Is precalc really that bad?


Do top universities care at all if I took precalculus for my freshman year but did very well on upper level courses? I am planning to apply to top universities (cs masters / us). I am an international student who came to a mediocre state school because it was cheap. I come from a competitive high school and I took calc in high school and did well (Not calculus but to give an example for my academic standing I scored 1450 on the SAT). The way my university works is that they first admit to the science faculty than make us choose a program based on our freshman year gpa. My advisor told me that only cumulative gpa counts so i took the easiest class available for math.

I am asking this because precalc is basically a remedial class and top universities of course only admit top students.

Thank you for your answers.

If you did well in the pre-requisites for the program, your freshman math class shouldn’t matter.

Pre-calculus isn’t “basically a remedial class.” Different students have different levels of math even available to them in high school - not every student goes to a high school that offers calculus. I have a friend who majored in math who started with precalculus, and she went to one of the top statistics MA programs in the country.

No, universities do not care that you started with precalculus. What they care about is that you have all of the prerequisite math you need before starting their program and that you have high grades in your math classes. If you hustle and take enough classes that you catch up with your peers and prepare well for math programs, you can still go to a great one.

(However, I will say that it doesn’t quite make sense that you’d take pre-calculus just to boost your GPA - at the very least, retake calculus I, but don’t go backwards a step. Top graduate programs won’t be friendly to the idea of padding your GPA by taking classes that you already know the material for; you need to challenge yourself.)