Department of Mathematics

MSU MTH 132 Uniform Course Syllabus

Syllabus Outline

What We Mean by a "Uniform Course"


Because MSU is a large institution many of the courses with multiple sections are to some extent coordinated or "uniform". That is, it wouldn't really be fair if in section X you need a 92% to get a 4.0 but in section Y you only need an 85%. Likewise it wouldn't be fair if instructor X offered makeups to all their quizzes while instructor Y didn't allow any makeup quizzes. Therefore, in order to ensure our students receive a decently uniform and good experience between all of our sections there are some things that are not controlled by your instructor but are instead controlled at the departmental level.

What is Uniform between all sections of MTH 132

  • All policies outlined in this syllabus
  • All student homework sets
  • The evening Midterm Exams
  • The Final Exam

What is not Uniform between sections of MTH 132

  • The lessons each instructor develops
  • The section quizzes

Class / Office Hours / Instructor Contact / Class Documents


Some information such as your section, class times, etc. can be found on your university course schedule. More detailed information can be found on the Department's class pages website including
  • Instructor contact information
  • Office hours times/location
  • Additional documents/resources provided by your instructor

Communication with Instructors

Most instructors prefer to be contacted via email which can be found in the departmental directory. Instructors will strive to respond to emails within one business day but may not respond if
  • they already addressed or are planning on addressing the question/issue in class to everyone, or
  • if the answer is available on the syllabus/course website.
Therefore, it is a good idea to check the syllabus and course website before emailing your instructor!
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No textbook is required for the class. The department has developed course notes and course videos to assist students in their learning beyond the classroom. Students who would like to purchase a textbook (for extra problems or another perspective on the topics) should consider The MSU main library also has copies of our textbook that can be checked out for use in the library for 2 hours at a time (students can check them out again after 2 hours as long as no one else is waiting for them).

WeBWorK Homework

WeBWorK Homework will be done online at For information on cost, payment due date, etc. please visit


No calculators are required or allowed in this class.


Some instructors may have additional supply requirements such as printing course notes. Please talk to your instructor to find out if there are any additional requirements.
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Course Objectives

By the end of Calculus I, students should have begun to build fundamental knowledge and skills so they can apply calculus to future STEM academic training and professional practice. Fundamental calculus knowledge and skills will be learned and evaluated based on specific objectives related to:


  • Have an intuitive idea of the definition of a limit.
  • Evaluate limits (two-sided, left, and right) of the piecewise defined function given algebraically or graphically.
  • Calculate infinite limits and detect vertical asymptotes.
  • Recognize the precise definition of a limit and demonstrate using it to formally calculate two-sided limits.
  • Detect when a function is continuous and when it is discontinuous.
  • Apply the Intermediate Value Theorem to mathematically prove two functions intersect on a set interval.


  • Apply limits to calculate slopes of tangent lines or instantaneous velocity.
  • Given a function, sketch the graph of its derivative and calculate the formula for the derivative.
  • Compare the different differentiation formulas and recognize when to use each for given functions.
  • Recognize the need for implicit differentiation and apply it to find the slopes of various curves.
  • Use differentiation to solve real-world problems related to physics.
  • Apply implicit differentiation and the chain rule to solve many types of related rates problems.
  • Utilize the tangent line or differentials to estimate how a function is changing around a specific point.
  • Use the Closed Interval Method to identify absolute maxima and minima of a function.
  • State the Mean Value Theorem and identify points on the correct interval that satisfy it.
  • Utilize the derivative to determine when a function is increasing or decreasing.
  • Use the second derivative to determine when a function is concave up or down.
  • Investigate horizontal asymptotes of a function given algebraically by using limits at infinity.
  • Summarize all of our current algebra and calculus knowledge to sketch an accurate graph of a function.
  • Apply our maxima/minima knowledge to solve optimization problems.
  • Recognize how and why Newton’s Method finds intersections between functions.


  • Compute general antiderivatives for many types of functions.
  • Solve initial value problems for particular antiderivative functions.
  • Use antiderivatives to calculate velocity or position from acceleration.
  • Estimate the area under a curve using rectangles with heights given by left endpoints or right endpoints.
  • Use the limit of finite sums to calculate the definite integral of a function.
  • Identify how the definite integral relates with the area under the curve.
  • Relate slopes and areas through the two parts of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.
  • Use the antiderivative to calculate definite integrals.
  • Calculate the average value of a function over an interval.
  • Develop a substitution rule to find antiderivatives of more complicated functions.
  • Express the area bounded by two curves as a definite integral and evaluate.
  • Identify when it is advantageous to integrate with respect to y instead of x.
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Tentative Weekly Schedule

Please note that this schedule is tentative. Your instructor will make any announcements about schedule changes during class or via email. The lesson numbers listed below are from our recommended course textbook (Calculus by Stewart 7th ed.).
Week Date Range Lessons Assessment (May vary in each section)
11/6/2020-1/10/2020Welcome/Syllabus, 1.4, 1.5
21/13/2020-1/17/20201.6, 1.8(a), 1.8(b)Quiz 1
31/20/2020-1/24/20202.1, 2.2Quiz 2
41/27/2020-1/31/20202.3, 2.4, 2.4/5Quiz 3
52/3/2020-2/7/20202.5, 2.7, 2.6Quiz 4
62/10/2020-2/14/20202.8(a), 2.8(b), ReviewQuiz 5
72/17/2020-2/21/2020Review, 2.9, 3.1Exam 1
82/24/2020-2/28/20203.2, 3.3(a), 3.3(b)Quiz 6
93/2/2020-3/6/2020SPRING BREAK
103/9/2020-3/13/20203.4, 3.5(a), 3.5(b)Quiz 7
113/16/2020-3/20/20203.7(a), 3.7(b), 3.8Quiz 8
123/23/2020-3/27/20203.9*, 4.1, App E**Quiz 9
133/30/2020-4/3/20204.2, 4.3, ReviewQuiz 10
144/6/2020-4/10/2020Review, 4.4, 5.5Exam 2
154/13/2020-4/17/20204.5(a), 4.5(b), 5.1Quiz 11
164/20/2020-4/24/2020Review, Review, ReviewQuiz 12

* - Add initial value problems

** - Appendix E in back of book. Introduces/Reviews sigma notation.

MSU Important Semester Dates

Date Event
1/6/2020Classes begin for Spring semester 2020
1/10/2020Online open add period ends at 8 p.m.
1/13/2020-1/17/2020Students go to Undergraduate office, C212 Wells Hall for Mathematics enrollment changes. (Late add’s, drop to lower course, section changes)
1/20/2020Holiday - University Open, Classes Cancelled
1/31/2020End of tuition refund period -- no refund after this date.
2/26/2020Middle of Semester; 8 p.m. – deadline to drop course for the semester with no grade reported.
3/2/2020 - 3/6/2020Spring Break
4/24/2020Classes end
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Course Grades

WeBWorK Homework


WeBWorK is our online Homework platform available via: For each section we cover in class there are typically 10-15 homework problems for students to complete. To encourage the discussion of the "ideas" behind the problems instead of just the answers students receive slightly different problems (such as a change of constants or functions). To maintain this platform there is a WeBWorK fee that must be paid. Instructions for payment and payment due date are available on the WeBWorK website. See each assignment on the WeBWorK website for its due date.  Start working on WeBWorK homework for each section immediately after that section is covered.

Specialty Assignments

In addition to the WeBWorK homework, there are two special WeBWorK assignments: `Precalc-Review' and `Drop-Date-Review'.
  • Due Dates: The Precalc-Review is due near the second week of classes. The Drop-Date-Review is due near the drop date with 100% refund.
  • Rules for these two special assignments: Do not use tutors/ books/notes/friends to aid you on these assignments. They are 60 minutes timed assessments that you can take as many times as you would like (while they are open). They contain a representative set of problems from Precalc (for the Precalc-Review) and Calculus 1 (for the Drop-Date-Review) that will be important to your success in Calculus 1. Students who score poorly on either of these assignments (60% or less) should speak with their instructor or advisor to develop a plan moving forward.
  • Grades for these two special assignments: Theses assignments does not count towards your course grade. They are only for your knowledge and benefit.

Extension Policies

  • No make-ups or extensions will be given for any WeBWorK assignments.
  • No WeBWorK assignments will be dropped.
  • It is your responsibility to complete assignments as early as possible to avoid potential incidents.
  • In extreme situations such as university-sanctioned events, religious holidays, military obligation, or late adds WeBWorK due dates may be extended. This is at the discretion of the instructor.

Other Policies

  • There are special "Achievement Items" that are available in WeBWorK and described in the tutorials. Make sure that you have used all of your achievement items by the "Classes End" date on the registrar's site. Items used after this will not be counted in your overall grade calculation.
  • Technology and Internet problems are the student's responsibility. Again please make sure you do the homework problems significantly before the due date so that any possible technical issues will not be an issue.



