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Which Calculus Should I Take?

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Loudoun Math Home page Frequently Asked Questions Which Calculus Should I Take?

There are two first-semester calculus courses offered at the Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Both require a placement test.

Math 173 (5 credits)
Calculus with Analytic Geometry

Math 271 (3 credits)
Applied Calculus

This is the first semester in a three semester calculus sequence (173, 174 and 277) for engineering, mathematics, computer science and science majors. You should have taken MTH 166 and passed with a grade of C or better at NOVA, or a comparable precalculus course elsewhere. If this is your first college level math course, you should have taken 4 years of high school math, including Algebra I and II, Geometry, Trigonometry, and a course on functions. MTH 163 does not satisfy this requirement since Trigonometry is not a topic in MTH 163 and is a requirement for MTH 173.

MTH 271 is a one-semester introduction to topics in calculus, emphasizing applications, and primarily oriented for students who are business or social science majors. Concepts are developed more intuitively and less formally than in MTH 173. The prerequisite is a course that may have a title such as college algebra, precalculus or functions. At NOVA, the preparatory course could be MTH 163 or MTH 166.


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