Lake Superior College Mathematics Department

Math 1100 - College Algebra

Catalog Description

MATH 1100 College Algebra (4 credits)
The study of functions, theory of equations, inequalities, exponential and
logarithmic functions, conic sections, and selected topics from advanced
algebra. MTC goal areas: (2) Critical Thinking and (4) Mathematical/
Logical Reasoning. (Prerequisites: MATH0470 or MATH0480 or
appropriate placement test score) (4 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)

Placement Information

A student should get 50-77 on the College Level Math test of the Accuplacer Placement test. See The student scoring 78 or higher should consider taking Trigonometry or Calculus. If the student scores slightly less than 50 and have already taken two full years of Algebra at the high school level, they may opt to brush up on their skills and take the test again or contact the instructor of the College Algebra section they wish to enroll in to inquire of the possibility of an override.

General Information

College Algebra is a course taken by students generally pursuing one of the following goals:

  • The student intends to take Trigonometry and then Calculus as part of the requirements for a future degree in science or engineering.
  • The student intends to take Finite Math and Survey of Calculus as part of a Business or Accounting degree.
  • The student needs Math 1100 to satisfy an AAS degree requirement.
  • The student needs the equivalent of Math 1100 to satisfy a future degree requirement at their intended 4-year college or university.
  • Even though the student is not required to take College Algebra nor are they planning on subsequent math coursework, they think they may pursue a degree in science, engineering, or business at some point in the future.

Generally, if the student is not required to take College Algebra nor do they have no intentions of pursuing a degree related to science, engineering, or business, they may be better served by taking Principles of Math or General Statistics. The Principles of Math course covers a variety of topics, including introduction to statistics and is fairly light on algebra. The General Statistics course is a standard sophomore year course in statistics that may (upon approval) fulfill a future requirement for a 4-year degree.

How is College Algebra Different From Pre-Calculus?

Pre-Calculus is the equivalent of taking both College Algebra and Trigonometry in a single semester. In fact, the same book is used for Pre-Calculus as is used for both College Algebra and Trigonometry. So a student finishing College Algebra should not take Pre-Calculus. Rather, they should take Trigonometry or the Survey of Calculus course.

Another difference is that Pre-Calculus, at 5 credits, is taught at a much faster pace than College Algebra since it must cover what College Algebra and Trigonometry cover in 7 total credits.