There will be up to 14 weekly in-class quizzes throughout the semester. Your instructor will announce your section’s quiz dates/schedule/details in class. The two lowest quiz scores will be dropped and the remaining will be scaled to 20% of your final grade.

Makeup/Retake Quiz Policies

Typically no make-ups or retakes will be given for quizzes. The two dropped quizzes are meant to account for most special circumstances such as:
  • Weddings
  • Short-term Illness
  • Work
  • Emergencies
  • Job Interviews
  • Funerals
  • Travel
Exceptions to this rule include university-sanctioned events, religious holidays, military obligation, University accepted Grief Absence covering the day of the quiz, or late add. In these cases, the instructor and student will work together to decide between a make-up quiz or to drop the quiz from the student's grade calculation (whichever seems most appropriate for the situation).

Rules During Quizzes

Please read the academic integrity during proctored assessments section below to make sure you understand the rules you are expected to adhere to during the quizzes.

Uniform Midterm Exams


Uniform Exams are scheduled for Monday February 17th and Monday April 6th during 7:45 PM - 9:15 PM. The location of the exams will be posted on the Exams Location/Info Page when available. It is very important that you mark your calendar with the exam dates/times during the first week of the semester and let your instructor know ASAP if you have a scheduling conflict of any sort. The exams are closed notes, closed books, and calculators are not allowed. Many more details about the exam are available via the exam content page.

Makeup/Retake Exam Policies

  • No retakes are allowed.
  • Typically a missed exam will be counted as a 0, including the final exam.
  • A student who is late 30 minutes or more to the exam may not be allowed to take it and will receive a 0.
  • The exam dates and times have been displayed since the beginning of the semester, therefore excuses such as work, travel, etc. are not valid reasons for missing the exam.
    • In rare situations, students who have made travel plans prior to the beginning of the semester for an exam night and have documentation showing this may request an exam drop for missing the exam. However, students must request this from their instructor during the first week of the semester. After the first week, no travel accommodations will be granted.
  • A make-up Exam is available the day after the exam. In order to be eligible for the make-up exam students must have one of the following:
    • Planned Exam misses
      • Such as having another class/exam at the same time as our exam, religious holidays, university-sanctioned event, University accepted Grief Absence covering the day of the exam, or military obligations.
        • Must provide documentation (such as a course schedule) to the instructor at least one week in advance. After this, accommodations cannot be guaranteed.
      • Events such as club sports, all practices, and fraternity/sorority events are not covered by this.
    • Emergency Exam misses
      • Such as sickness, accidents, etc.
        • Must provide the instructor with as much notice as possible, typically prior to the exam.
        • Must have documentation that lists the student by name and signed by a professional (doctor, judge, police officer, etc.) stating specific dates to be excused including the exam date.
      • Note: oversleeping, running late, confusion, or undocumented excuses in general, are not accepted.
    • In all cases students who miss the exam should show up to and take the makeup exam. It can be determined after the fact if the results can count towards their course grade.
    • Rare and extreme situations will be handled on a case by case basis by the instructor, calculus coordinator, and possibly the undergraduate director.

Rules During Midterm Exams

Please read the academic integrity during proctored assessments section below to make sure you understand the rules you are expected to adhere to during exams.

Uniform Final Exam


The Final Exam is scheduled for: Tuesday April 28th, at 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM The location of the final exam will be announced in class at a later date and will be posted on the final exam information page when available. All students are required to take the Common Final Exam to pass the course. The university has strict requirements for exceptions. The dates for the exams are fixed by the University. The final exam is cumulative. The final exam is closed notes, closed books, and calculators are not allowed. Travel is not a sufficient excuse to have an exam scheduled on a different day.

Makeup/Retake Policies

The same rules above apply for the Uniform Final Exam that apply for the Uniform Midterm Exams above. In addition, the Department accepts requests for makeup final exams because of
  • Three or more final exams on a given day
  • Another MSU final exam on the same date/time listed as ours
  • Finals immediately prior/following ours in which the locations are far enough apart that a student cannot reasonably walk from one building location to the other within 15 min (as determined by
Such requests are handled through the Mathematics Undergraduate Office and not through the instructor so that policies are adhered to uniformly.

Rules During the Final Exam

Please read the academic integrity during proctored assessments section below to make sure you understand the rules you are expected to adhere to during the Final Exam.

