Course Planning

Mathematics and Computer Science - Where to Start?

The course planning advice here is limited to completing this major which is just one piece of the overall Hendrix College degree requirements.  For a full description of degree requirements see the Catalog.

Where should I start if I am just sampling this subject as a non-major?

  • Mathematics in Contemporary Issues (MATH 115) is the ideal course for students not interested in a discipline requiring mathematics .  
  • Foundations of Computer Science (CSCI 150), which assumes no prior knowledge of programming, is a great course for non-majors to explore computer science.
  • Introductory Statistics (MATH 215) is a good course for students who would like to use data analysis in their chosen field. 

Where should I start if I might use this as part of a major or as a potential major?

  • Students considering a Mathematics major should complete the Calculus sequence as soon as possible, Calculus I (MATH 130) and Calculus II (MATH 140).   Start the mathematics sequence based on your placement records – either Precalculus (MATH 120) followed by Calculus I (MATH 130) or directly into Calculus I (MATH 130). 
  • Students considering a Computer Science major should begin with Foundations of Computer Science (CSCI 150), followed by Data Structures (CSCI 151) in the following semester. Students should also consider preparing to take Calculus I (MATH 130), especially if they are interested in scientific applications, artificial intelligence, or pursuing graduate school.  .
  • Students planning to major in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Economics, and Physics generally take Calculus I (MATH 130) in the first year. Please check the Course Planning pages for those majors for more specifics. 

Where should I start if I have some experience in this discipline before college?

  • For AP or IB credits – please refer to Advanced Placement Credits or International Baccalaureate Credits in the College Catalog.  
  • Students with prior background in Calculus, but lacking an AP or IB credit may take Calculus II (MATH 140) with the consent of the instructor or the Department Chair. Students without prior credit for Calculus I (MATH 130) will receive a credit for that course upon completing Calculus II (MATH 140) with a grade of “C” or higher. 
  • Students with prior programming experience, but lacking an AP credit should speak to a Computer Science faculty member or the Department Chair to determine an appropriate starting course. A sufficiently skilled student may take Data Structures (CSCI 151) with the consent of the instructor or the Department Chair.  Students without prior credit for Foundations of Computer Science (CSCI 150) will receive a credit for that course upon completing Data Structures (CSCI 151) with a grade of “C” or higher. 

When should I declare a major?

  • All students must declare a major by March 1st of their sophomore year.