students on Puyallup campus

Math Courses

In many disciplines, mathematics is used to help make sense of phenomena observed in the world. Math also can help us develop critical thinking and reasoning skills that can be used to solve problems in a variety of applications. Pierce College offers two sequences of math courses, pre-college and college-level, to meet the needs of the individual student and his or her goals.

Initial placement in the sequence depends on placement test scores or high school math courses if they are within the prior two years. The choices and the number of courses a student takes depend on their chosen field of study and other factors. See a faculty advisor for help.

Pre-College Math

The Mathematics department offers a sequence of introductory courses that build the basic quantitative and symbolic reasoning skills needed in almost all fields of study and professional/technical training.

These pre-college mathematics classes accommodate students entering the college with a variety of math backgrounds. These courses are offered in the Math lab, online, and in traditional classrooms.

Pre-College courses:

  • MATH 050: Basic Mathematics
  • MATH 054: Beginning Algebra
  • MATH 096: Intermediate Algebra in Context
  • MATH 098: Intermediate Algebra for Pre-calculus (only required for those needing Math 141 or Math 147)

University of Washington Transfer Information

Individuals intending to apply as a Freshman or Transfer students to University of Washington Bothell, Seattle, or Tacoma, must meet the Intermediate Algebra CADR Admissions Requirement outlined on the University of Washington Admissions website.

In order to fulfill this requirement, students must complete an advanced algebra class in high school (often titled Algebra II, Algebra 3/4, or Advanced Algebra) or a college-level MATH 98, MATH& 141-163, or MATH& 107, with a 2.0 GPA or better. MATH& 146 does NOT meet the intermediate algebra admissions requirement for UW Seattle or Tacoma.

Please work with your assigned advisor to ensure your course map and pathway follow your future transfer goals.

Math Lab

Courses offered in the Math Lab format provide students personalized instruction in pre-college-level mathematics courses. Classes meet in a computer lab, and instruction will be computer based, with videos and exercises individualized for each student. The instructor and classroom tutor will provide individual assistance. Daily attendance at the registered hour is expected. Additional open lab hours may be available; check the e-schedule quarterly. This class is recommended for students who work well independently and are interested in accelerating through the material quickly. Students will have the opportunity to complete more than one class worth of material during the quarter with no additional tuition costs.

Courses offered through the Math Lab:

  • MATH 050: Basic Mathematics
  • MATH 054: Beginning Algebra
  • MATH 098: Intermediate Algebra for Pre-calculus (by special permission only)

When the lab is not being used for a class it is available for drop-in Math Lab student use. There will be a tutor available to assist students.

College-Level Math

Pierce College also provides a sequence of college-level math courses for students transferring to four-year colleges or pursuing technical vocational programs. These courses satisfy the math requirements for majors in mathematics, as well as business, accounting, economics, statistics, actuarial science, math education, engineering, and the sciences. These college-level courses include the math needed for the Associate in Science degree from Pierce College.

College-level mathematics courses include the study of contemporary math, elementary math education, finite math, statistics, pre-calculus, differential and integral calculus, and more advanced courses in multivariate calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations.

Each course includes examples of applications taken from many fields of study. Most of these courses require the use of graphing calculators, which may be rented for a nominal fee through the libraries.

College-Level Courses

The courses listed below satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning Skill (QS) requirement.

  • MATH& 107: Contemporary mathematics (prereq: Math 96 or Math 98)
  • MATH 114: Applied algebra, geometry, trig (prereq: Math 98)
  • MATH& 141: Pre-calculus I (prereq: Math 98)
  • MATH 147: Business Precalculus (prereq: Math 98)
  • MATH& 131: Math for Elem Educ I (prereq: Math 96 or Math 98)
  • MATH& 146: Intro to statistics (prereq: Math 96 or Math 98)

Mathematics Major

The following courses should be taken in addition to courses required for the AA degree:

  • MATH& 142: Pre-calculus II
  • MATH& 151-153: Calculus I-III
  • MATH 205: Linear algebra
  • MATH 224: Multivariate calculus
  • MATH 238: Differential equations

Courses in statistics and computer science are highly recommended for math majors. Math majors should also take one of the sequences of science courses such as physics or chemistry. See your advisor for specific recommendations.