Honors Calculus is a year-long sequence of two courses–MATH 375 and 376–which serves as a more theoretical and advanced alternative to multi-variable calculus (MATH 234), differential equations (MATH 319), and linear algebra (MATH 341). The goal of these courses is to provide highly motivated and well-prepared students with an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of these fundamental areas of mathematics.
These courses are likely quite different from math courses you have taken before. They focus on the theoretical underpinnings of the subject, including abstract notation, proofs of theorems, basic logic, and difficult problem-solving techniques. It is not uncommon for students to be shocked by the amount of work that these courses take. However, those that stick with it gain valuable skills that cannot be obtained from our standard (and easier) courses.
After MATH 376, students are often ready to embark on 500-level mathematics classes, which are considered senior-level classes. If they continue in mathematics, they can go on to take a substantial number of graduate courses before the graduate, paving the way to a successful career in mathematics or a related field. If they do not continue in mathematics, they gain a mastery of the subject that allows them to learn more advanced techniques with ease.
Is this course right for me?
MATH 375/376 is a proofs-based sequence. It is a theoretical course designed to challenge students who have always done well in their math courses; if you have struggled in previous math courses, it might not be right for you.
Prerequisites: You need credit for Calculus 2 (MATH 222) to enroll in the course. Usually this is by taking MATH 222, transfer credit, or the Calculus BC exam. You must have one of the following to enroll:
- a 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam
- an A or AB in UW-Madison’s MATH 222
- a grade of B+ or higher in a MATH 222-equivalent transfer course
- a 6 or 7 on the IB Math with Further Math exam
- a score of 88% or higher on the MATH 222 Calculus Credit Exam from the UW-Madison Math Department
- If you established MATH 222 credit in some other way–such as through A-Level exams–please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your eligibility to apply for the sequence.
However, even if you meet the prerequisites, MATH 375/376 might not be right for you. Because of its difficulty even some students who have done very well in previous math courses end up dropping Math 375/376. The minimal recommended background for taking the course is the following:
- A 5 on the BC Calc exam or a 7 on the IB Math with Further Math exam
- and/or a high A in your Calculus 2 course
If you do not have this recommended background, we strongly suggest you consider an alternative course. Students who take MATH 234, MATH 319, and MATH 341 satisfy all the same prerequisites for future courses as students who take MATH 375/376.
Non-Math Majors: If you are planning on majoring in a math related field (finance, economics, engineering, the sciences, etc.), then the problem-solving skills you develop in MATH 375/376 will be very useful. However, these courses are a lot of work and students wishing to focus on other aspects of their education might not be eager to put in the time required.
Topics Covered: The yearlong sequence MATH 375/376 covers multi-variable calculus (MATH 234), differential equations (MATH 319), and linear algebra (MATH 341).
If you have credit for one or more of MATH 234, 319, 320, 340, or 341 then MATH 375/376 might not be right for you. If you have credit for two or more of these courses, you should not enroll in this sequence.
How to Enroll
Below are some frequently asked questions about the sequence, as well as contact information.