Undergraduate Courses

MA 004, Basic Algebra

Course Description and Goals

MA 004 is a course in basic algebra for students with a deficiency in high school algebra or who need an algebra review. The goal is to prepare students to take one of the entry, college-level math courses at UAH:

  • MA 107, Algebra with Applications
  • MA 110, Finite Mathematics
  • MA 112, Precalculus Algebra

More specifically, a student who successfully completes MA 004 should

  • have a basic understanding of the real number system, including major classes of numbers (integer, rational, irrational), and the geometric representation of the real number system as a number line
  • understand the basic rules of the arithmetic operations, the rules of precedence and proper notation.
  • be able to perform standard algebraic operations on polynomial and rational expressions, and transform algebraic expressions into various equivalent forms, depending on the purpose intended.
  • understand functions and expressions from contrasting but complementary points of view: algebraic, geometric, procedural.
  • be able to recognize basic functions (linear, quadratic) from both an algebraic and geometric point of view.
  • be able to solve linear and simple quadratic equations
  • understand the function concept and the standard ways of combining functions using the arithmetic operations and composition.
  • be able to translate simple applied problems into algebraic language.
  • recognize common algebraic fallacies, particularly those that involve the improper interchange of operations.
  • make progress towards the general goal of being able to learn, use, and communicate mathematics independently.


MA 004 is taught in a computer-assisted format. Students attend two classes per week on a regular schedule with a dedicated instructor, and also work in the Mathematics Learning Center on their own schedule with the help of instructors and other graduate assistants. Graded homework assignments, quizzes, and tests are computer-based.



Credit Hours

No credit

Grading System

S, U

Course Materials

Beginning Algebra with MyMathLab, 10th edition, by Lial, published by Addison Wesley. MyMathLab is part of the CourseCompass course management system.