Mathematics for Liberal Arts

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
MATH 1234
Mathematics for Liberal Arts
Science & Technology
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

Lectures, group work, assignments

Course Description
Mathematics is everywhere. This one semester course for liberal arts students explores mathematics topics in order to improve quantitative reasoning and decision-making in everyday life, as well as to develop an appreciation for the power and beauty of mathematics in the world around us. Topics of study vary by term and instructor. Good English writing and communications skills are recommended.
Course Content

The course is intended as an opportunity for students to be exposed to a survey of interesting mathematics. As such, instructors will generally be free to choose the topics they think will most engage students, usually from the following:

  1. Attitudes about mathematics and why they matter
  2. Critical thinking and logic
  3. Problem solving
  4. Units and measurement
  5. Accuracy and precision
  6. Percentage, ratio, and number sense
  7. Statistical reasoning
  8. Probability
  9. Linear and exponential growth
  10. Linear and exponential modelling
  11. Mathematics in art and music
  12. Mathematics in sport and sport science
  13. Financial mathematics
  14. Other topics as determined by the instructor
Learning Outcomes

This course is designed to provide students the opportunity to explore mathematical concepts and thinking, so that they may better understand the role of mathematics in the everyday world. Upon successful completion of MATH 1234, students should be able to:

  1. Reflect on the role that mathematics has played in their lives, both past and present.
  2. Explore the potential role of mathematics in their future.
  3. Discuss the importance of mathematical literacy in modern society and the pitfalls of mathematical illiteracy.
  4. Identify and discuss common misconceptions about mathematics.
  5. Apply mathematical knowledge, techniques, and critical thinking skills to solve a variety of mathematical problems.
  6. Apply technology effectively in the solution of mathematical tasks.
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 the following:

Homework/quizzes 0-30%
Participation/in-class assignments 10-20%
Term project, portfolio, and/or paper 10-30%
Term tests and final exam 30-70%

Note: Students may be required to pass the final exam to be eligible to pass the course.

Textbook Materials

Consult the Douglas College bookstore for the current textbook. Sample textbook:

Bennett and Briggs. Using and Understanding Mathematics:  A Quantitative Reasoning Approach, Pearson, current edition.


Precalculus 11 with a C- or better; or,

Precalculus 12 with a C- or better; or,

Foundations of Math 11 with a C or better; or,

Foundations of Math 12 with a C- or better; or,

MATU 0410.