Loyola University Chicago

Mathematics and Statistics

MATH 117: Precalculus I

Credit Hours



Math Placement Test or MATH 100 with grade of C- or better.


Inverse functions, quadratic functions, complex numbers. Detailed study of polynomial functions including zeros, factor theorem, and graphs. Rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions and their applications. Systems of equations, inequalities, partial fractions, linear programming, sequences and series. Word problems are emphasized throughout the course.

See Course Page for additional resources.


Axler, Sheldon. Precalculus: A Prelude to Calculus, 2nd Edition. Paperback (packaged with WileyPLUS) ISBN: 978-1-118-55625-2. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012.

Common Syllabus for MATH 117

All sections and chapters referred to are from Precalculus: A Prelude to Calculus

Chapter 1: Functions and Their Graphs [3 weeks]
1.1 - Functions
1.2 - The Coordinate Plane and Graphs
1.3 - Function Transformations and Graphs
1.4 - Composition of Functions
1.5 - Inverse Functions
1.6 - A Graphical Approach to Inverse Functions

Chapter 2: Linear, Quadratic, Polynomial, and Rational Functions [3.5 weeks]
2.1 - Lines and Linear Function
2.2 - Quadratic Functions and Conics (material on ellipses and hyperbolas is optional)
Appendix A: Area
2.3 - Exponents
2.4 - Polynomials
2.5 - Rational Functions

Chapter 3: Exponential Functions, Logarithms, and e [4.5 weeks]
3.1 - Logarithms as Inverses of Exponential Functions
3.2 - Applications of the Power Rule for Logarithms
3.3 - Applications of the Product and Quotient Rules for Logarithms
3.4 - Exponential Growth
3.5 - e and the Natural Logarithm (skip entirely pages 278-283)
3.6 - Approximations and Area with e and ln
3.7 - Exponential Growth Revisited

Chapter 8: Systems of Linear Equations [1 week]
8.1 - Solving Systems of Linear Equations
8.2 - Matrices (skip entirely)

Syllabus leaves 2 weeks for tests, optional material, etc.