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Universal MATH Requirement

All students receiving a bachelor’s degree at Boise State and most students receiving an associate’s degree are required to complete 3-5 credits in mathematics. The list of approved disciplinary lens mathematics classes can be found in the catalog in the chapter on “Obtaining a Degree” or in the Directory of Classes. The current approved list is:

  • MATH 123 Quantitative Reasoning (3 Credits) (DLM)
  • MATH 143 College Algebra (3 credits) (DLM)
  • MATH 160 Survey of Calculus (4 credits) (DLM)
  • MATH 170 Calculus I (4 credits) (DLM)
  • MATH 254 Applied Statistics with Computers (3 credits) (DLM)
  • MATH 257 Geometry and Probability for Teachers (4 credits) (DLM)

Most students fulfill their mathematics requirement as a part of their major. Students in majors which do not require a mathematics class will have to pay particular attention to ensure that they choose an appropriate class. Students should take their math requirements early in their student career – do not put it off until graduation!

Notes on Specific Courses

MATH 108


MATH 108, Intermediate Algebra, is not and never will be a disciplinary lens course. Thus, students shouldnot be advised to take it in order to “fulfill the MATH DLM requirement.” MATH 108 should only be taken by students who do not place into required MATH courses.

Also, students should be advised that MATH 108 requires a commitment of approximately 15 hours per week of study time and lab time in addition to the 1 hour of scheduled class time.

MATH 123


MATH 123 is a disciplinary lens course which surveys quantitative reasoning including deductive and inductive reasoning, benchmarks, and sense of scale. Topics are applied in a conceptual way to interpret graphical information, descriptive and inferential statistics, elementary probability, and exponential growth. Its prerequisite is a score of 40 on the Algebra part of the Compass exam, or at least the 41st percentile on the ACT or SAT (18 or 430) math or MATH 25.

MATH 123 is not a prerequisite for any other MATH course. It should not be considered to be the “easiest” mathematics disciplinary lens course simply because it has a low number; students find it challenging, but doable. It is most frequently taken as a mathematics disciplinary lens course of choice, or by elementary education majors who wish to add a minor endorsement in mathematics to their elementary teaching certificate.

Math 254


MATH 254 is a non-calculus based statistics class taken primarily by biology majors. Proficiency in high school algebra, as measured by a score of at least 61 on the Algebra part of the Compass exam, or at least the 70th percentile on either ACT or SAT (23 or 540) math, or MATH 108, is required for entry into MATH 254.

Notes on specific degree programs

College of Engineering


Engineering and many science students enter mathematics somewhere along the path:

MATH 25 -> MATH 108 -> MATH 147 -> MATH 170 -> MATH 175 -> {MATH 275 or 333 in either order}

Where they enter is determined by a combination of placement test results, ACT, or SAT scores, and previous experience; where they finish depends on their specific major. At that point, a student should consult an advisor in his or her major field.

Note that MATH 108, Intermediate Algebra, is not and never will be a disciplinary lens course. Thus, students should not be advised to take it in order to “fulfill the MATH DLM requirement.” MATH 108 should only be taken by students who do not place into required MATH courses.

Elementary education


The required course path for elementary education majors is:

MATH 157 -> MATH 257 (Note that only MATH 257 is a disciplinary lens course.)

MATH-157 Prerequisites: Proficiency in high school algebra, as measured by a score of at least 61 on the Algebra part of the Compass exam, or at least the 70th percentile on either ACT or SAT (23 or 540) math, or MATH 108. Thus some elementary education students do:

MATH 108 -> MATH 157 -> MATH 257

or

MATH 25 -> MATH 108 -> MATH 157 -> MATH 257

College of business and economics


Update: Some COBE majors will now require Math 143 or Math 149 instead of Math 160. Please note that placing out of MATH 143 on the basis of a placement test or ACT/SAT scores does not mean that the MATH 143 requirement is satisfied. If you are a double major, be aware of your math requirements for both your majors.

The minimum required course path for students in the College of Business and Economics is:

MATH 143 -> MATH 160

However, proficiency in high school algebra, as measured by a score of at least 61 on the Algebra part of the Compass exam, or at least the 70th percentile on either ACT or SAT (23 or 540) math, or MATH 108, is required for entry into MATH 143 and thus some students who are weak in algebra may do:

MATH 108 -> MATH 143 -> MATH 160

or

MATH 25 -> MATH 108 -> MATH 143 -> MATH 160

The College of Business and Economics also permits its students to take:

MATH 147 -> MATH 170 or MATH 147 -> MATH 160

Note that MATH 147 contains exactly the same content as MATH 143 and MATH 144 combined.