Skip to main content

Calculus Placement

First-year students who want to study calculus should choose a course on the basis of the mathematics courses they took in high school and AP, IB, or transfer credit awarded by Vanderbilt.  The Department of Mathematics strongly recommends that students enter a calculus sequence at the beginning (Math 1200 or 1300) unless they have appropriate AP, IB, or transfer credit. There is a two-week period at the beginning of each semester when students can change from one level of calculus to another. Students should consult their calculus instructor and their CASPAR adviser for assistance during this period.

Students with a weak background in algebra and/or trigonometry who plan further study of calculus at Vanderbilt should enroll in Math 1005 (Pre-calculus Mathematics) prior to taking 1200 or 1300.

The survey course, Math 1100, includes both differential and integral calculus at an introductory level. It is designed for students who do not plan further study in calculus. No background in trigonometry is required for Math 1100.

The standard calculus sequences are 1200-1201 and 1300-1301-2300. The first sequence is recommended for students who plan to take two semesters of calculus (e.g., Economics majors). The second sequence is recommended for students who plan to take more than two semesters of mathematics (e.g., Economics majors who intend to go to graduate school, students who are planning to major in Mathematics or a field of science or engineering in which calculus-based courses need to be taken in the sophomore year).

For more information, see the Calculus Preparation and Placement page on the Department of Mathematics website.

Starting at an earlier course than indicated by AP/IB credit will generally result in loss of hours of AP/IB credit.  A student with questions about potentially losing AP/IB credit should speak with their CASPAR adviser or with Professor John Rafter, the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Mathematics, or Professor Jakayla Robbins, the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies for Mathematics.


Effective Fall 2015, Vanderbilt University has introduced a new course catalog numbering scheme.  For assistance with the translation between old (3-digit) and new (4-digit) numbers, please consult the  Course Renumbering Lookup Tool.