Information for students wanting to take an algebra or calculus course

MATH 1070: College Algebra for Business* and MATH 1110: College Algebra

For MATH 1070 and MATH 1110, the below prerequisite exam scores are strongly recommended; they are not required prerequisites. In other words, the below exam scores are for informational purposes only and are not strictly enforced. It is strongly recommended that students take one of these exams to determine whether they are sufficiently prepared, and if they are not, we recommend they spend some time reviewing the prerequisite material. Options for reviewing material are described below. 

It is your responsibility to be sure you are sufficiently prepared to be successful! Fewer than 40% of students who do not meet the suggested prerequisite requirements pass the class. 

*Formerly "Algebra for Social Sciences and Business"

MATH 1401: Calculus I

If you want to take MATH 1401, you ​must meet one of the prerequisite requirements below before registering for the course. No exceptions to the prerequisite requirements are made. If you have not already met one of the prerequisite requirements, it is particularly important for you to take one of the exams early so that you will have plenty of time to review material and, if necessary, re-take a prerequisite exam before registering for classes. Also, note that MATH 1120: College Trigonometry and MATH 1130: Precalculus Mathematics are courses that are designed to prepare students for the MyMathTest Calculus prerequisite exam.​​

Prerequisite Exam Information

​MATH 1070 ​MATH 1110 ​MATH 1401
​ACT-Math ​24​ 24​ ​27
​SAT-Math ​560 ​560 ​620
​AP Calculus
(AB or BC)
​Test score of at least 3 ​Test score of at least 3 ​Test score of at least 3
(MERC Lab)
​Prep for Algebra: 17/25 ​Prep for Algebra: 17/25 ​Prep for Calculus: 17/25
​Accuplacer* ​Elem. Algebra test: 85 ​Elem. Algebra test: 85 ​College Level Math test: 80

*Accuplacer tests are no longer offered at the University of Colorado Denver.

Students who meet the prerequisite requirements are considered to have sufficient mathematical background to pass their math class. Of the students who meet the appropriate prerequisites, between 60% and 80% successfully complete the course with a grade of C or better. Students who meet the suggested prerequisites and who do not pass the class often have poor study habits or have non-academic pressures or issues which keep them from focusing on their academics.

Reviewing Prerequisite Material

​If you need to review prerequisite materials before taking MATH 1070, 1110, 1130 or 1401, and would like more specific information about which topics you should review, we strongly recommend taking MyMathTest, an online exam, for free at the University of Colorado Denver Math Education Resource Center (MERC) Lab, located in the North Classroom room 4015 any time the lab is open and available. See the MERC web site for lab hours. You should be prepared to spend about 1.5 hours learning how to input mathematical solutions into MyMathTest before taking a detailed assessment. MyMathTest also has tutorials available so that as you practice for the exam, you can click on tutorial links that allow students to get more information about particular topics.

If results from MyMathTest or other test indicate you are not prepared to take the desired course, we strongly recommend that you take one of the following actions:

  1. Use an online tutorial program such as ALEKS. We recommend ALEKS because it is relatively inexpensive, $30 for six weeks of access, and because it gives detailed feedback about which mathematical topics you are strong and weak in. It is not meant to take the place of a math class but to help students who are deficient in only a couple of topics, or who have not seen the mathematical material in more than six months and hence need to review. Tutorials are positively reviewed by students, and once students get to 80% correct in each topical math area they are considered prepared.
  2. Take or re-take the prerequisite course (see the course flow chart).
  3. Hire a tutor. It is well known that the quickest way to learn new mathematical topics or correct mathematical misconceptions is to get immediate feedback directly. We recommend students meet with a tutor at least one hour per week. Tutoring is available in the MERC Lab​ and in the Learning Resource Center.

International Students: UC Denver currently does not require international students to submit an SAT or ACT math score with their application prior to being admitted. We strongly urge students to consider taking a self-guided math test such as ALEKS prior to their program and then test at the MERC Lab. It is our hope that with some recent math experience, students will not feel as anxious when taking a UC Denver math placement exam. We also strongly encourage students to receive math-specific English as a Foreign Language (EFL) tutoring. What we are learning is that many students may have the math skills but lack proficiency in English to be successful in Calculus I or Algebra.

For international students, access to ALEKS is incorporated into their intensive English language learning curriculum at Spring International. It is hoped that these international students will be able to review the math they have taken and be prepared to take and successfully complete the highest possible level math class appropriate for the desired degree.