Summer University Prep Course

MTHA0050 Math Functions

Preparatory classes are designed to give you the prerequisite knowledge to attend the introductory level degrees courses of Calculus. Students do not receive university credit for this course, but they will permit entry to the degree-level courses at Dalhousie. This preparatory course runs in July and August and is completed online. 

There are no prerequisites for this course. 

Course Description

This ONLINE, non-credit course is designed for those who do not have the requisite skills for the first-year mathematics courses but have shown sufficient mathematical ability to warrant a one semester course to bridge the gap. This course will emphasize the study of the basic functions used in the sciences. Topics to be covered include linear, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Emphasis is placed on use of a graphing calculator. 

Course Outline

The course will be delivered entirely online through the learning management system, Brightspace. Within the course site, you will access online lessons, course materials, and resources. Activities will consist of discussion forums and email. Tutorials, self-checks, and assignments are all available on Brightspace. An electronic text is included and in each unit you will be directed to read over the appropriate section in the text to do the problems included there. There are sample problems and solutions included. Short quizzes, worth 10% of your final grade, are included within each unit to help solidify your knowledge of the material. 

Section 1: Algebra
Order of operations, working with fractions, exponents and roots, factoring, simultaneous equations, single variable word problems, two variable word problems. 

Section 2: Introduction to Functions
Describing functions, inputs and outputs, domain and range and composition, inverse functions, piecewise functions, transformations, symmetry. 

Section 3: Polynomial Functions
Roots and intercepts, linear functions, quadratic functions, cubic and higher order functions. 

Section 4: Other Functions
Exponential functions, logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions. 

Marks are assigned in this course for the following activities:

Marking Scheme

Graded Item








Final Exam 




Assignment details will be available within the course site. Quizzes and Assignments are linked within the associated units.

What You Will Learn

By the end of this course, you should:

  • demonstrate improved algebra skills
  • be familiar with the use of a scientific graphing calculator
  • be familiar with various functions as listed in the course description

You will meet the objectives listed above through a combination of the following activities in this course:

  • completion of a series of assignments in a timely manner
  • completion of the quizzes
  • completion of the final exam


Dr. Mason MacDonald


Textbook and Course Materials 

Beginning and Intermediate Algebra by Tyler Wallace - required chapters of this text are linked within the course units. This is a free text licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at

Students will require a TI-83+, a TI-84 graphing calculator, or equivalent phone app. Alternatively, graphing programs are available for free online such as

There will be additional required readings posted on the Brightspace site.

How to Apply 

For current Dal students enrolled for fall:

Register for these courses through Dal Online

MTHA0050 Math Functions – CRN 31103, Section 65. 

For incoming first-year students: 

Contact to apply for the summer term and register for the course.

For non-Dalhousie students:

Contact or call 902.893.6666 for more information.


Fees are due by the start of class. ALL STUDENTS $310.24 (CDN) per course.

Please note: All tuition and fees are subject to change with approval of the Board of Governors of Dalhousie University.

For full listing of upgrading opportunities at Dalhousie, please visit


If you have further questions, please contact or by calling 902-893-6666.