Planning Your Honors Track Program

The formal requirements for students in the honors track are divided into three main groups of courses:

  • 100-200 level courses. There are five required courses: Calculus I (151), Calculus II (152), Multivariable Calculus (251 or 291), Differential Equations (252 or 292), and Linear Algebra (250, or covered via 291-292). Many honors students will receive AP credit for one or more of the calculus classes.  Honors track students should take honors sections of the calculus courses. Honors track students should, if possible, choose one of the MATLAB sections of 250.
  • The seminar requirement
  • Courses at the 300 level or higher. Students are required to take 9 upper level courses. As described below, each student's program of study must be approved by the honors track committee.

A major part of the program is the requirement to take two rigorous semesters of Real Analysis (411-412, though 501-502 may be substituted with permission) and Algebra (451-452, though 551-552 may be substituted with permission). Honors track students will normally aim to take one (or, with permission, both) of the sequences 411-412 and 451-452 during their junior year. Also, on rare occasions, a student may take one of these sequences in their sophomore year. Students will receive individual advice from their advisors and the honors track committee about when to take these.

Students should prepare for these sequences during their 2nd year  The standard preparation is to take 300H, the honors section of 300, in the fall.  (Students who begin with 291 in their 1st year may consider taking 300H in the spring of their 1st year, along with 292.)  This course is designed to prepare students for all subsequent honors courses.  It is followed by the freshman/sophomore honors seminar 196 in the spring of the 2nd year, as well as 311H or 350H (or both).  Typically, 311H is prerequisite for 411-412, and 350H (or 351-352) is prerequisite for 451-452.

The appropriate course plan for a student depends on a number of factors, and each student should discuss their plans with the chair of the honors committee, and/or their honors track advisor if that person is other than the committee chair.

Students should also normally take a semester of complex analysis (403 or 503) and a semester of probability (477). Students planning to go to graduate school should also normally take Topology (441) since it is a prerequisite for many graduate classes.

The honors track is designed so that students will be prepared to take some of graduate courses in mathematics in their senior year. Taking some graduate courses (suitably chosen) is generally encouraged, though not required for the program.

The honors track is designed so that students will be prepared to take some of graduate courses in mathematics in their senior year. Taking some graduate courses (suitably chosen) is generally encouraged, though not required for the program.

Preparing and your Plan of Study During the semester following their acceptance into the honors track, the student and their honors track advisor would prepare a tentative plan of study.  It outlines the courses the student will take as part of the honors track. Of course, it is generally impossible to make a full plan since the courses a student will take may depend on what they learn from their current courses. So the initial plan can be somewhat vague about the future, and revised as needed, subject to committee approval.  The plan of study can be fairly informal. After preparing it and reviewing it with your advisor you should email it to the chair of the honors committee. Here is a suggested format.

  • Your name
  • Your expected graduation year
  • Your major(s) (Mathematics or Mathematics +…)
  • Your plans/goals beyond Rutgers (e.g. graduate school in Math or some other field, employment in some field)
  • A list of all courses in Mathematics at the 300 level or higher that you have taken already (including the semester the course was taken and instructor)
  • A list of Mathematics courses you plan to take with the given semester. This list may not be final. Your plan for the coming semester should be close to final. For subsequent semesters the plan will be less final, in which case you may want to include some possibilities you are considering (with a few sentences of explanation, if needed).
  • Any courses in other departments with significant mathematical content that you think may be relevant.

Disclaimer: Posted for informational purposes only

This material is posted by the faculty of the Mathematics Department at Rutgers New Brunswick for informational purposes. While we try to maintain it, information may not be current or may not apply to individual sections. The authority for content, textbook, syllabus, and grading policy lies with the current instructor.

Information posted prior to the beginning of the semester is frequently tentative, or based on previous semesters. Textbooks should not be purchased until confirmed with the instructor. For generally reliable textbook information—with the exception of sections with an alphabetic code like H1 or T1, and topics courses (197,395,495)—see the textbook list.