MAP2302 – Prerequisites and Placement

Many majors at UF require the introductory Differential Equations course offered by the math department. The only prerequisite for MAP 2302 is any of the Calculus 2 courses associated with the Calculus and Analytic Geometry sequence: MAC 2312, MAC 2512, and MAC 3473. This page addresses some placement- and timing-related issues.

Transfer students: placement into MAP 2302

If you are a transfer student who took Calculus 2 at a school not in Florida’s State University System, UF’s automated prerequisite-checker will usually not recognize your non-UF credit for Calculus 2, even if your major department has already accepted the credit. In this case you will need to come to the mathematics department and see one of the advisors who has authority to waive prerequisites or grant course-equivalency credit, either of which will allow you to take MAP 2302. For this particular course and prerequisite, the advisor will usually be able to make a prerequisite-waiver decision quickly and easily just by looking at your electronic UF transcript. If your major has already given you credit for Calculus 2, this is the simpler course of action, and it will suffice for the purposes of your major. If you decide later that you would like to add math as a minor or as a second major, then you will need to go through the lengthier course-equivalency request process at that time.

When to take MAP 2302: after Calculus 2 or after Calculus 3?

Most students who are required to take MAP 2302 are also required to take the whole Calculus 1-2-3 sequence, so the question arises as to the order in which the Calculus 3 course and Differential Equations course should be taken (since the prequisite for MAP 2302 is only Calculus 2).The math department does not have a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Below are listed some advantages and disadvantages of each choice.

  • Taking Calculus 3 first
    • Advantages
      • The parts of Calculus 2 used in Calculus 3 (everything but sequences & series) will be fresher in your mind when you take Calculus 3.
      • The required courses in your major department may use Calculus 3 earlier and more heavily than they use Differential Equations. (This depends on your major.)
      • You will learn partial derivatives before using them in Differential Equations.
      • Having learned about conservative vector fields in Calculus 3 may help you with the “exact equations” topic in Differential Equations.
    • Disadvantage
      • By the time you take Differential Equations, you are likely to be rustier on the integration techniques you will be using.

     

  • Taking Differential Equations first
    • Advantages
      • The integration techniques learned in Calculus 2 will be probably be fresher in your mind when need them in Differential Equations than if you were to take Calculus 3 first.
      • The required courses in your major department may use Differential Equations earlier and more heavily than they use Calculus 3. (This depends on your major.)
      • Having learned about “exact equations”in Differential Equations may help you with conservative vector fields in Calculus 3.
    • Disadvantage
      • You will be using partial derivatives to a limited extent in Differential Equations, even though you have not yet covered them in your calculus sequence. (However, all you need to know about partial derivatives for Differential Equations can be taught to you in five or ten minutes; your instructor can do this with you privately after class or in office hours.)

     

  • Taking Calculus 3 and Differential Equations at the same time
    • Advantages
      • The integration techniques learned in Calculus 2 will be probably be fresher in your mind when need them in Differential Equations than if you took Calculus 3 first.
      • Finishing your lower-level requirements earlier will give you more time to take higher-level courses before you graduate, or may allow you to graduate sooner.
      • If you are off-track for your major, this may help you get back on track.
      • Having learned about “exact equations”in Differential Equations may help you with conservative vector fields in Calculus 3 (exact equations are covered early in Differential Equations and late in Calculus 3).
    • Disadvantages
      • You will be using partial derivatives to a limited extent in Differential Equations before you cover them in your Calculus 3 class. (However, all you need to know about partial derivatives for Differential Equations can be taught to you in five or ten minutes; your instructor can do this with you privately after class or in office hours.)
      • Unless you really love math or find it very easy, this is a lot of math to take in one semester. For most first-semester freshmen, taking Calculus 3 and Differential Equations at the same time would not be a wise choice.