We're here to help plan your academic journey.

Our advisors help math students plan courses, review degree progress and more. We also help students who are not pursuing math degrees with course placement, proficiency exams and other issues.

You can access degree requirements in the undergraduate catalog.

If you have any questions, please consult the following contacts, or call us at 815-753-0566:

  • Math major (general, applied, computational or undecided emphasis): Alastair Fletcher,
  • Math major (mathematics education emphasis): Contact your assigned faculty advisor.
  • Math minor: Alastair Fletcher (general and applied math),
  • Graduate study:
  • Teacher certification: Renee Olsen,

Transfer Students

If you're transferring to NIU, we recommend checking the transfer credits and program major guides or contacting an NIU advisor. We can advise you on which courses do or do not transfer. NIU does not offer transfer credit for mathematics courses below college algebra.

If you have an associate degree and are pursuing a major without a specific math requirement, you won't need to take any additional math courses are NIU.

Course Placement

You'll be placed into an initial mathematics course based on your prior academic work. We'll try to place you in a course in which you're likely to succeed. This may be a course that has some overlap with courses you've already taken.

If you haven't taken any post-secondary mathematics classes, you must take our placement exam.

Course-specific Transfer Tips

Intermediate Algebra

Most community colleges offer courses called Intermediate Algebra, which don't transfer to NIU for any graduation credit. However, you must take such a course if you wish to take our College Algebra course, MATH 110, and received a placement group of D or E on our placement exam.

You won't be allowed to register for our MATH 110 until you provide evidence of a C or higher in the Intermediate Algebra course. We won't reserve a place in MATH 110 for you during registration if you're still taking Intermediate Algebra.

Core Competency in Mathematics (MATH 101)

Many colleges do not offer an equivalent to our MATH 101. Look for the IAI code M1-901 in a school's course description.

Foundations of Elementary School Mathematics (MATH 201)

If you want to transfer credit for NIU's MATH 201, you must complete another school's sequence in mathematics for elementary school teachers (usually a two-semester sequence).

MATH 201, with a C or higher, is a prerequisite for MATH 402, which is required for most students seeking certification to teach elementary and middle school.

If you wish to transfer in an equivalent to MATH 201, you're responsible for ensuring that you have a background at least comparable to the intermediate algebra and basic geometry courses offered at most community colleges.

Methods of Instruction for Elementary School (MATH 402)

MATH 402 cannot be taken at a community college, but it may be offered at some other colleges and universities. Courses at other institutions may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Calculus Sequence (MATH 229, 230 and 232)

We recommend completing the entire calculus sequence at one school (usually three semesters or four quarters).

The appropriate calculus courses for mathematics majors are not the common one-semester calculus courses designed for students in business or the social sciences. If you've taken only such a course, you'll need to start with MATH 229 (Calculus I). You won't receive any transfer credit for your other calculus course.

MATH 229, 230 and 232 use trigonometry heavily, so a trig-based precalculus course (our MATH 155) is a prerequisite.

Linear Algebra (MATH 240)

Few community colleges' linear algebra courses will transfer in as the equivalent of our MATH 240, which is a four-semester-hour course. The fourth hour is essential to work adequately with axiomatics and proofs. Please contact us before taking a linear algebra course elsewhere.

Computer Programming

While NIU's computer programming courses are four-credit-hour courses, the comparable courses at other schools may not be. The difference is particularly important if you plan to seek secondary school teacher certification in mathematics.

Teacher Certification

We recommend contacting an advisor to help plan your courses. Our coordinators of educator licensure are Renee Olsen ( and Paul Stevenson (

It's possible to complete the calculus sequence and the computer programming course at a community college. The computer science course should be a four-semester-hour course that articulates to NIU as CSCI 240.

If you take the calculus sequence at your community college and plan to take MATH 240 during your first semester at NIU, you should consider taking ILAS 201 (Introductory Clinical Experience) during the first semester as well.

Contact one of the coordinators of educator licensure by the end of the fifth week of the fall or spring semester that precedes your transfer to NIU. Turn in an application for ILAS 201 (DOCX) by the end of the seventh week of the same semester.

Contact Us

Department of Mathematical Sciences
DeKalb, IL 60115


Registration or class questions

Chair's office

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Alastair Fletcher, Associate Professor

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