About the Math Courses

The Outlier course catalog includes a number of math courses, but which one is right for you?


Outlier’s Math Courses

If you are transferring courses, we recommend checking with your institution about which one can transfer, as this will be crucial in your decision.


Choosing the Right Math Course

Not sure which math course to take? All of them are great options, it is just about finding the one that will suit you the best!


College Algebra

This is a great option for students who have not taken math in college or for students who do not plan to pursue a degree requiring math but need to fulfill general education math requirements.

Best for students who:

  • Needs a basic college math course
  • Does not need a math course beyond Algebra
  • Do not want to continue onto Calculus




This is the best option for students who want to take Calculus but need a refresher, especially in trigonometry and geometry. If you know some basic math and want to continue with Calculus, this course is for you.

Best for students who:

  • Need or want to progress to Calculus
  • Did not pass the Calculus I pre-test
  • Want to determine if math is something they want to continue to study
  • Is an adult learner who has not taken a math course for a number of years




The Difference Between College Algebra and Precalculus

College Algebra Precalculus
7 Chapters of Content 10 Chapters of Content
More Relaxed Pace Covers College Algebra plus Trigonometry
No Trigonometry Unit Prerequisite to Calculus I
Both Courses
No prior experience is necessary
Designed for students with high school GED level math literacy

Students cannot receive college credit for both College Algebra and Precalculus because certain concepts in College Algebra are covered more in-depth in the Precalculus course.

If you are interested in learning the basic mathematical techniques for a non-STEM pathway in the future (e.g. business, accounting, humanities, etc.), we recommend taking College Algebra.

If you are interested in pursuing Calculus or another STEM field in the future, we recommend taking Precalculus.

Students need only a basic understanding of algebra, geometry, or trigonometry to be set up with the mathematical literacy they need to succeed in either course.


Calculus I

Calculus is often a requirement for STEM majors (science, technology, engineering, math) and often a requirement for MBA applications. Need help choosing a professor?

Best for students who:

  • Need a prerequisite for Calculus II offered at your home institution
  • Who work with math on a regular basis and wants a refresher

We require students to pass a pre-test with a 70% score or greater. Click here to access the pre-test.

The pre-test contains questions to determine a student’s familiarity with algebra, trigonometry, and pre-calculus. In our experience, students with a strong foundation in these courses are better prepared to succeed in the Calculus I course. If you fail, we recommend joining our Precalculus course to brush up on your skills!


For Calculus I Students: Choosing Your Professor

Our three Calculus professors have different teaching styles - Hannah Fry tends to be more theoretical, Tim Chartier more practical, and John Urschel is a mix of the two styles.

We recommend watching all three to get a sense of which professor suits your learning style.


Introduction to Statistics


Students who take this course do so to satisfy requirements within their degree program or to develop their potential at work.

Best for students who:

  • Major in any Social Sciences (psychology, economics, sociology)
  • Need a requirement for your major in business or finance
  • Need a prerequisite for your degree in sciences, data science, or data visualization



Not for you? Browse Course Catalog

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