1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Need help on math.

  1. Sep 6, 2012 #1
    Hello everyone, this is my first time posting on the site. I'm 18, live in California, still in high school, and I'm gonna graduate come November. I'm going to either a state university, UC Irvine, or a community college and majoring in Astrophysics. The only math I know is algebra and geometry. My question is as follows. Do I have to know calculus and other math material prior to starting my freshman year? Or will I have to take additional classes to learn it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2012 #2
    No, you do not need to know that stuff in your freshmen year. It is great if you do, then you may be able to start our on a higher math class. But there is no problem with taking college algebra and trig in college before starting in calculus. Depending on the curriculum, you may not be able to do alot of classes related to your major initially, but that isn't a big deal. You'll have enough general ed stuff to do in your first couple of semesters that you won't necessarily need to start on your astrophysics classes right away.

    Don't sweat it, I'm an electrical engineering major and I started with college algebra and trig, and it hasn't been a big deal at all.
  4. Sep 6, 2012 #3
    Thanks for clarifying things for me. I wasn't sure about all that stuff and was fretting over it, terribly. If the state university or community college I attend allows me, I'll take as many additional math classes as I can. The more the better, right?
  5. Sep 6, 2012 #4
    Either school will let you take as many math classes as you want as long as you meet whatever prerequisite. Early on it will be a pretty straight path though. As long as you did good in high school on your math, they will probably start you in college algebra for your first semester, and then trigonometry in your second semester. After that you will have a long love affair with calculus for a couple of years.

    Don't sweat it though. As long as you know where you want to go, the faculty will help you pick the classes to get you there.
  6. Sep 6, 2012 #5
    That sounds terrific, I can't wait to start with calculus. Thanks for your your help, much appreciated. :biggrin:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook