Department of Mathematics

Study Habits – Success in Your Current Mathematics* Classes

  • Go to class and actively engage.
  • Read your text and think over material before the lecture.
  • Regularly review class notes and material.
  • Plan to study 2 to 3 hours outside of class for every hour in class.
  • Start seriously studying for exams at least a week in advance.
  • Start on your assignments as soon as they are assigned, and way ahead of due dates.
  • Study and work on problems for a few hours at a time. If you are hitting your head against the wall, take a break and come back to it later.
  • Working in groups can be helpful IF
    • You spend enough time working on your own, struggling with problems.
    • You go home afterwards and independently rework the problem, without looking at the solution from the group.
    • You are in the position of explaining solutions to others at least some of the time
  • Only working in groups without significant independent work is unlikely to help you master the material, and may actually decrease your chances of developing effective critical thinking skills.
  • Make use of your instructor’s office hours
  • o Ask your instructor for their suggestions on how you can best learn the material.
  • Go over your questions carefully beforehand
  • Bring what you have done and identify where you got stuck
  • For those of you in honors calculus and MTH 317H, there are designated MLC hours at the MLC, staffed by former successful students. As with group work, independent work (before and after) is crucial.

General Suggestions for All Advanced Track Students

  • Especially important for those students going into the sciences or applying for prestigious scholarships, is an undergraduate research experience. (This is quite different than classwork and will enhance your undergraduate education.)
    • This undergraduate research could take multiple forms, including working with a faculty member during the semester or during the summer, as part of a project-based class, or as a professorial assistantship.
  • Make sure your electives are authorized for the Advanced Track degree. (See the Advanced Track advisors!)
  • See the Advanced Track advisors to discuss any issues early on. We are here to help you!
  • * These suggestions apply to most if not all of your classes, regardless of subject area.


Degree Requirements

BA in Mathematics, Advanced

BS in Mathematics, Advanced

Course Information

Sample Programs

Course Descriptions

Information for Current Students

Contact information

Director of Advanced Track Program: Bruce Sagan

Advisors for the Advanced Track Program:


Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
619 Red Cedar Road
C212 Wells Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-0844
Fax: (517) 432-1562

College of Natural Science