Overall Grade Computation

Your course grade will be based on:
WebWork Quizzes Exam 1 Exam 2 Final Exam Total
10% 20% 20% 20% 30% 100%
In addition, you must take the final examination in order to pass the course. Final grades will be determined by:
4.0 Grade 0.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0
% Grade [0,55) [55,60) [60,65) [65,73) [73,80) [80,85) [85,90) [90,100]

This scale may be rescaled at the end of the semester to be more lenient. Such a rescaling is at the discretion of the calculus coordinator and instructor.

For your convenience we have created a student gradebook in which students can insert their scores into an excel sheet and it will output your current course grade based on all course policies.

Grade Change Policy

If you suspect a quiz or exam has been incorrectly graded please return it to your instructor before leaving the classroom with it. After this typically no grade changes can be made. In addition, it is the responsibility of the student to retain all handed back material in case of any questions or concerns including grade computations.

Extra Credit

There are exactly two extra credit opportunities (round up surveys and student remediation policy) in this course. Individual instructors do not have the capabilities of creating additional extra credit opportunities as all students need to have the same opportunities.

Student Remediation Policy

To help take into consideration students who progress throughout the semester the lowest exam percentage score can be replaced with the average of their final exam percentage score and their lowest exam percentage score. Please see the example below.

Example: My exam scores are 50% on Exam 1, 60% on Exam 2, but I study extra hard and master more of the material and get a 90% on the Final Exam. Since my final exam score is higher than the lowest of my two midterm exams my lowest exam (Exam 1) would get replaced with (50%+90%)/2 = 70%. When the final grades are calculated the scores used would be 70% for Exam 1, 60% for Exam 2, and 90% on the Final Exam.

Additional Info:

  • This policy will not lower your exam scores. In the case where you do worse on the final than on both midterm exams, this policy would just not apply.
  • You do not have to opt into this policy. All student grades will automatically take this into consideration.

Round-Up Surveys

There are two surveys during the semester to help the department gain a better understanding of its student population. The initial-course survey must be completed in the first two weeks of class. The post-course survey will be available during the last two weeks of class. The URL to the surveys and due dates/times will be posted on the main page when available. No extensions can be provided on these surveys. Each survey will round up at least 0.25% and possibly more, depending on the grade distribution, etc. Students who complete both surveys will have their grade rounded up at least 0.5% to help those near the grade border.

Example: Suppose your course grade is an 89.6% which is technically a 3.5. By doing both of the course surveys this would be rounded up to a 4.0. Note: doing only one of the surveys would only round up 0.25% so would not be enough to guarantee a 4.0.

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Extra Help

The course site includes links to many collected resources available to help you succeed in this course. For convenience they are also summerized here:

Learning the Course Content

Homework Help

Quiz and Exam Prep


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Other Important Policies

Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat

Students should read the syllabus and be familiar with our policies and how they will be graded. No make-ups or extensions will be granted for students on the basis of not knowing.

Attendance Policies

Students are expected to attend all class meetings and are responsible for all of the material covered in class and in the homework. Any changes in this syllabus or in the scheduling of exams, quizzes, etc. will be announced during class meetings (usually at the beginning of class so please don’t be tardy). Students whose names do not appear on the official class list for this course may not attend this class. Students who fail to attend the first four class sessions or class by the fifth day of the semester, whichever occurs first, may be dropped from the course.

Spartan Code of Honor

"As a Spartan, I will strive to uphold values of the highest ethical standard. I will practice honesty in my work, foster honesty in my peers, and take pride in knowing that honor is worth more than grades. I will carry these values beyond my time as a student at Michigan State University, continuing the endeavor to build personal integrity in all that I do." More information can be found at

Academic Integrity


Article 2.3.3 of the Academic Freedom Report states that ”The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards.” In addition, the Mathematics Department adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations. (See Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resource Guide and/or the MSU Web site: Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including homework, quizzes, and exams, without assistance from any source. You are expected to develop original work for this course; therefore, you may not submit coursework you completed for another course to satisfy the requirements for this course. Also, you are not authorized to use the website to complete any coursework in this course. Students who violate MSU academic integrity rules may receive a penalty grade, including a failing grade on the assignment or in the course and an Academic Dishonesty Report will be filed to the University. Contact your instructor if you are unsure about the appropriateness of your coursework. (See also the Academic Integrity webpage.)

