College Algebra

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MAT 140

       Course Name: College Algebra

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

MAT 110 or the equivalent with a minimum grade of C or appropriate score on the Mathematics Assessment Test; and MAT 080 or geometry proficiency.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

A study of the following functions and their graphs: polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and special functions; systems of equations and inequalities.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Classify functions and their graphs, and identify their domain and range.
  2. Identify and apply transformations of graphs.
  3. Solve linear and non-linear equations, and systems of two equations.
  4. Solve polynomial and rational inequalities algebraically and graphically.
  5. Sketch the graph of polynomials using zeros and end behavior.
  6. Sketch the graph of rational functions using zeros, asymptotes, and end behavior.
  7. Find, graph, and interpret the inverse of a function.
  8. Graph exponential and logarithmic functions, and use their properties to simplify and solve equations involving them.
  9. Model and solve applications using the elementary functions studied in the course.
  10. Use technology to graph, evaluate, and interpret functions, and to solve equations and inequalities involving them.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Fundamental Concepts of Algebra
    1. Rational Exponents and Radicals
    2. Factoring Polynomials
    3. Operations with Rational Expressions
  2. Solving Linear and Nonlinear Equations, and Linear Inequalities
    1. Solving Linear and Rational Equations
    2. Complex Numbers
    3. Solving Quadratic, Polynomial, and Radical Equations
    4. Solving Linear and Absolute Value Inequalities
  3. Functions and their Graphs
    1. Basic Concepts and Graphs of Functions, including Domain and Range
    2. Linear Functions, Slope, and Linear Applications
    3. Operations on Functions and Composition of Functions
    4. Graphing Techniques, Transformations, and Translations of Functions
    5. Inverse Functions
    6. Distance, Midpoints, and Circles
  4. Polynomial and Rational Functions: Graphs and Zeros
    1. Quadratic Functions
    2. Polynomial Functions of Higher Degree
    3. Polynomial Division, and Remainder and Factor Theorems 
    4. Complex Zeros of Polynomial Functions
    5. Solving Polynomial and Rational Inequalities Graphically
    6. Rational Functions and their Graphs
  5. Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
    1. Exponential Functions and their Graphs, with Applications
    2. Logarithmic Functions and their Graphs, with Applications
    3. Properties of Logarithms
    4. Solving Exponential and Logarithmic Equations
    5. Exponential Growth and Decay
  6. Systems of Equations: Find Intersections of Linear and Nonlinear Functions by Substitution
  7. Conic Sections: Center at Origin  [Optional, if time permits at the end of the course.]

VII.  Methods of Instruction

(To be completed by instructor.)

Methods of presentation can include lectures, discussions, demonstrations, experimentation, audio-visual aids and regularly assigned homework. Calculators/computers will be used when appropriate.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Within the Schedule of Classes, textbooks can be found by clicking on an individual course section and looking for the words "View Book Information".

Textbooks can also be found at our Mathematics Textbooks page.

A graphics calculator is required. A TI-83/84 will be used for instructional purposes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

(To be completed by instructor.)

Evaluation methods can include grading homework, chapter or major tests, quizzes, individual or small group projects and a final exam.

The following applies to the online section of this course only.

This online course requires that students take their exams as directed by their instructor: either on campus at Oakton's Testing Center, at an authorized testing center with a face-to-face monitor, or remotely through a pre-approved testing service.   (To be customized by instructor.)

XI.   Other Course Information

Individual instructors will establish and announce specific policies regarding attendance, due dates and make-up work, incomplete grades, etc.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.