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Math Placement    

During the first week after arrival, all undergraduate students are placed at a particular level of mathematics, which usually involves taking a placement test in mathematics. This is because MUM has a distribution requirement in mathematics and many majors have mathematical prerequisites or requirements. (See below under Math Requirements at MUM and How to Satisfy Them.)

Every new and readmit student is required to come to the Mathematics Placement Meeting that usually takes place in the first week after the student arrives on campus. At this meeting, students either take a placement test or establish that they don't need to. A make-up meeting is held about a week later for late arrivals.

All undergraduate students must be placed before they can enroll for any mathematics course or for any course with a mathematics prerequisite.

If a student wishes to use his or her standing in a math placement test to satisfy the prerequisite for a course, that course must be taken within a year of the test. Otherwise, the test will need to be taken and passed at that level again.

Where does a placement test place you?

The Comprehensive Mathematics Placement Test places you into a course in the sequence:

  • MATH 051 Basic Mathematics
  • MATH 152 Elementary Algebra
  • MATH 153 Intermediate Algebra
  • MATH 161 Functions and Graphs 1
  • MATH 162 Functions and Graphs 2
  • MATH 281 Calculus 1
For example, if you place into Math 153 Intermediate Algebra, that means you are ready to take the course Math 153 Intermediate Algebra or any course that has the prerequisite Math 152 Elementary Algebra. There are also tests for placing out of MATH 281 Calculus 1 and MATH 282 Calculus 2.

How does the math placement test fit into math placement?

Factors affecting mathematics placement may or may not include taking a placement test given by the Department of Mathematics, transfer credit from another university or college, and advanced placement. See the math placement page for more details about mathematics placement and who needs to take it.

Math Requirements at MUM and How to Satisfy Them (Important)

There are two types of undergraduate mathematics requirements at M.U.M.

  1. Distribution requirement in mathematics: Every undergraduate must pass at least one course (4 units) in mathematics at the level of Math 153 Intermediate Algebra or above. This requirement is not satisfied by passing a placement test at M.U.M., nor by passing a course in high school, nor by the COMPASS Test. It is satisfied by advanced placement or if a student’s transcript shows a mathematics course at the 100 level or above with grade C or above, taught by the Mathematics Department at an accredited university or college, no matter how long ago the course was completed, and no matter what standing was achieved on any mathematics placement test taken at M.U.M. It is also satisfied by enrolling for and passing a mathematics course at the level of Math 153 or above at M.U.M. or by passing MGT 314 if the student has been placed by the Department of Mathematics higher than MATH 153.

  2. Math requirements for the various majors or math prerequisites for courses. Some majors do not require any math in addition to the distribution requirement. But if you need a math course for your major or as a prerequisite for any course, then the knowledge needs to be current. Passing a placement test does satisfy this requirement. (If a student places out of a course that is required for the major then the units for that course count towards the total units required for that major, although the units will not count towards the overall total units required for graduation.) Advanced placement at the required level obtained at most two years prior to entry to M.U.M. also satisfies this requirement, as does enrolling for and passing a course at M.U.M. On the other hand, up through Math 282 Calculus 2, transfer credit does not satisfy this requirement. The standing achieved on any mathematics placement test takes precedence over transfer credit for this purpose. For example, if your transfer credit is for a course at the level of Math 161, and you place into Math 153 on the math placement test, and your major requires Math 153, then the result of the math placement test takes precedence. Therefore, if this happens, you will have to take and pass Math 153 at M.U.M.

Contact us

For information about math placement, contact Dr. Anne Dow at MUM extension 3431 or adow@mum.edu or Room 225 in the McLaughlin Building (up the stairs and first door on the right).

The content of this page was reviewed in June 2013.

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