Math Core Requirements

Students complete the Math core by taking a Pacific MATH department course numbered 165 or higher, PSY 350 (Behavioral Statistics), SOC 301 (Social Statistics), or BA 301 (Business Analytics).

A course completing the Math requirement may not be double dipped to complete the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Math courses taken at other institutions, if not directly equivalent to a Pacific University math course, will fulfill the mathematics core requirement only if they meet the outcomes below as determined by the Chair of the Math Department.

Upon completion of this requirement students will be able to:

  • engage in abstract mathematical thinking.
  • understand analytical and formal deductive reasoning.
  • demonstrate the symbolic, graphical and numerical skills, which are the basis of mathematical literacy.

Math Placement

Each new first-year student is given a math placement based on ACT or SAT test scores and prior math coursework. For transfer students who have transfer math credit, placement is generally based that coursework. Use the Math Placement Flowchart (pdf) to estimate your math placement and see which math courses you are eligible for. You may take any course at your placement level or below your placement level.

Your SAT/ACT scores are critical to your math placement. Be sure to let the Advising Center know if you’ve sent in updated scores. Feel your math placement would be too low?  You can take the math placement challenge test. Contact the Math Department or Advising Center for details.

Math Placement Flowchart

What Math class should you take?


Statistics classes are required for several majors and as a prerequisite for many of our Health Professions graduate programs. We offer three different statistics options: Math 207, PSY 350, SOC 301, and BA 301. Which option you need or if you have a choice will vary depending on your major and graduate school plans. Freshmen do not usually take statistics in their first term so if you’ve placed at level 2 or higher, and only need statistics, you will wait to take math.

Math for Elementary School Teachers

The title of these math classes says it all! If you are thinking about Elementary Education you’ll want to plan on taking these courses. They are offered alternating years in Spring Semester — so you’ll be waiting to take math until Spring.

Math 165 and Math 212

These math classes are popular ways to meet the Math Core requirement if you don’t have a specific math class to take for your major/graduate school prerequisites. Math 165 is offered in Spring Semester, Math 212 is offered fall and spring.

College Algebra/Pre-Calculus

Thinking about a major in the Natural Sciences? Math is critical to start right away, especially if you’ve placed at these levels. You must place at level II or higher or complete Math 122 before you can take Chemistry. Please note: these classes do not meet our Core math requirement.

Calculus Sequence

If you need to take Calculus courses and how high you go into Calculus will vary depending on your math or science major (It is important to check science major sections in the Advising Handbook and the Pacific course catalog for specific math requirements in your major. For example, Exercise Science majors do not need Math 226 or higher but Chemistry majors need courses through Math 227).

Note: If you need any of the sequence between Math 122-Math 228, it is strongly recommended you start these courses right away and not take any terms off in between. You must get a C or higher in order to continue to the next math level.