Calculus Adult Education: An Overview

As a means to express mathematical relationships in real world formulas, calculus is essential to many science, engineering and medicine curricula. Read more about the types of calculus courses available and the applications of the subject to careers.

Learn about some of the adult education opportunities for those wishing to further study calculus. Here we explore some of the programs, courses and applications to careers.

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Program Information

Calculus is a standard and important component of many adult education programs. The coursework covers mathematical basics such as differentials, scalar fields and vector calculus. Adult education courses also address the fundamentals of calculus notation, divergence theorem and proper usage of infinite series. Courses also usually include trigonometric substitution and Riemann sums.

Those who complete courses in calculus could successfully use its practices and theorems in their adult education and later careers. Colleges commonly offer a sequence of three courses in calculus, as well as single calculus courses geared toward specific careers such as management science and social science. These courses and programs are often available on-campus and online, allowing for a more flexible schedule for the working adult. More information is available here.

Programs At a Glance

Individual courses

  • These courses typically include Calculus I, II and III and range from 4-5 credit hours.
  • These courses are offered on-campus and online.

Mathematics certificate

  • This professional certificate consists of 5-6 courses.
  • The program is offered on-campus and online.

Calculus I

This is the first calculus course a student usually takes and requires a prerequisite precalculus course to enroll. This class introduces students to topics that include analytic geometry, indefinite and definite integrals, limits, derivatives and trigonometry. Various types of functions, such as transcendental, algebraic, logarithmic and exponential functions, are covered. Students also learn about some of the applications of calculus. Students also use current technology to help further explore concepts, including graphing calculators and computer programs.

Calculus II

This second course builds upon the topics covered in the first. Students learn about power series expansions, the integration and differentiation of functions and applications of functions. Some specific topics covered include partial fractions, trigonometric substitution, convergence, divergence, parametric equations, curves and volume. Current technology is also used to further enhance learning topics, such as graphs and functions on graphing calculators. Students must have passed Calculus I before enrolling.

Calculus III

This final course in the series often focuses on multivariable functions. Students can expect to learn about vectors, gradients, line integrals, surface integrals, plane curves and directional derivatives. Theorems like Stokes' theorem and Green's theorem are covered. This course sometimes includes a discussion on the application of these calculus topics to the fields of engineering and physical science. Students continue to use graphing calculators to expand upon topics. Students must have successfully completed Calculus II to enroll in the course.

Specialized Calculus

Some schools have courses that discuss the application of calculus specifically to fields such as management science and social science. These courses are generally only one semester long and cover the basics of functions, limits and differentiation. They may also apply integral calculus as they relate concepts back to the specialized field. A college algebra course is often required as a prerequisite.

Applications to Careers

Calculus is used to express many laws, rules and data sets within science careers. Likewise, medicine often uses calculus to express pharmacological or biology phenomena. Certain constants of thermodynamics, physics, structural engineering and electricity require an understanding of calculus to proceed with related adult education.

Adult education in this area will prepare you to use differential and integral calculus in research or career applications. Calculus is a core educational component that allows you to mathematically gather data, predict occurrence or better understand worldly events. Science, medicine, engineering, business and all related educational disciplines would cease to operate without vital mechanisms contingent upon calculus.

Adult learners can easily study calculus on-campus or online through individual courses or certificate programs. This education can be applied to multiple careers, including those in science, engineering and business.

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