Recommended General Education Mathematics Course by Major
This page was last updated on April 2, 2020.
Course Finder: This tool provides information on which General Education GE B4 math class you should take based on your major.
Assist.org: This site contains official information about transferability of courses from local community colleges to Cal State LA.
Quottly.com: This site contains (unofficial) information about what courses can be taken elsewhere to meet the CSU General Edication B4 requirement.
Entering freshmen will be required to take their GE B4 (Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning) course in their first semester or within their first year, unless they have completed the GE B4 requirement (Math Placement Category I). (To be precise, all basic subjects [including GE B4] must be completed within the first 30 semester units counted toward the baccalaureate degree.) Depending on the major, either a specific GE B4 course will be required or there may be a choice of courses to select from. Starting in Fall 2018, the following courses are listed in category GE B4:
- MATH 1090: Quantitative Reasoning with Statistics
- EDFN 1090: Introduction to Statistics and Data Interpretation
- MATH 1000: Quantitative Reasoning in Today’s World
PHIL 1080: Quantitative Reasoning: Proof and Probability
MATH 1020 (College Algebra) will no longer be offered as of Fall 2018.
These GE B4 courses fall into the category of Statistics and Quantitative Reasoning (see description below) and are primarily intended for non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) majors. For STEM-majors and a few other majors, courses required as part of their major will carry GE B4 credit (see the sections on Precalculus and Elementary Subject Matter programs below)
Statistics and Quantitative Reasoning
Most students in non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) majors should take either MATH 1000 or one of the statistics courses, MATH 1090 or EDFN 1090, to fulfill the GE Block B4 requirement.
MATH 1000, Quantitative Reasoning in Today’s World. This is a practical course in which students learn skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Topics include proportional reasoning, probability, statistics, finance, and voting. These topics will feature a diverse host of skills ranging from reading an electric bill, to understanding blood alcohol content, to analyzing a mortgage for a home, to discovering misleading features in statistical studies, and analyzing apportionment for the US House of Representatives.
MATH 1090 and EDFN 1090 are statistics courses. Students will learn about collecting and summarizing data (descriptive statistics) and also how to draw conclusions from data (inferential statistics). Readily connected to life outside of the classroom, these courses help students become critical consumers of statistics to understand, for example, election statistics and comparisons of drugs. EDFN 1090 has a focus on the health sciences and human services, while MATH has a more general focus.
PHIL 1080: Quantitative Reasoning: Proof and Probability. Students will be introduced to deductive and inductive reasoning, proofs, models, set theory, probability and statistics.The overall aim of the course is to bring students to a level of mathematical aptitude so that, in having completed it, they can interpret, represent, communicate, and analyze quantitatively and rigorously.
Students in most STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) majors should take PreCalculus, usually followed by Calculus or Applied Calculus. Depending on the major and Math Placement Category, this course sequence will begin either with ESM 1082, MATH 1081, MATH 1082, or MATH 1040. Any PreCalculus course will fulfill the GE Block B4 requirement for these majors. Life Science majors and Exercise Science majors should take MATH 1081 (or MATH 1082), followed by MATH 1085, Discrete Mathematical Models.
- MATH 1081 (PreCalculus: Functions) is the first half of PreCalculus.
- MATH 1082 (PreCalculus: Functions, with lab) is equivalent to MATH 1081. It has exactly the same course content as MATH 1081, but also provides an integrated review of algebra skills needed in PreCalculus.
- MATH 1040 (PreCalculus) combines the first and second halves of PreCalculus into a single semester.
- ESM 1082 is the Early Start version of MATH 1082 with identical content, that is, it can be used in lieu of MATH 1081 for prerequsite and program requirements.
Elementary Subject Matter programs
Students in an Elementary Subject Matter credential program should take the sequence MATH 1100 (Foundations of the Real Number System for Elementary and Middle School Teachers), MATH 1150 (Elements of Algebra and Statistics for Elementary and Middle School Teachers), and MATH 2250 (Explorations in Geometry for Elementary and Middle School Teachers). Together, these classes help prepare future elementary school teachers to teach mathematics at that level. MATH 1150 fulfills the GE Block B4 requirement.
Math Placement Categories
When students are admitted to Cal State LA, the university looks at a variety of measures to determine their Math Placement Category. These multiple measures include high school Math courses, high school grade point averages (GPA); and exams scores from the ACT, SAT, SAT Subject test, or the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). Note that the ELM exam will no longer be administered. CSU places students into four categories in Math.
GE Requirement Completed (Math Placement Category I): Students have already fulfilled the General Education requirement in Math. Most of the students in Math Placement Category I received a passing score on the relevant AP exam (Calculus AB, BC, or Statistics) and received credit for the corresponding college course. Math Placement Category I students are exempt from Early Start.
Academic support course not needed with GE course (Math Placement Category II): Students are ready to take the freshmen-level GE course in Math. Math Placement Category II students are exempt from Early Start.
