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Mathematics and Statistics Courses 2020-21

Mathematics Requirement

The mathematics requirements for departmental and School of Engineering majors are delineated by major in the detailed “Majors & Minors” section. In general, each program requires a number of specific and elective courses from the list of approved courses shown below. Stanford requires all incoming students to take the Math Placement Diagnostic to help find the right course to start with; this is a prerequisite to enroll in introductory math courses (MATH 19 through 51). Students who have already taken a math course at Stanford can continue in the sequence without taking the placement diagnostic. Though the suggested placement is a recommendation only, it will provide useful feedback to help the student choose where to enter a Stanford math sequence.
    Here is an overview of the math courses taken by most students interested in engineering majors at Stanford.
    MATH 19, 20, and 21 present single variable calculus. Students who have 10 units of AP or IB calculus credit may skip these.  If you took AB-level AP calculus, it is strongly recommended to take Math 21 before proceeding to multivariable calculus; the content of Math 21 is used everywhere in engineering fields (see this page for reasoning against skipping 21), and its conceptual level is valuable experience prior to taking further mathematics courses.  These courses are prerequisites for both Math 51 and CME 100.
    MATH 51, 52, and 53 may be taken by students who have fulfilled the single-variable calculus requirement.  They present multivariable calculus using serious linear algebra right from the start in Math 51, which uses high-dimensional linear algebra to solve optimization problems in many variables; the free e-textbook illustrates the practical relevance of the content across many contemporary engineering and scientific fields.  Math 52 covers multivariable integration (needed in both probability and physical science), and Math 53 covers ordinary differential equations (using insights from linear algebra); these latter two courses can be taken in either order.  To get experience with MATLAB, take the 1-unit 4-week CME 192 (offered Fall and Winter).
    CME 100, 102, and 104 or 106 (same as ENGR 154, 155A, 155B, and 155C): These courses are offered by the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. CME 100 presents multivariable optimization and integration with engineering applications, and introduces MATLAB (which is incorporated throughout the CME series and is useful in many later engineering and science courses). CME 102 covers ordinary differential equations (without linear algebra), CME 104 covers linear algebra and partial differential equations, and CME 106 covers probability and statistics for engineering – all with an emphasis on engineering examples and topics. CME 102 has single-variable calculus as a prerequisite (with CME 100 also recommended), CME 104 has CME 102 and CME 100 as prerequisites, and CME 106 has as prerequisites either CME 100 or MATH 52.
    The content in CME 100 and Math 51 differ significantly (so these are not in any sense equivalent courses). CME 100 focuses on engineering examples and topics, while Math 51 provides a more comprehensive introduction to linear algebra and differential vector calculus (with applications illustrated across engineering and scientific fields in the course text). More detailed coverage of linear algebra in the CME series is deferred to CME 104. (The course ENGR 108 (formerly CME 103) on applied linear algebra is not a substitute, since its coverage of linear algebra concepts is only a portion of that in Math 51 and CME 104 in terms of topics relevant to many engineering fields.)  Coverage of integral vector calculus in the Math series is deferred to Math 52. If this may make a difference to your future plans, please speak with your academic advisor. Students who take both MATH 51 and CME 100 will be able to apply only 8 units of credit toward their major program due to duplication of material.

*Note: The MATH department courses do not include MATLAB, which is important in many engineering fundamental and upper-division engineering courses. However, the advantage of the MATH series is that serious linear algebra is included right from the start. To get MATLAB experience, take the 1-unit CME 192 (4-week course offered A, W).

ACE: ACE units do not count toward major program unit minimums, though they do count toward the 180-unit minimum needed for graduation.

MATH 19 (A,W,Sum)

 20 (A,W,S, Sum), 21 (A,W,S, Sum)

Calculus of a Single Variable (or AP/IB Math Credit or equivalent) MATH 41/42 also equivalent (no longer offered). If AP or transfer credit is used, there is a maximum of 10 units of credit that can be used toward the School of Engineering major minimum unit requirement.

3, 3, 4

CME 100** (A,S)

Vector Calculus for Engineers (same as ENGR 154)


CME 102 (A,W.S,Sum)

Ordinary Differential Equations for Engineers (same as ENGR 155A)


CME 103 is now ENGR 108 (A,W)

Introduction to Matrix Methods (formerly CME/EE 103)


CME 104 (S)

Linear Algebra and Partial Differential Equations for Engineers (same as ENGR 155B)


CME 108 (W, Sum)

Introduction to Scientific Computing


CME 192

Introduction to MATLAB (4 weeks; ?)


MATH 51** (A,W,S,Sum)

Linear Algebra & Differential Calculus of Several Variables



MATH 52 (A,W,S,Sum)

Integral Calculus of Several Variables


MATH 53 (A,W,S,Sum)

Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra



Modern Mathematics: Continuous Methods (replaces 50H series)

5, 5, 5

CEE 101D/201D (A)

Computations in CEE


CS 103  (A,W,S)

Mathematical Foundations of Computing (Pre- or co-req: CS 106B/X)


ENGR 62 (MS&E 111) (S)

Introduction to Optimization (Prereq: CME 100 or MATH 51)


ENGR 62X (MS&E 111X) (A) Introduction to Optimization Accelerated (Prereq: CME 100 or MATH 51) 3-4

MATH 104 (A,W,S,Sum)

Applied Matrix Theory


MATH 106 (S)

Functions of a Complex Variable


MATH 109 (A)

Applied Group Theory


MATH 110 (W) Applied Number Theory & Field Theory 3

MATH 113 (A,W,S,Sum)

Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory


MATH 115 (A,S)

Functions of a Real Variable


MATH 120 (A,S,Sum)

Groups and Rings


MATH 121 (W)

Galois Theory


MATH 131P (W)

Partial Differential Equations I


MS&E 121 (S)

Intro to Stochastic Modeling


or more advanced Mathematics courses via approval of petition to deviate


Statistics & Probability*

CME 106  (W, Sum)

Intro to Probability & Statistics for Engineers (same as ENGR 155C


STATS 60/160 (A,W,S,Sum)

Introduction to Statistical Methods: Precalculus


STATS 110 (A)

Statistical Methods in Engineering and the Physical Sciences


STATS 116 (A,S)

Theory of Probability


CS 109 (A,W,S)

Introduction to Probability for Computer Scientists  (prereqs: CS 106B or X, CS 103; multivariable calculus)


EE 178 (S)

Probabilistic Systems Analysis


MATH 151 (W) Intro to Probability Theory 3

MS&E 120 (A)

Probabilistic Analysis


MS&E 125 (W)

Introduction to Applied Statistics


CEE 203 (A)

Probabilistic Models in Civil Engineering


or more advanced Statistics courses numbered over 100 via approval of petition to deviate


* Some major programs allow only specific courses or allow/require courses in addition to those listed above; check your major program sheet footnotes to see what specific courses can be applied toward each major.

** If MATH 51 and CME 100 are both taken, only 8 units of credit will be allowed toward the SoE major program due to overlapping material.

*** Many majors (e.g. BioE) need MATLAB. CME 192 is a 4-week, 1-unit MATLAB course; 20-21 offering is TBD