Math Competency Requirements
in Michigan Higher Education

A survey of Michigan two- and four-year colleges and universities was undertaken this spring to determine institutional graduation requirements in mathematics and to obtain information about developmental mathematics courses. In all, 29 two-year colleges, 24 private four-year colleges and universities, and 15 public four-year universities were contacted.

A preliminary report of the results was presented at the 1998 Annual Meeting of the Section by Mitzi Chaffer (CMU), Frances Lichtman (Alma C), and Tom Miles (CMU), who conducted this study. At that time 46 institutions had responded to the survey. Subsequently, an additional 15 two-year colleges, six private colleges, and one public university responded. Thus the final response rate is 100%.

The first part of the survey questionnaire asked whether the institution has a graduation requirement in mathematics and, if so, how it can be satisfied. The second group of questions dealt with developmental/remedial courses, as defined by the respondent. Questions were asked about the awarding of graduation credit for such courses, faculty, methodology, class size, testing, advising, and whether any course requires computation without the aid of a calculator.

A complete table of results is available by accessing the CMU Web site ( and linking to "projects supported by this department". Some key results follow. Not all survey questions were answered by every respondent.
Notes to table:

  1. Private/Public
  2. Four colleges have no requirement. Five colleges require science or mathematics, interchangeably.
  3. Not algebra based.
  4. Credit toward graduation is given for all degree programs.
  5. Credit toward graduation is given for no degree program. See Web site for schools where CR/NC is determined by degree.
  6. Many institutions use both reform and traditional methods.
  7. Maximums are designated.

Back to the Fall Newsletter

This page is maintained by Earl D. Fife