Math tends to be a stumbling block for students once they enter college, especially if a year or more has gone by since they last took math. So why not take college math in high school to complete the college math requirement?

We know taking a fourth year of math can seem overwhelming, but remember that you’re going to have an easier time taking math now while all your math skills are still fresh in your mind. If you wait even just a year, you could forget much of what you learned by the time you take math in college. You may need to take additional remedial classes before you can complete your general education math class. If you earn your college general education math credit in high school, you could be completely done with math classes before you even go to college (depending on your college major)!

What math should you take?

It’s a good idea to take math your senior year, and it’s an even better idea to earn college credit and take a CE math class that is appropriate for your future college major.

Use this flow chart to find out what math class may be best for you. Make sure to finalize your decision with your high school counselor, and remember that you may need to take a different math class or an additional math class in college, depending on your major.

Remember: this chart does not include all of the options for your future. To learn more about your personality, future career possibilities, and how you might fit in these categories, take the Career Interest Profiler quiz at UtahFutures.

General math recommendations

To have the best chance of succeeding in college, you should follow these math recommendations while you are in high school:

Recommendation 1 – Each year in high school (4 years), you should take the most rigorous math course for which you qualify.

Recommendation 2 – You should successfully complete Secondary Math I, II and III, or Secondary Math Honors I, II and III.

NOTE: Secondary Math I, II and III cover more content than Math 1010 (Intermediate Algebra). Math 1010 should not be substituted for any component of the Secondary Math I, II, III sequence. 

Recommendation 3 – If you intend to pursue an associate (AA/AS) or bachelor’s degree, you should complete one or more math courses from the following list. (BEYOND Secondary Math I, II and III.)

  • HS Calculus* or AP Calculus* or IB Math*
  • HS Precalculus*†
  • AP Statistics
  • Any other course equivalent to one satisfying a USHE General Education Quantitative Literacy requirement including: Math 1030, 1040, 1050 or any Math course with Math 1050 as a prerequisite 

* Students interested in STEM or other math-intensive careers should take one or more of these classes prior to high school graduation.

† HS Precalculus covers the content of Math 1050, Math 1060, and some statistics.

Course recommendations approved by the Utah State Board of Regents on March 28, 2014.