UC Riverside is known to have a rigorous system in the math and science department. Specifically, in the math department, all incoming freshmen are required to take a Math Placement Exam to see which math classes students are eligible to take. The exam is called the “MAE” at UCR and could range from $20 to $40.  

AP Credits or other College Credit

There are ways to avoid the MAE exam and the $20 placement fee. If students have taken math courses at a different college then UCR may accept those units and students can continue their math progression plan.

Another way is to take the AP Exam. The only exams accepted are the AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC. At UC Riverside, acceptable scores are anything above a 3. If students pass the Calculus AB Exam, then students can immediately take Math 009B. If the student is in a science department, Math 007B is available which is practically the same but with life sciences involved. If the student has passed the AP Calculus BC Exam then the student can take Math 009C.

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Business Majors

Business Majors have it much easier in fulfilling their math requirements. They only need to take two math courses. Math 4, which is Intro to Mathematics in the Business World. After that, students take Math22 which is business calculus. If students score high on the MAE Exam, then they can skip Math 4 and just take Math22. This allows the student to only take 1 Math course to fulfill their graduation requirements. Students can avoid taking Math 22 if they have fulfilled Math 009A and Math 009B, which is practically passing the Calculus BC Exam.

Lower Division Math Classes

Many students struggle in math and there are math classes here at Riverside to help with Student’s mathematical foundations. If students do not have any AP or college credit, then the student has to take the MAE Exam and see which math class the student gets placed in. The main class that people usually fall into is Math 5, which is an intro to calculus. There is also Math 6A and 6B which is an intro to mathematics but for life sciences. These classes are generally taken by science majors.

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The Professors

It is very common for professors in the higher level math classes such as Calculus to have foreign accents. The requirements for teaching math to over 100 students can be tough. Many professors have Indian and Asian accents. However, their mathematical knowledge and background are, without question, compelling. The professors in the lower math classes such as Pre-calculus normally have fluent speaking English as they are there to help students prepare for the difficult calculus concepts and whatever math challenges lay ahead.

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Math is certainly not an easy subject here. There are many barriers and obstacles to overcome. However, with many challenges lead to a person to become even better. Some professors may not be able to speak fluently, but that does not mean you are not able to learn well. After all, college is what you make out of it.


Andy Xiang

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