Calculus Requirements - Department of Physics and Astronomy Skip Navigation

Calculus Requirements for Physics

As a student of physics and astronomy, you need to pursue a solid understanding of calculus as part of your academic training.


Physics and Astronomy-Physics majors are required to have credit for Math 111, 112, and 113.

AP credit appears on the transcript, so students who are awarded credit based on AP scores will not need to retake the corresponding calculus courses. Colgate's policy on AP credit for calculus can be found here. Depending on the score, students may be awarded credit for only Math 111 or for both Math 111 and Math 112.

Math 112 is not a prerequisite for Math 113, so students with credit for Math 111 but not Math 112 are allowed to register for Math 113. However, they will still need to complete the Math 112 requirement before the end of the fall semester of their sophomore year.

Exemption by Examination

There are a few students each year who have learned the content of Math 112 but did not take the AP Calculus BC exam. For these students, we have created a Math 112 equivalency exam. Students who pass the equivalency exam will be exempted from the requirement to complete Math 112 in order to major in Physics or Astronomy-Physics. Please note that students do not earn credit toward graduation by passing the exam; they simply are exempted from the Physics and Astronomy-Physics Math 112 requirement.

You can download a practice exam here. Students should earn at least 65/100 to pass. Students who would like to take the equivalency exam should contact the Physics and Astronomy department chair as soon as possible.