Calculus for the Social Sciences

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
MATH 1125
Calculus for the Social Sciences
Science & Technology
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
4 hours lecture + 1 hour tutorial /week
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Lectures, tutorials,  problem sessions and assignments

Course Description
This course is an introduction to differential calculus for students in business, social sciences and biological sciences. Topics include limits, differentiation techniques for algebraic, logarithmic, exponential and trigonometric functions, mathematical modeling, applications to graphing and optimization, implicit differentiation and differentials.
Course Content
  1. Limits and Limit Laws
  2. Continuity
  3. Tangent Lines and the Derivative
  4. Differentiation Rules and Implicit Differentiation
  5. Related Rates
  6. Marginal Analysis and Differentials
  7. Applications to Graphing Functions
  8. Determining the Extrema of Functions
  9. Additonal techniques of Business Analysis
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of MATH 1125 the student should be able to:

  • evaluate elementary limits involving algebraic, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions
  • describe the concept of continuity and determine intervals upon which a function is continuous
  • apply the intermediate value theorem
  • find average and instantaneous rates of change
  • find derivatives and relate them to tangent lines and instantaneous rates of change
  • use differentiation rules to compute the derivatives of algebraic functions
  • compute the derivatives of exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions
  • compute derivatives using implicit differentiation
  • formulate and solve problems involving marginal analysis, elasticity, points of diminishing returns, and other forms of economic modeling
  • apply the concepts of differentials and linear approximations
  • use Newton’s method to determine points of intersection
  • sketch graphs of functions by applying first and second derivative techniques as well as analysis of vertical, horizontal and slant asymptotes
  • use differentiation to determine the local and absolute extrema of functions

Additional topics that may be included in the course:

  • apply the concept of an annuity to loans, mortgages and investments
  • solving problems involving Markov Chains, Linear Programming and Game Theory
  • compute the definite and indefinite integral of a function
  • use integration techniques (substitution, integration by parts and others) to compute integrals
  • apply the integral to problems in Business and the Social Sciences
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.  Evaluation will be based on some of the following:

Weekly tests 0-40%
Term tests 20-70%
Assignments 0-20%
Attendance/participation 0-5%
Tutorials 0-10%
Final examination 30-40%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students

Hoffmann, and Bradley, Applied Calculus, current edition, McGraw Hill


MATH 1105; or MATH 1110; or Principles of Math 12 with a B or better or an approved equivalent; or Precalculus 12 with a B or better.

Which Prerequisite