Use the following guideline to help pinpoint where to begin your math studies. Also, we encourage you to review Typical Course Sequences, and attend our Fall Placement Open House.
How to begin? Simply click on the blue bar below that most accurately finishes this sentence for you:
"I have completed...."
If you have taken little or no calculus, your placement in Duke math courses will be based on your demonstrated understanding of precalculus concepts. There are two calc 1 paths at Duke: the 2semester sequence Math 105L  Math 106L, and the 1semester Math 111L. The former is designed to strengthen students' understanding of precalculus material alongside the introduction of calculus, while the latter assumes a strong base in precalculus upon entry. Registration in Math 111L is contingent upon the proctored Calculus 1 Placement Test to be administered on the first day of class.
The guidelines below are intended as guidance for selfplacement prior to the Placement Test; they are not requirements. If by the guidelines below your placement is not clear, you should use the "Contact the SFI" form below. We also encourage you to come to our Math Placement Open House  details on the Placement Page.
If:  We recommend: 

You are not confident in your precalculus knowledge, perhaps as suggested by

MATH 105L Laboratory Calculus and Functions I 
You have a strong base in precalculus, as potentially evidenced by

MATH 111L Consider taking our PreCalc SelfAssessment to confirm your preparation for this course. (Registration in Math 111L is contingent on the proctored Calculus 1 Placement Test on the first day of class.) 
Note: If your scores indicate borderline qualification for MATH 111L Laboratory Calculus I and you have taken no calculus whatsoever, you should start with MATH 105L.
Note: If you are unclear on your placement between these two courses, consider taking our PreCalc SelfAssessment.
If you are still not sure what would be the right course for you to enroll in or if you have a different placement question, go to Contacting the SFI to fill out and submit a request for assistance. The Supervisor of Firstyear Instruction will need this information to be able to respond to your question.
Note for potential math majors
If you are considering a major in mathematics, and if you have advance credit for first and second semester calculus (Math 21 and Math 22), then you should read about Math 222. Potential math majors should also contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Mathematics, Professor Hubert Bray, or the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies in Mathematics, Prof. Sarah Schott. (If you have placement questions, please Contact the SFI.)
Generally, if you have earned credit based upon your Advanced Placement score, you should enroll in the next higher course. However, we have found that students may have difficulty in secondsemester calculus unless they also meet certain minimum SAT or SAT II and achievement score levels.
If you have this background and/or these test scores:  Take this course:  

SAT Score Placement Guidance 



MATH 105L Laboratory Calculus and Functions I 

MATH 111L Laboratory Calculus I Consider taking our PreCalc SelfAssessment to confirm your preparation for this course. 


It is recommended that you take MATH 111L Laboratory Calculus I. However, if you are willing to accept the inherent risk of taking a course for which you do not have credit for the prerequisite, you may enroll in second semester calculus such as MATH 122L Introductory Calculus II with Applications (offered in the fall semester) or MATH 112L Laboratory Calculus II (offered in the spring semester). Before doing so, you should be sure to take our Calc 1 SelfAssessment to confirm your preparation. If you wish to place beyond second semester calculus, you will need to consult with the Supervisor of Firstyear Instruction and describe the contents of the math courses you have had (e.g., textbook and chapters covered), how well you did in those courses, your SAT and Achievement scores, and a statement of the placement you desire. It is especially helpful if you can email a copy of the syllabus, including the title of the textbook you used and the sections you studied. 

Advanced Placement (AP) Test Score Placement Guidance 



MATH 105L Laboratory Calculus and Functions I 

MATH 111L Laboratory Calculus I Consider taking our PreCalc SelfAssessment to confirm your preparation for this course. 



Recommendation: Forego the AP credit and take MATH 111L Laboratory Calculus I so that you gain experience in collegelevel calculus before you proceed to secondsemester calculus. If you feel that your proficiency in calc 1 is sufficient that this would not be a good use of your efforts, you might consider taking our Calc 1 SelfAssessment. Note: If you are not certain that you need credit for more than one semester of calculus, another strategy is not to take any math during your first semester. Then you can wait to decide after you have been in college for at least a semester and you have a better idea of the academic direction you will take. Depending on your interests for a major, you may not need any further calculus beyond the one AP credit you have already earned. 

Take second semester calculus. In the fall semester, this would be MATH 122L Introductory Calculus II with Applications. In the spring semester, your course choice would be MATH 112L Laboratory Calculus II. If you are not confident in your calc 1 proficiency or your math preparation in general, consider taking our Calc 1 SelfAssessment to confirm your preparation for calc 2. 



Recommendation: You are strongly encouraged to consider waiving your MATH 22 Introductory Calculus II credit and starting in MATH 122L Introductory Calculus II with Applications before going on to mutlivariable calculus. For many students this option will alow for a more successful experience in multivariable calculus by providing a significantly strong preparation in single variable calculus, and allowing the adjustment to Dukelevel math courses to happen in the context of more familiar material, before you get to multivariable calculus. If you feel that your proficiency in calc 2 is sufficient that this would not be a good use of your efforts, you might consider taking our Calc 2 SelfAssessment. 

