Background: I am a non-traditional student currently enrolled in a large research-centric university planning on majoring in physics. Graduated H.S. in 2009. Spent 5 years in the military working in a field wholly unrelated to any of my studies(current or planned) The situation: I see a lot of people on these forums and others coming out of HS jumping into Calc-2 or even 3. My number one concern is that i've fallen behind in math (it's the first thing to leak out on a 5 year sabbatical from the classroom). I took calc in HS, but have been placed into pre-calc based on the placement test I took just after admission, which is split into two semesters(probably a scam to charge for the extra credits). I started college in the spring where i took part-1 and am taking part-2 over the summer. Luckily my school allows for me to take my introductory courses concurrently with calc-1. The questions: 1. Will this be a serious detriment to my eventual application to pursue an advanced degree? Assuming I catch up completely, but my transcript still reflects those typically "remedial-style" classes. 2. Many of the summer research opportunities that are available are listed for "rising" sophomores/juniors/seniors. Because I started in the spring this label will never really apply to me as I will "rise" at the end of every fall semester rather than after every spring. I'm 100% certain that this is not going to restrict my access to these opportunities, but am not sure about how to go about circumventing this. Do i just apply anyway? Contact the faculty member responsible for the program? 3. Is anyone else here a non-traditional student that can share their undergraduate experience pursuing traditionally "difficult" majors?