Placement for Mathematics Core Classes

At Harvey Mudd College, all students take at least three semesters of mathematics, regardless of their major. These three semesters are known as the common core mathematics courses.

A year of calculus at the high-school level is an entrance requirement for HMC, so familiarity with limits, differentiation and integration is assumed in all mathematics courses.

Placement Into Math 30B or Math 30G

Incoming students will be placed in either Math 30B or Math 30G based on their score on a placement examination that is administered during orientation. Students who qualify to take Math 25B may choose to take Math 25G instead.

What is the difference between Math 30B and Math 30G?

Math 30G Math 30B
Every HMC student is entitled to take Math 30G. Students must place into Math 30B by examination only.
Assumes some foundation in single-variable calculus. Requires a strong foundation in single-variable calculus.
Focuses on deepening and strengthening single-variable calculus foundations while introducing multivariable calculus and linear algebra. Assumes a more thorough background than Math 30G, allowing for a deeper study of selected topics in calculus.

In sum, taking Math 30G over Math 30B or vice versa will not affect your eligibility for course placement beyond the first semester. Both courses will prepare you equally well for the rest of the math core. Based on our past experience, we expect about 70% of students to take Math 30G, about 25% to take Math 30B, and about 5% to place out of both.

Placing Out of Other Math Courses and Other Questions

Placing out of any math course requires a meeting with the department’s placement director or taking a suitable placement examination.

For other questions, contact the department’s placement director, Professor Dagan Karp, at

Current Core Classes