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# What type of math is required for a civil engineer?

#civil-engineering

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### 3 answers

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## Nick’s Answer

It depends on the school, and every school divides up the subjects between courses differently, but generally you'll need:

- pre-algebra ("foundations of math", "fundamentals", "university math", "intro to engineering math", etc.)

- algebra

- trigonometry

- calculus I (limits, derivatives and integrals)

- calculus II (advanced integrals, series, sequences, parametric equations, polar equations)

- calculus III (derivatives and integrals with multiple variables)

- differential equations

- (sometimes) programming/data science (using a programming language like Python or MATLAB to solve problems)

- (sometimes) linear algebra (matrices, systems of equations, transformations)

- (sometimes) statistics and probability

- (sometimes) business math/engineering economics/finance

Depending on what you've been doing before college, you may be able to test out of the first few steps of the sequence, either directly through the school or by receiving AP credit for calculus I/II.

As a practicing engineer, you probably won't need much advanced math in your day-to-day practice, and you'll have software and spreadsheets to automate most of what you will need, but knowing calculus and differential equations will help you grasp the theory behind engineering subjects like structural analysis and fluid dynamics.

- pre-algebra ("foundations of math", "fundamentals", "university math", "intro to engineering math", etc.)

- algebra

- trigonometry

- calculus I (limits, derivatives and integrals)

- calculus II (advanced integrals, series, sequences, parametric equations, polar equations)

- calculus III (derivatives and integrals with multiple variables)

- differential equations

- (sometimes) programming/data science (using a programming language like Python or MATLAB to solve problems)

- (sometimes) linear algebra (matrices, systems of equations, transformations)

- (sometimes) statistics and probability

- (sometimes) business math/engineering economics/finance

Depending on what you've been doing before college, you may be able to test out of the first few steps of the sequence, either directly through the school or by receiving AP credit for calculus I/II.

As a practicing engineer, you probably won't need much advanced math in your day-to-day practice, and you'll have software and spreadsheets to automate most of what you will need, but knowing calculus and differential equations will help you grasp the theory behind engineering subjects like structural analysis and fluid dynamics.

Updated

## Maya’s Answer

I agree with the previous answers. Since math builds off itself, you will definitely need most of the math you've learned so far in school. In college, you will build off of algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics. I would caution you not to give up on the degree just because of the math. I always found that calculus and geometry were much easier to grasp at the higher levels, because they make it much more "real" and applicable, and because you've had to practice so much to get to that point it becomes more second-nature. And because once you make it through all the classes, you really will just need to know the basics of geometry, algebra, and calculus in your every day career. Excel, calculators, or software programs will do the rest!
Perusing the math section of Khan Academy will give you an idea. I used Khanacademy.org at every step in my education & career.

Maya recommends the following next steps:

Updated

## Dr. James’s Answer

Most civil engineering programs require calculus 1 and calculus 2, while some also require students take calculus 3. Calculus 1 is a prerequisite for most civil engineering courses and so it is generally taken in the first semester, with calculus 2 taken the next.