Mathematics (MATH) 260

Calculus for Social Sciences and Economics (Revision 4)

MATH 260

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Mathematics Diagnostic Assessment. This online test contains 70 questions that will help you assess your mathematical skills. Based on your score we will recommend which Athabasca University mathematics course you are likely ready to take successfully.

Delivery Mode: Individualized study (with eTextbook) or grouped study (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: None. Students are expected to have completed Math 30 or 31, or an equivalent matriculation-level high-school mathematics course, and to have a good understanding of high-school-level algebra.

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

Centre: Centre for Science

MATH 260 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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MATH 260 is designed to teach you to use a range of mathematical techniques to solve concrete problems in business and the social sciences.


  • Unit 1: Functions and Graphs
  • Unit 2: Limits and the Derivative
  • Unit 3: Additional Derivative Topics
  • Unit 4: Graphing and Optimization
  • Unit 5: Integration
  • Unit 6: Additional Integration Topics
  • Unit 7: Multivariable Calculus

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to

  • demonstrate a foundational understanding of single- and multivariable calculus for social sciences and economics, with a focus on functions and graphing, optimization, differentiation, and integration.
  • use single- and multivariable calculus methods for applied problem solving in business and social sciences.
  • apply knowledge gained in this course to future learning in calculus or other calculus-based courses.
  • communicate mathematical ideas and analyses in a clear and organized manner.


To receive credit for MATH 260, you must submit all the course assignments and complete them to the satisfaction of your tutor. You must also achieve a grade of at least D 50 percent on each examination, and a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Midterm Examination 30%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 10%
Final Examination 30%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Barnett, R. A., M. R. Ziegler, K. E. Byleen, and C. J. Stocker. Calculus for Business, Economics, Life Sciences, and Social Sciences: Brief Version. 14th Ed. New York, NY: Pearson, 2019.

The Student's Solutions Manual for the above eText is available in the publisher's online resources (MyLab), which are accessible on the course start date.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Materials

The course materials include a study guide and student manual.

Your textbook also provides access to MyLab, which has seven quizzes for students to practise and test their knowledge. The Course Orientation provides instructions on how to register for MyLab.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the MATH 260 challenge registration, you must complete the two parts of the challenge exam and achieve a minimum grade of at least D (50 percent) on both parts. The two parts of the exam must be written on the same day, or on two consecutive days.

Activity Weighting
Midterm Exam 50%
Final Exam 50%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, January 8, 2019.

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