Multivariable Calculus, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra in one semester

So my plan for this upcoming fall semester includes the following:
-Multivariable Calculus ( Calculus III)
-Linear Algebra
-General Physics/University Physics I: Mechanics and Heat (which is calculus based, of course).
Overall, that’d be 12 credits. If I take Differential Equations, it’ll be 15 credits.

I understand that taking 3 MATH classes together can make up quite a formula for disaster; however, I anticipate an optimistic position on tackling 3 interesting classes together.

For background, the MATLAB class is only 1 credit hours and the Physics class is 3 credit hours (no Labs).

My question is if it’d be advisory to take on 3 MATH classes together, considering I wish to continue down either Physics or Math major route.

Alternatively, I could take Differential Equations either next semester or in the Winter (which would be 4-5 weeks long).

I appreciate any form of insight or advice, thank you !

P.S. Not sure if this factor counts but I’m currently studying at a community college.

Edit: The DE class is an ODE course.

Calc III was a pre-req for Diff Eq at my D’s school. Are you sure you can take them both concurrently?

IMO, you are better off taking off a non stem gen ed requirement.


Multivariable calculus is needed only if the DE course covers partial differential equations, which seems unlikely in OP’s case. However, I also don’t think it’s a good strategy for the OP, as s/he doesn’t seem to have had the necessary preparations.

1 Like

Even assuming you are mathematically prepared for them, you will be much better off with a nom-STEM class than trying to jam in 3 math classes.

1 Like

That sounds incredibly unpleasant.


Yup, at my college, you can take all of them after you’re done with Calculus II. Though I can see how it’d make sense to take DE after Calculus III - depending on what the syllabus contains.

1 Like

I do appreciate the advice, I was hoping to get most of the lower-division stuff out of the way so that I could concentrate on the Intro-to-Proof Writing class next semester - which would be the only MATH class I’d be taking for Spring ( or with Differential Equations - should I not take it this semester).

I took most of my General Education classes, so I’m only left with my core lower-division major classes at this point. However, I do understand your point; maybe I’ll go easy and postpone DE until Winter or Spring.

That’s a lot of math in one go, and this is coming from someone who loves math. I would personally prefer not not be taking differential equations and multivariable calculus in the same semester. (Linear Algebra is a different beast). But if a math major is in your future maybe an all out math curriculum would be no problem for you. Only you know. Good luck!

Edited to say that at my school ordinary and partial differential equations were taught in the same semester. If your course only covers ordinary differential equations I don’t see a problem with taking it concurrently with multivariable calculus. Other than having too much math on the brain. :upside_down_face:

1 Like

The Intro-to-Proof Writing class shouldn’t be a time-consuming course, so it’d more appropriate to take it along with the DE course.


I don’t mind doing Math all semester, to be honest (in fact, I’m kind of relieved and excited that I don’t have to take any other non-STEM class this semester). But I also don’t want to forsake my GPA either, I can definitely understand some catch-up that can occur as a result of regular life hurdles, thus why I sought advice here.
Thank you, by the way !

Fair point, where I’m planning to transfer has their Math major curriculum designed in the same way as well. DE & Proof Writing, then Analysis/Advanced Calculus the semester after.
Thank you !!

I’ve ultimately decided to go with the following:

Fall 2021:

Multivariable Calculus
Linear Algebra
Physics I

I’ll self-study ODE in the meantime and prepare to tackle it in the upcoming semester.

Thank you all for the advices you’ve provided, much appreciated !