If you are considering majoring in math or are interested in a more rigorous experience in the subject, consider taking MATH 222 Advanced Multivariable Calculus. Taking this Spring course would require that you begin in the Fall with MATH 221 Linear Algebra and Applications. MATH 222 Advanced Multivariable Calculus should satisfy any prerequisite or major requirement on campus for MATH 212 Multivariable Calculus. In addition to the rigor, the linear algebra prerequisite will allow for a more powerful point of view on the calculus. For many students, MATH 218 Matrices and Vector Spaces is a good choice, including students in engineering (should take 2182), physics, statistics, computer science, some economics students such as those interested in graduate school, quantitative finance or the finance minor, and any others who might want or need to take a course in linear algebra. This will prepare the student for MATH 219 Multivariable Calculus, which can use the linear algebra prerequisite to give a more powerful point of view on the calculus. (Math majors can take this sequence too  but note that 218 is not equivalent to 221 for the major requirements. See the math major requirements on the undergraduate page for more information.) For some students, MATH 212 Multivariable Calculus is a good choice. This course is recommended only for students that are expecting not to need to take a course in linear algebra; if you might need linear algebra then you are advised to take 218 followed by 219. If you are considering majoring in economics or the social sciences, consider taking MATH 202 Multivariable Calculus for Economics. This is a good choice for students majoring in economics who are not planning to take any further math courses after multivariable calculus. Importantly, note that Math 202 is NOT equivalent to Math 212, Math 219, and Math 222 in the major and minor requirements for math, physics, engineering, and chemistry. Be sure to check the specific requirements of your other interests. Enrollment in MATH 202 or MATH 212 requires credit for second semester calculus (Math 22, 112L, 122L, or 122) on your Duke transcript. 

International Baccalaureate (IB) Test Score Placement Guidance 



If you have earned credit for MATH 21, see the discussion above for students with AP credit for MATH 21. If you have earned credit for both MATH 21 and MATH 22, see the discussion above for students with AP credit for MATH 22. If your situation is different in some way, or if you desire some other placement based upon work out of the country, then you should meet with the Supervisor of First Year Instruction to discuss placement options. Note: Requests for credit based on an internationally recognized entrance examination, such at the IB, the British Alevel, the French Baccalaureate, and the German Arbitur, should be sent to the Registrar. A student can receive up to two credits for one of these tests. In general if Duke grants you credit for a course, then you should enroll in the next higher math course. 
If you are still not sure what would be the right course for you to enroll in or if you have a different placement question, go to Contacting the SFI to fill out and submit a request for assistance. The Supervisor of Firstyear Instruction will need this information to be able to respond to your question.
Note for potential math majors
If you are considering a major in mathematics, and if you have advance credit for first and second semester calculus (Math 21 and Math 22), then you should read about Math 222 above. Potential math majors should also contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Mathematics, Professor Hubert Bray, or the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies in Mathematics, Prof. Sarah Schott. (If you have placement questions, please Contact the SFI.)
The Duke multivariable calculus course, MATH 212, has an important chapter on vector calculus that includes line integrals, Green's Theorem, surface integrals, and Stokes's Theorem. This material accounts for approximately onefourth of the course. MATH 212 covers multivariable calculus at a level that is more rigorous and substantial than high school courses so even if you have studied all of the topics in MATH 212 you should still expect to find MATH 212 to be a challenging course.
Students who hope to skip multivariable calculus (or any math course) should be sure to consider carefully the math requirements of their intended majors, minors, and certificate plans. Math requirements for other departments are overseen and enforced by those departments – not the Department of Mathematics. Enrollment in and successful completion of a higher level course CANNOT be assumed to satisfy the requirement of a lower level course, and very often it will not. You must get written permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the appropriate department before you skip any such required course.
If you have this background:  Take this course: 


You should take multivariable calculus here at Duke. Please refer to the information in the Typical Sophomore Year Course Sequences table. 

You may take the next higher level math course, which varies depending on your major. 

Write to the Supervisor of FirstYear Instruction to get guidance on which course to choose. In your email message you should describe the contents of the courses you have had (e.g., textbooks and chapters covered), the name of the school where you took the courses, how well you did in the courses, your SAT and Achievement scores, and a statement of the placement you desire. It is especially helpful if you can email copies of the syllabi, including the titles of the textbooks you used and the sections you studied. 
If you are still not sure what would be the right course for you to enroll in or if you have a different placement question, go to Contacting the SFI to fill out and submit a request for assistance. The Supervisor of Firstyear Instruction will need this information to be able to respond to your question.
Note for potential math majors
If you are considering a major in mathematics, and if you have advance credit for first and second semester calculus (Math 21 and Math 22), then you should read about Math 222. Potential math majors should also contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Mathematics, Professor Hubert Bray, or the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies in Mathematics, Prof. Sarah Schott. (If you have placement questions, please Contact the SFI.)