Collection: Math Courses/Studies at ESC

General Education Math Studies/Courses at Empire State College

opportunities to meet general education in mathematics


There are many options for completing the SUNY general education requirement in mathematics.  To meet the SUNY guidelines the following is expected.

Students will demonstrate the ability to: 

  • interpret and draw inferences from mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables and schematics 
  • represent mathematical information symbolically, visually, numerically and verbally 
  • employ quantitative methods such as, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, or statistics to solve problems 
  • estimate and check mathematical results for reasonableness 
  • recognize the limits of mathematical and statistical methods.

Each term, options are available via individual study, group study, blended study (face-to-face and online) or as a fully online course. The term guide will list what is available. To aid you in deciding, descriptions are given below for studies in math along with the new course number and how the study/course is available.  Questions? Check with your mentor.

Note: There is overlap in some of these courses. If you plan to take more than one general education study/course, be sure to check with your mentor about redundancy. Also, there is an 8 credit limit on general math.

Math Studies: Gentle Start

Studies are available from math faculty around the college. Read the details carefully about the format and whether face-to-face meetings are required.

If you've not taken a math class for awhile the following studies provide a more gentle re-entry:

MATH 1000 College Mathematics: Available via independent study or study group (check for locations)

This course covers a wide-range of topics and may be appropriate for students with limited mathematics background or need to develop basic college mathematics skills prior to moving to more challenging courses. Topics covered include integers, fractions, decimals, exponents, expressions, equations, inequalities, inductive and deductive reasoning, algebraic problem solving, graphs, geometry, measurement, and an introduction to probability and statistics.

MATH 1005 Math for Elementary School Teachers: available via independent study collegewide

This course is intended for students who are interested in teaching at the elementary school level.  Topics will include a development of binary algorithms, properties of the real number system as applied to different mathematical systems, systems of numeration, functions and equivalence relations and solving algebraic equations and number theory.

MATH 1110 Geometry: available as an independent study

This study is designed for students who wish to expand their skills in geometry. It covers the important principles and real-world applications of geometry. Topics covered include line and angle relationships, parallel lines, triangles, quadrilaterals, similar triangles, circles, locus and concurrence, areas of polygons and circles, surfaces and solids, and introduction to analytic geometry. Non-Euclidean geometry may also be covered.


Plunging In!

If you feel comfortable with math, but have not studied math formally in awhile, one of these options may work.

MATH 1040 Algebra:  Available as online course or as an independent study

Description: This study will develop basic algebra concepts and problem solving techniques. The student will develop skills in translating problem situations into their symbolic representations and manipulating those symbols. Major topics include equations, inequalities, problem solving, geometry, graphs, and transformations. Linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic functions will be studied.

MATH 1005 Contemporary Math: available as online course and on-site group study (check Banner for location) and independent study

This study explores the exciting world of mathematics through such diverse topics as logic, geometry, voting methods, statistics and graph theory. Foundational studies, including algebra, are also covered, but not as extensively as in a full algebra course.

MATH 1025 Quantitative Reasoning: available as online course, study group (check for locations) or Independent study

This study will develop the ability to interpret and reason with information that involves mathematical ideas and numbers. As students explore issues that directly affect their lives, they will gain an appreciation of mathematics and its importance in a technological world. Topics include statistical reasoning, financial management, mathematical modeling, probability, and geometry.

MATH 1065 Statistics: available as online course, through study group (multiple locations) or independent study

Description: The focus of this introductory course is on the application and use of statistics, rather than the detailed complexity of the underlying mathematics. Study and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of data analysis, including both descriptive and inferential statistics, including arranging data, tables and graphs, measures of central tendency and dispersion, regression analysis, correlation, sampling, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The student will make use of technology based tools (Excel, StatCrunch, etc.) to assist in summarizing, interpreting, and communicating with data.

Note: Some knowledge of algebra is good before taking statistics. Basic math skills (comfort with graphs, equations and proportions is a must.)

MATH 1050 Math for Business (available as Independent Study)

Mathematics for Business presents math skills and knowledge that can be applied in solving financial problems. The core topics include business finance, trade and cash discounts, markup and markdown, business statistics, wages and payroll, simple interest and simple discount, compound interest, future value, and present value, mortgages, sinking funds, and amortization, depreciation, inventory, insurance, business insurance, life insurance, annuities, taxes, stocks and bonds. Students will also gain an understanding of financial instruments and terminology used in business finance. This serves as a foundation for further studies in business, management, accounting, and finance. Students will gain skills to manage personal finance.

MATH 1060 Introduction to Statistics (available as Independent study- location specific, not collegewide)

The student will study introductory statistics in order to be able to interpret, evaluate, and use statistical information and methods. The student will work standard problems in statistical analysis involving measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and correlation and regression. The student will also interpret the results of statistical analysis and present and evaluate statistical information in graphical form. This course can be paired with Statistics II.

Other Courses That Meet Gen Ed in Math:   If you search in Banner using "MATH" as the Subject and "Mathematics Gen Ed" as the attribute, more courses will appear than are listed here.  They are not included because they have algebra or higher as a prerequisite and therefore are not as accessible as the ones listed on this page.

Fully Online Options

Some options are only available in a fully online format. These are all under the category of “gentle entry.”

Math for the Inquiring Mind: Focus on problem-solving as a process of identifying, defining, and understanding the problem; and then modeling, validating, and documenting its solution. The course includes use of tables, data management and analysis, graphical analysis, and modeling.

Discovering Math Across Generations: An interactive approach is used to help adults understand and use topics in algebra, geometry, number sense, estimation, logical thinking, probability and statistics with other family members and children.

Visualizing Math: Focus will be on topics in geometry, which are naturally visual, and graphing, which will give you an understanding of the visual aspect of algebra. The course will also look at mathematics through art.

History of Math: Moving beyond an outline of the development of mathematical ideas in Europe and its colonies, students will also study mathematical developments in other cultures, including the ancient Mesopotamian, Chinese, Indian and Egyptian civilizations. (also meets gen ed in Other World Civilizations)

Voter Math: Topics include: review of basic math skills; use of a spreadsheet; basic statistical tools; the use of polls and surveys; voting algorithms (methods); fairness criteria; power distribution in voting; and apportionment of seats in legislatures.

Full descriptions can be found at