University of Arizona
Institute for Mathematics and Education

High School Fourth Year Mathematics Courses

More and more states require four years of mathematics for graduation from high school. Traditional choices for fourth year courses include Precalculus, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics. This report surveys models for other fourth year developed across the country. It is an evolving document: if you have courses you would like to suggest for addition, notify the webmaster.

New! Samples of capstone courses suitable for a fourth year course (Achieve, Inc. and the UT Dana Center).

Modeling and Quantitative Reasoning Course, Ohio

Developed by the Ohio Department of Education, this course "prepares students to investigate contemporary issues mathematically and to apply the mathematics learned in earlier courses to answer questions that are relevant to their civic and personal lives.


A more complete description is given in this document from the Ohio Department of Education. See also the Ohio Resource Center support materials.


Advanced Mathematical Decision Making, Texas

Developed by the Dana Center at the University of Texas, Austin, this course "includes descriptive statistics, financial/economic literacy, and basic trigonometry, with a heavy emphasis on using algebraic, geometric, and statistical models for a range of situations and problems."


For more details, see the Dana Center website on the course.


International Baccalaureate Courses

The IB offers three 2-year courses suitable for the last year of mathematics. Mathematical studies SL is designed for students who do not anticipate a need for mathematics in their future studies. It develops the skills needed to cope with the mathematical demands of a technological society with an emphasis on the application of mathematics to real-life, everyday situations.


Mathematics SL provides students who will continue to study mathematics at university with a background of mathematical thought and a reasonable level of technical ability.


Mathematics HL is for students who will continue to study mathematics or engineering at university, and for students who have a good background and genuine interest in mathematics and who enjoy meeting its challenges and problems.


For more details, go to the guide to the IB program and click on math part of the hexagon.

Mathematics for Decision Making in Industry and Government, HSOR

This series of 13 modules "develops secondary mathematics concepts ... drawn from the field of operations research ... [spanning] the spectrum of organizations: from Bethlehem Steel to Ponderosa Plywood of Mexico, from Hertz to HP, from routing Meals-on-Wheels to routing Special Ed school buses.


For more details, see the home page of High School Operations Research, or go directly to the modules here.


Mathematical Methods Course, EDC

This innovative course, developed at EDC by Al Cuoco and Michelle Manes, focused on developing mathematical habits of mind. It integrated topics in precalculus and discrete mathematics, and included chapters on the ideas of calculus and on cryptography. Much of it has been incorporated into EDC's CME Project.


Arizona models

Suggestions for six fourth year mathematics courses including Pre-Calculus, Probability and Statistics, Trigonometry, Discrete Mathematics, Mathematical Models, and Financial Literacy (report).


Mathematics Overview

An outline for a "year 4" course developed by Henri Picciotto. It was created to aid students who did poorly in their first three years of high school, but still hope to attend a two-year college. Mathematics Overview consists of 15 units presented as a list of concepts, followed by a list of suggested activities. All the activities suggested are available for free.