Academic support course required with GE course (Math Placement Category III): Students will begin their college-level Math GE course in their first semester and will be placed into a co-requisite support course. Math Placement Category III students may elect to take Early Start.
Early Start required, and academic support course required with GE course (Math Placement Category IV): Students will begin their college-level Math GE in their first semester, and will be placed into a co-requisite support course. Math Placement Category IV students are required to take Early Start.
Early Start Math Summer 2020 - No Courses offered due to COVID-19
Students who are placed into Math Placement Category IV (Academic support course required with GE course) are required to participate in Early Start. The following courses are available:
ESM 1082 and ESM 0082 Early Start PreCalculus: Functions (8 weeks: )
ESM 1082 and ESM 0082 are for incoming freshmen who are in majors that require PreCalculus or Calculus. This includes most STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) majors. The content of ESM 1082 is equivalent to MATH 1081, that is, a standard PreCalculus Functions class (functions, exponential and logarithmic functions; polynomials and rational functions; systems of linear equations and matrices; sequences and series including arithmetic and geometric series). ESM 1082 can be used in place of MATH 1081 as a prerequiste or as program requirement. Students in ESM 1082 must also enroll in ESM 0082, a co-requisite course designed to provide students with additional math support.
Course Credit: This course meets the Early Start Math requirement. Passing ESM 1082 will confer 3 units of college credit and fulfill the GE Block B4 requirement. ESM 0082 does not carry college credit or count towards the degree.
ESM 1090 and ESM 0090 Early Start Quantitative Reasoning with Statistics (8 weeks: )
ESM 1090 and ESM 0090 are for incoming freshmen whose major requires them to take a statistics course to meet GE B4. The content of ESM 1090 is identical to that of MATH 1090 or EDFN 1090. Students in ESM 1090 must also enroll in ESM 0090, a co-requisite course designed to provide students with additional math support.
Course Credit: This course meets the Early Start Math requirement. Passing ESM 1090 will confer 3 units of college credit and fulfill the GE Block B4 requirement. ESM 0090 does not carry college credit or count towards the degree.
ESM 1005 Early Start Quantitative Reasoning in Today's World (2 weeks, offered in two sessions)
Session 1: Session 2:
ESM 1005 is for incoming freshmen who are are in non-STEM majors that do not require either Precalculus or Statistics. It is designed to refresh students’ knowledge of basic concepts covered in algebra. The course also addresses approaches to problem solving in mathematics, logic, truth values, sets and Venn diagrams, understanding and critical analysis of quantitative information in everyday life.
Course Credit: Passing ESM 1005 does not fulfill the GE Block B4 requirement. However, this course does meet the Early Start Math requirement. Students who complete ESM 1005 will have a head start on subject matter covered in their first-year math class, in particular MATH 1000. ESM 1005 confers 1 unit of baccalaureate credit that counts towards the degree.
Additional information about Early Start can be found here.
ALEKS Placement for incoming STEM majors in Summer 2020
You may be able to place into Calculus in Fall 2020 using ALEKS PPL over the summer.
ALEKS PPL is an online assessment, preparation and placement system that is free for Calculus-bound Cal State LA students.
You qualify for ALEKS PPL if
1. You are an incoming freshman, and
2. Your major requires calculus (Math 2110 or Math 2045), and
3. Academic support is not required (see the section on Math Placement Categories for more information)
If your major is in the college of engineering (ECST) you will get access to ALEKS PPL though the ECST STEP Program.
If your major is not in ECST, you should have received an email from the Mathematics Department containing information about registration in ALEKS PPL.
For questions about proctored ALEKS PPL placement exams, contact the Testing Center.
If academic support is required and you would like to make progress towards Calculus over the summertime, please see the Early Start Math section.
For other questions, contact the Mathematics Department.
Course Changes (deletions, modifications, new courses)
News for Fall 2020
- The supported versions of several GE courses have been modified to incorporate the support course into the lecture. These courses now are 4-unit courses, with 3 units lecture and 1 unit activity. The combined course has the same number as the main course. These are the specific courses:
- MATH 1000 + MATH 1001 is replaced by MATH 1000
- MATH 1090 + MATH 1091 is replaced by MATH 1090
- EDFN 1090 + EDFN 1091 is replaced by EDFN 1090
The only course that is not combined is MATH 1100, since the small student polulation taking this course makes it not feasible to offer two versions of the course, supported and unsupported. Here is a new table that replaces the table in the overview of GE B4 structure shown below:
- A similar modification is true for MATH 1085, Discrete Mathematical Models (3 units lecture). This course previously had an associated activity, MATH 1086 (1 unit), which was required for students whose grade in the prerequisite was below a B-. The modified MATH 1085 now is a 4-unit course, with 3 units lecture and 1 unit activity; it has the same structure as the corresponding second precalulus course for other majors, Math 1083.
