STEM - Life Sciences

Applied PreCalc/Calculus Sequence Chart

This sequence is for majors in the Life sciences. To see course descriptions for the courses, see the e-catalog. For equivalency (articulation) of transfer courses, see
CSULA students: Start with Math 1081 or 1082, then go to Math 1085. After that go to Math 2040 and then 2050.  Transfer  students start with Math 1040, then go to Math 2040 and then 2050.


  • Arrows in the diagram above indicate prerequisites. Dashed horizontal arrows indicate co-requisite required by some students. 

  • MATH 1081 and MATH 1082 have the same course content, but Math 1082 has built-in math support and is required for students in Math Placement Categories III and IV. 

  • Math 1040 combines MATH 1081 and MATH 1083 in a single one-semester PreCalculus course. It is an alternative to MATH 1081 and MATH1085 for transfer students from institutions where no equivalent of MATH 1085 exists, or for Cal State LA students who switch their major and already have taken MATH 1040. Cal State LA students are recommended to take the MATH 1081/1082 and MATH 1085 sequence because it is designed specifically for life sciences majors. 

  • MATH 1085, MATH 2040, and MATH 2050 (parent courses) each have an associated support workshop (MATH 1086, MATH 2041, and MATH 2051) that is required for students at risk (grade of B- or lower in prerequisite course(s)), but is recommended for all. When enrolling into one of the parent courses, students will be required to also enroll in the associated workshop section because grades in prerequisite courses are typically not known during enrollment. To drop a workshop if not required to take it, please go to the math department office during the second week of classes. 


Specific course requirements by major

  • Exercise Sciences and BA in Natural Sciences, Option III, Bridge to Clinical Sciences are required to take MATH 1081 (or transfer in an equivalent course) and MATH 1085, or to transfer in the equivalent of MATH 1040. 

  • Microbiology majors are required to take MATH 2040. 

  • Biology majors are required to take MATH 2040 and MATH 2050. 

The prerequisites to MATH 2040 can be met as follows:

  • By taking the respective prerequisite courses

  • By exit exam for the prerequisite courses (see University Testing Center for details)


You may also already have credit for one or both of the calculus courses if you have passed certain approved exams, such as specific Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams with a minimum score. Please consult the section on course credit for approved exams for details.


Any exam or transfer course that gives credit for MATH 2110 can be substituted for MATH 2040, and any exam or transfer course that gives credit for MATH 2120 can be substituted for MATH 2050. Please see an advisor in your major department for this substitution.