Math Camp

Need some help mastering math?

Math Camp 2016 takes place August 8-12.

We offer two sessions of Math Camp to help you advance your mathematical knowledge:

Math Camp

An ungraded refresher course to help you brush up on basic algebra and geometry concepts—this is required for you if denoted on your admissions letter. If it isn’t required for you, but you’d like to improve your math skills, you can opt to take Math Camp, especially if you scored below the 50th percentile in the GRE’s quantitative section or have not taken math in a long time and are a little afraid of numbers.

Advanced Math Camp

This intense, ungraded review of mathematical skills from algebra to intermediate calculus, is designed for students entering our MSES or MPA/MSES program. It’s also beneficial if you are an MPA student and plan to incorporate some of our more demanding quantitative or analytical coursework into your academics.

Ask about your Math Camp admission status

Which Math Camp do I choose?

Take our self-graded evaluation. If you score well and are confident in how you answered, you don’t need to go to Math Camp. But, if your scores are poor and you are unsure of how to figure out the answers on the evaluation, Math Camp is for you.

Download the evaluation tool Download the answer key

If you missed our online chat about Math Camp, catch up on the questions and answers below. 

From 2016

Q. As an MPA/MSES dual student, am I required to take the advance math? I assume so, and will most likely lean that way, but just want to double check.

You have the option of taking Math Camp or Advanced Math Camp as a dual degree student. We recommend that students who are not as familiar with Calculus concepts participate in Math Camp. If you feel that you are well versed in calculus and need a review, Advanced Math Camp is for you!

Q. I have a question for the two students! Could you give an overview of any prep you did pre Math Camp? What was helpful and what wasn’t helpful?

I don't think any prep prior to Math Camp is necessary. You will have enough on your plate, as you move to a new city, prepare for graduate courses, etc. Math Camp is a good way to kick start you all into school mode again, but you shouldn't have to study or practice any math concepts prior. Math Camp is a relaxed week, so don't stress about what is to come!

Q. I am not familiar with the statistics concepts that have been mention in the syllabus. Could I get study material online to prepare before I get to the Math Camp?

We will be posting a pre-Math Camp review in Canvas for those of you who want to review concepts prior to Math Camp!

Q. Is there any specific thing we are to come with for the Math Camp, other than writing material?

We will have all of the materials here for you! All you will need to bring is a writing utensil and a scientific calculator if you have one. A scientific calculator is strongly recommended.

Q. It's been about four years since I've last had a calculus class, but I have taken it. Which course, advanced or normal, would you say fits that background?

The advanced course covers calculus concepts in more detail, while the other course is mostly focused on a linear algebra review.

Q. How do we successfully complete the Math Camp? Is there going to a test at the end of the camp?

There is not a test. You will have daily homework to help through the lessons, but nothing is graded.

Q. Can you all talk a bit about how Math Camp will apply to our first semester coursework in practical terms? That is, as we are refreshed on concepts in Math Camp, how will they come into play in the first semester statistics course?

Q. How do those subjects translate to coursework? If we took calculus, but aren't necessarily prepared to do calculus problems right at this moment, should we be trying to bone up on our own so we aren't excluded from more advanced quant courses?

Having a better grip on math (calc and algebra) will help you understand concepts in any quantitative course at SPEA (statistics, econ, finances, sciences). Understanding why you use certain formulas in modeling and understanding the proofs gives you a better understanding of what those formulas and models are really explaining. Classes vary with their demand for quantitative skills, but understanding math will only help.

Q. How much time, on average, outside of the class in Math Camp should we plan on spending working on the daily assignments?

It depends. The assignments are designed to help you, but they are not graded. I spent more time on some days than others, depending on my understanding of the content. If I understood the concepts I spent less time on the assignments.

Q. So just to get an idea of what is expected, the camp is more about reviewing math concepts than it is learning new information? If that's the case I could use a brush up on calculus much more than algebra.

The information will be new for some and will be review for others. It had been so for me long that much of the review felt like new material again.

Q. What would you say is the most time you spent working on assignments and least? I'm just trying to think through how to allocate my time during that week.

If I remember correctly, I spent 1-2 hours tops on the assignments. The TA's are helpful after class, and they will be willing to help you through the assignments if you have questions.

Q. If we don’t understand a particular concept taught in the Math Camp and we need a bit of attention in that particular topic, how do we go about addressing our doubts?

First, go to the office hours of the TA during the week. Also you can ask the instructor. If you are still struggling, they will point you in the direction of good resources for the particular topic you're struggling with.

Q. How soon do we need to make the decision about whether to attend the "beginner" or "advanced" version of Math Camp and how do we go about indicating that choice to SPEA?

You should've received an email with a survey to indicate your math camp preference. The deadline is July 13.

Q. Are there some resources; like materials, that could help in personal study?

Don’t stress about Math Camp. It helps, and is structured to help sturdy your foundation heading into week one of class. People who go to math camp meet people and form relationships with their peers that will carry over into the next two years. It will be a fun week for you all, so don't worry too much.

Q. After you complete the basic Math Camp are you required to participate in the Advanced Math Camp?

You only take one. They are taught at the same time during the week prior to orientation.

Q. One more question—since it was mentioned that a scientific calculator is recommended, does anyone have a recommendation of a good scientific calculator app for iPhone?

I am not aware of a good scientific calculator app. I'm sure there is something, though.

Please feel free to email us at with any additional questions you may have about Math Camp!