Because much of collegiate mathematics and computer science is built on high school mathematics, the recommended background for students in these areas is two years of algebra, a year of geometry, and study in analytic geometry, trigonometry, functions and probability. A study of calculus is not required. Even with these courses, the transition from high school mathematics to college mathematics can be difficult. The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science assists in this transition by having a mathematics placement program to help make this transition easier.
Since incoming students will have a wide variety of backgrounds and interests, all admitted first-year students take the mathematics placement examination during the summer orientation program, before registering for courses. Both the student's mathematical background and academic interests are used to make a recommendation for an appropriate mathematics course to be taken in the fall. The ACT's Compass Placement Exam is used; sample questions may be found here and here.