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Mathematics for Liberal Arts

Course Code: MATH 1234
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Mathematics
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: Fall, Summer, Winter
course overview

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

Methods of Instruction

Lectures, group work, assignments

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.

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.

course prerequisites

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.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.