Proctored Assessment Policy

We believe strongly that all students should have equal resources and opportunity during proctored assessments. Therefore, in addition to the departmental academic dishonesty policy stated above, the calculus sequence has a list of class policies to help promote academic honesty and fairness. The following list applies to all quizzes, exams, and final exam for the calculus sequence.
  • Students should not have any electronic device on their person that can be used for communication. This includes phones, smart watches, tablets, etc. These sorts of electronics should either be left at home or turned off and stowed in your backpack/bag.
  • There is no communication allowed between students for any reason. If you have a question you should raise your hand and ask a proctor. Make sure that you bring your own writing utensil and eraser to the exam.
  • Students must have their MSU ID (or other photo ID) to submit an exam.
  • Students are not permitted to leave during the first 30 minutes of an exam. Those who finish early should check their answers.
  • Students must comply with all reasonable requests of the proctors.
  • Students are not permitted to use scrap paper or calculators.
  • Altering a returned assessment is highly discouraged. If you wish to make notes/corrections beyond what the grader has given, you should
    • do so on an additional piece of paper and staple/tape it to the assessment OR
    • make marks using a colored pen that is different from both the color you wrote with during the assignment and different from the color(s) used by the graders.
    Assessments marked using any other method are not eligible for regrade requests.
  • Bathroom breaks are discouraged and they take away from your time on the assessment. Please plan ahead and use the bathroom beforehand.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Students who violate any of the class policies may receive a penalty grade determined based on the severity of the action by the instructor and calculus coordinator.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services, and activities. Requests for accommodations by persons with disabilities may be made by contacting the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities at 517-884-RCPD or on the web at Once your eligibility for an accommodation has been determined, you will be issued a Verified Individual Services Accommodation (”VISA”) form. Please present this form to your instructor at the start of the term and/or two weeks prior to the accommodation date (quiz, exam, etc.). Requests for accommodations with less than two weeks notice may not be granted. Requests for accommodations with less than two days notice typically cannot be granted.

Grief Absence Policy

The Mathematics faculty and staff work hard to be sensitive and to accommodate the bereavement process of a student who has lost a family member or who is experiencing emotional distress from a similar tragedy so that the student is not academically disadvantaged in their class. The Mathematics Department relies on the University's Grief Absence Policy to alert us of when it is appropriate to grant additional accommodations. According to the University's Grief Absence Policy, it is the responsibility of the student to:
  1. notify the Associate Dean or designee of their college of the need for a grief absence in a timely manner, but no later than one week from the student’s initial knowledge of the situation,
  2. provide appropriate verification of the grief absence as specified by the Associate Dean, and
  3. complete all missed work as determined in consultation with the instructor.
It is the responsibility of the Associate Dean or designee to:
  1. determine with the student the expected period of absence – it is expected that some bereavement processes may be more extensive than others depending on individual circumstances,
  2. notify the faculty that the student will be absent, and
  3. receive verification of the authenticity of a grief absence request upon the student’s return.

Limits to Confidentiality

Essays, journals, and other materials submitted for this class are generally considered confidential pursuant to the University’s student record policies. However, students should be aware that University employees, including instructors, may not be able to maintain confidentiality when it conflicts with their responsibility to report certain issues to protect the health and safety of MSU community members and others. Instructors  must report the following information to the Department of Police and Public Safety if you share it:
  • Suspected child abuse/neglect, even if this maltreatment happened when you were a child,
  • Allegations of sexual assault or sexual harassment when they involve MSU students, faculty, or staff, and
  • Credible threats of harm to oneself or to others.
These reports will trigger contact from the Department of Police and Public Safety who will want to talk with you about the incident that you have shared. In almost all cases, it will be your decision whether you wish to speak with that individual. If you would like to talk about these events in a more confidential setting you are encouraged to make an appointment with the MSU Counseling Center.

Disruptive Behavior

Article 2.III.B.4 of the Academic Freedom Report (AFR) for students at Michigan State University states: ”The student’s behavior in the classroom shall be conducive to the teaching and learning process for all concerned.” Article 2.III.B.10 of the AFR states that ”The student has a right to scholarly relationships with faculty based on mutual trust and civility.” General Student Regulation 5.02 states: ”No student shall . . . interfere with the functions and services of the University (for example, but not limited to, classes . . .) such that the function or service is obstructed or disrupted. Students whose conduct adversely affects the learning environment in this classroom may be subject to disciplinary action through the Student Judicial Affairs office.
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