Mathematics for the Arts & Sciences Student

Students in the College of Arts & Sciences are required to take four courses from the Physical & Biological Sciences (PBS) group and the Mathematics & Quantitative Reasoning (MQR) group, with at least two from PBS and at least one from MQR.  Students may choose two MQR courses provided they have no significant overlap. A complete list of eligible courses can be found in the Courses of Study catalog.

Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit Policy

  • Arts students who enter Cornell as freshmen may not apply AP credit or transfer credit to any distribution requirement, although such credit may be used to place into more advanced courses or satisfy major requirements.
  • Arts students who transfer to Cornell from another institution are eligible to have credit transfer from their previous institution (not summer school) and apply toward all distribution requirements provided they are approved by the appropriate Cornell department

Alternatives to Calculus

Students whose majors do not require calculus have other options for fulfilling the MQR requirement.

Examples of Non-calculus MQR Courses at Cornell
Finite mathematics MATH 1105: Finite Mathematics for the Life and Social Sciences
Introductory statistics MATH 1710: Statistical Theory and Application to the Real World
Computer programming CS 1110: Introduction to Computer Using Java
CS 1112: Introduction to Computer Using Matlab
CS 1114: Introduction to Computer Using Matlab and Robotics
CS 2110: Object-Oriented Programming and Data Structures
Other alternatives to calculus MATH 1300: Mathematical Explorations
MATH 1340: Mathematics and Politics
MATH 2310: Linear Algebra with Applications

Two-Semester Programs

For students who expect to take no more than two semesters of math, two semesters of calculus are usually not the best choice.  A broader view of the subject can be gained from one semester of calculus and one of the courses listed in the table above.

Cornell Summer Session

Students who find mathematics to be especially challenging may benefit from taking a course during summer session, when attention can be focused on a single course.