- MATH 2040 and MATH 2050, Applied Calculus I and II, and their associated activity courses, MATH 2041 and MATH 2051, have been replaced by a single course that combines topics from both of these courses. The new course which will satisfy the requirements for both biology and microbiology majors is MATH 2045 (4 units lecture, 1 unit activity). Note that MATH 2045 can replace either one of MATH 2040 OR MATH 2050 for academic renewal.
- MATH 2040 will be offered for the last time in summer 2020, and MATH 2050 will be offered in both summer 2020 and Fall 2020. Neither course will be offered after Fall 2020.
- New graphics can be found in the pages for PreCalculus/Calculus. There should soon be a separate menu for advisement of continuing and transfer students.
News for Fall 2019
- PHIL 1080 and PHIL 1081 are new courses for Fall 2019. Departments have not yet indicated whether they want to make this a choice for the GE B4 course, so these two courses have not yet been integrated into the course finder tool. Please contact Silvia Heubach (Dept. of Mathematics) if you want PHIL 1080 and PHIL 1081 added as a choice for your majors.
- ECON 1090 will not be offered.
- MATH 1002, MATH 1092, and EDFN 1092 have been created as the unsupported versions of MATH 1000 + MATH 1001, MATH 1090 + MATH 1091, and EDFN 1090 + EDFN 1091 for students in Category II. The course content of these new courses is the same as the content of the respective main course in the supported version. That is, MATH 1000 and MATH 1002 have the same content, and likewise for the other courses.
New GE B4 Course Structure (as of Fall 2018; co-requisite course structure modified Fall 2019)
Due to the elimination of developmental mathematics courses (MATH 0920 and MATH 0930), students who need mathematics support will now take either a co-requisite course or a course with integrated support.
Starting in Fall 2019, all GE B4 courses will use the cohorted model, that is, there are separate courses for students who need academic support (Category III & IV) and those who do not need academic support (Catgory II). For some courses, the support is integrated (MATH 1082, PHIL 1081), while for the others there is a required co-requisite. The co-requisite support course and the integrated support will refresh necessary algebra background, and will also assist students in the development of study skills and becoming an independent learner.
The table below shows which courses students should take depending on their need of academic support. To determine which course a student should take as their first course based on their major, use the Course Finder Tool.
For summer 2019 courses, the structure of AY 2018/19 for the GE B4 courses for non-STEM majors will apply. For students taking the statistics or quantitative reasoning courses, as well as students in the Elementary Subject Matter Programs, the GE course numbered 1xx0 will have an associated co-requisite course 1xx1, as outlined in the table below. Students in Math Placement Categories III and IV will be required to enroll in the co-requisite support course, while students in Math Placement Categories II can choose to enroll.
First MATH course
Satisfies GE B4?
Modified Courses (as of Fall 2018)
- MATH 1000, Introduction to College Algebra is now MATH 1000, Quantitative Reasoning in Today’s World. The course content has changed. If you previously took Math 1000, then it is recommended that you retake the new Math 1000. In the new course, students will learn skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Topics include proportional reasoning, probability, statistics, finance, and voting. These topics will feature a diverse host of skills ranging from reading an electric bill, to understanding blood alcohol content, to analyzing a mortgage for a home, to discovering misleading features in statistical studies, and analyzing apportionment for the US House of Representatives.
- MATH 2040, Applied Calculus I – change of prerequisite. The prerequisite could be satisfied by either MATH 1050 or the combination of MATH 1081 & MATH 1085. To accommodate transfer students who cannot take MATH 1085 at the community college, MATH 1040 (Precalculus) is now an allowed prerequisite. Incoming freshmen at Cal State LA should select MATH 1081 (placement category II) or MATH 1082 (placement categories III and IV), followed by MATH 1085, because this sequences has been specifically designed for life sciences majors.
- MATH 1083 is now a 4 unit course with an integrated lab component.
- EDFN 2520 has been renumbered as EDFN 1090.
Deleted Courses (as of Fall 2018)
- MATH 0920 and MATH 0930. Startinig Fall 2018, MATH 0920 and MATH 0930 will no longer be offered. Their function has been replaced by co-requisite courses listed below.
- MATH 1020, College Algebra. Programs that previously required Math 1020 as the GE B4 course now either require MATH 1081, PreCalculus: Functions, or one of the Non-STEM GE courses, Math 1000, MATH/ECON 1090, or EDFN 1090. Continuing students who have passed Math 930 should check with their departmental advisor which of these courses they should take, or go to the section for incoming freshmen. More information about the alternative courses can be found on the GE Overview section.
- MATH 1050, PreCalculus for Life Sciences. This course, a combination of Math 1081 and Math 1085, is now replaced by its two components. If you have taken (and not passed Math 1050), please go to the section for continuing and transfer students to see your options.