math courses, you can satisfy the "QS" requirement by taking a course such as introductory statistics or computer science.
I have studied multivariable calculus while I was in high school, but I cannot receive "pre-matriculation" credit because the course appears on my high school transcript. Can I get the requirement for taking Math 212 Multivariable Calculus waived based on my work in high school?
There is no way for you to receive official Duke credit for the multivariable calculus course you took as a high school course. For more information on this policy, you can read the "Pre-Matriculation Credit" paragraph in the "AP,IPC, and PMC" page of Trinity College Requirements.
On the other hand, some departments may let you "skip" Math 212 Multivariable Calculus, provided that you take a specific higher-level math course for which Math 21s is a prerequisite and that you make at least a C in that course, or some other appropriate modification of their standard requirements. As part of this arrangement the department might ask the Math Department to confirm that you have studied the equivalent of Math 212 and that you could place into a math course for which Math 212 is a prerequisite. But, critically, the authority to make such arrangements does not rest with the Math Department; rather, the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the department which requires Math 212 for their major must make such decisions on a case by case basis.
But here's the WARNING: if a department allows you to "skip" Math 212 and take a higher level math course, and if you do not do well in that course, then you will probably be required to start over with Math 212. Above all, you should keep in mind that each department will make its own decision about such cases, and a student considering "skipping" a course required for a major should get written approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies in that department.
How many math courses do I have to take at Duke?
Well, maybe none. Trinity College students must complete two "Quantitative Studies" courses as part of the curriculum's Area of Knowledge requirements. But those two QS courses could be courses in statistics, computer science, or in some other department. (See the following question/answer for directions on how to find courses with the QS designation) Of course, almost any two math courses will satisfy the QS Area of Knowledge requirement. Some excellent discussions of Trinity College's requirements are posted here and here.
Are there any courses besides calculus and higher-level math courses which satisfy the "Quantitative Studies" field of knowledge curriculum requirement?
Math 181 gives a significant yet accessible discussion of several interesting topics in mathematics; this course has the QS designation, no calculus prerequisites, and would be an excellent choice for students whose majors do not require calculus. For more information on this course, please see the course webpage.
Math 168S Mathematical Investigations in Genetics and Genomics introduces the basic mathematical methods that are vital to genetics and genomics. In addition to specific techniques and facts, this interdisciplinary course will demonstrate one of the many ways mathematics is important in modern biology. This course has both the QS designation and the seminar (S) designation.
There are also many statistics and computer science courses which carry the QS designation. Note that most statistics courses are taught by the Department of Statistical Science. You can search for all courses with the QS designation by using the Registrar's class search, which can be used to find all QS courses offered in a particular semester.
I am interested in a major which has a calculus prerequisite. Will AP credits for calculus satisfy those prerequisites?
Yes. AP credit for Math 21 Introductory Calculus I will satisfy another department's Math 21 (or Math 111L Laboratory Calculus I) prerequisite, and AP credit for Math 22 Introductory Calculus II will satisfy a Math 112L Laboratory Calculus II or Math 122L Introductory Calculus II with Functions prerequisite. But these credits do not satisfy the Quantitative Studies reguirement in the university curriculum.
What is Math 202 Mutivariable Calculus for Economics? I'm considering an econ major, and I read something about it in the requirements posted by the Economics Department.
Students who are considering a science major, a math major, or an engineering major should take Math 212 Multivariable Calculus instead of Math 202 Multivariable Calculus for Economics, even if you're considering a double major with economics. The Department of Economics will continue to accept Math 212 as well as Math 202 for those students who want to double major in economics and other majors that do require Math 212.
Math 202 Multivariable Calculus for Economics covers Gaussian elimination, matrix algebra, determinants, linear independence. Calculus of several variables, chain rule, implicit differentiation. Optimization, first order conditions, Lagrange multipliers. Integration of functions of several variables. Prerequisite: Mathematics 112L or 122L. Not open to students who have taken Mathematics 212. Topics from 212 which are not covered in Math 202 include: vector fields, line integrals, surface integrals, integral theorems of Green, Gauss and Stokes. Most of the linear algebra, optimization, and implicit differentiation content of Math 202 is not in Math 212, nor are the examples from economics.