How do I Choose Online College Math Courses?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Some students need to complete online college math courses in trigonometry or calculus.
Some students need to complete online college math courses in trigonometry or calculus.
Some students need to complete online college math courses in trigonometry or calculus.

People interested in taking online college math courses need to consider what their overall goals are in studying math, and what math classes they’ve already completed. Each college majors may have different choices because of past classes taken and due to what their major will require. High school students who take online college math courses may need to make their decisions in a slightly different way.

Any college major that involves the sciences will typically require students to take at least up to college level calculus. Students should determine if they have completed at minimum the second year of algebra studies in high school, and preferably trigonometry too. If they haven’t, they may want to look for a second year algebra class first, which may be called different names. Anybody at an online school can tell students what class converts to algebra II. Sometimes this class is offered in two separate ways, one that is less rigorous and designed for the non-science major. It should be noted that units may not be earned for either class or count toward college graduation. However, a high school student could take the more rigorous algebra II class to count toward fulfilling a math requirement in high school.

College math courses often depend on the math classes taken in high school.
College math courses often depend on the math classes taken in high school.
College math courses often depend on the math classes taken in high school.

Either advanced algebra (II) or intermediate algebra (algebra II light) online math courses can lead to fulfilling a general education math requirement. These may be the only requirements necessary to take business math, theory based statistics or other non-science major math studies. If a person’s career will be in liberal arts directions, an easier second year or intermediate algebra class can be good choice. However, if there is this choice, (which isn’t always the case) science majors need to the heartier course.

Math students can expect their online courses to become increasingly complex.
Math students can expect their online courses to become increasingly complex.
Math students can expect their online courses to become increasingly complex.

When non-science students have already fulfilled the algebra requirement, they may directly enter into whatever online college math courses are advised for their major. Some students need to complete online college math courses in trigonometry or calculus. Others may have studied these already and are prepared for more advanced inquiries in the field of math. Math majors and some science majors will need to look at the prerequisites for classes they also have to take before deciding what online math courses are needed.

With online college math courses, students should pay attention to the prerequisites of the class and what the class prepares them to do. Many other classes not in math, especially for science majors, may have minimum math requirements. This is also true for studies in business, public health, healthcare, and in other fields. Making sure to take classes early on in studies is a good idea, so that lack of the appropriate classes doesn’t hold people up in their studies later on, However, a math requirement for liberal arts studies is often deferred until later, since these students may feel they lack skills in math. Students should know that very gifted math teachers have often put a lot of work into designing curriculum that can appeal to these students without being overwhelming.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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    • Some students need to complete online college math courses in trigonometry or calculus.
      Some students need to complete online college math courses in trigonometry or calculus.
    • College math courses often depend on the math classes taken in high school.
      College math courses often depend on the math classes taken in high school.
    • Math students can expect their online courses to become increasingly complex.
      Math students can expect their online courses to become increasingly complex.