Calculus for Business and Social Science

Course Description

This course presents an elementary treatment of topics from differential and integral calculus. It is intended primarily for students in the fields of business and social science. The emphasis is on skill-building and on applications of calculus to the areas of business, economics, and social science. The types of functions studied include polynomials, rational, exponential, and logarithmic. Multivariable content includes applications of partial derivatives.

Prereq: C or better in MTH111 or placement by assessment.


As you probably know, geometry is the study of shapes and algebra is the study of relationships. Calculus is the mathematical study of change.

Calculus has two major branches:
  • Differential calculus (concerning rates of change and slopes of curves)
  • Integral calculus (concerning accumulation of quantities and the areas under and between curves)
These two branches are related to each other by the fundamental theorem of calculus. Both branches make use of the fundamental notions of limits which is basically what separates algebra from calculus.

Today, calculus has widespread uses in science, engineering, and economics and can help solve many problems that elementary algebra alone cannot.