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Document Your Aptitude in Mathematics

As a CNMS student, having your aptitude in Math documented before your O&CS Day is of the highest priority. If your Math skills are not documented, you will be prevented from registering for any courses in BIOL, CHEM, CMSC, MATH, PHYS, or STAT until you have that documentation complete. The UMBC Math Placement Assessment is designed to assess a student’s readiness for UMBC MATH and STAT courses, and indicate the highest-level MATH/STAT course that the student is eligible to take. It does not award a student credit toward his/her degree.

All entering CNMS majors – freshmen and transfers – must take the online Math Placement Assessment BEFORE their O&CS Day, unless you can meet one of the following criteria:

  • You can show an original College Board score report on your O&CS Day, documenting an AP Calculus AB or BC score of 3 or higher. An AP Statistics score alone cannot be used by CNMS majors as a substitute for Math Placement. Official documentation of CLEP or IB scores that qualify a student for credit for MATH151 are also acceptable – see the Appendices of the Undergraduate Catalog for more details on qualifying scores for those exams.
  • You can produce a transcript on your O&CS Day showing that you have completed a transferable course – meaning, college-credit-bearing, with an earned grade of “C” or better – in the Calculus sequence: e.g., College Algebra, Pre-Calculus (students with a two-part Pre-Calculus must have both parts complete), Calculus I, or higher. Statistics coursework alone cannot be used by CNMS majors as a substitute for Math Placement.

For Summer Orientation students with pending AP Calculus scores – Please note that College Board AP scores from the current year are not available to students until July, and are not reported electronically to UMBC until mid-to-late July. Students whose only Calculus AB or BC scores will be from the current year are strongly urged to take the Math Placement Assessment prior to their O&CS Day in order to make as complete a schedule as possible on that day. Students who lack Math skill documentation on O&CS Day will be limited to enrollment in non-STEM coursework, and may ultimately have limited choices for certain popular courses (e.g., CHEM101, BIOL141, PHYS121, CMSC201) once their documentation is complete. Similar score reporting timelines exist for students who plan to use IB or CLEP scores in lieu of Math Placement. If your Math Placement score and your AP/IB/CLEP score result in different levels of course eligibility (e.g., your Math Placement score allows you to enroll in Pre-Calculus, but your AP Calculus score qualifies you for enrollment in Calculus), UMBC will allow you to use the better of those two results, and adjust your schedule after O&CS Day.

Transfer students from Maryland 4-year universities and from all out-of-state institutions  – international transfers in particular – may need to have their Calculus-sequence coursework evaluated by the Department of Mathematics & Statistics before they are allowed to register for courses in science and math.  Check UMBC’s Transfer Evaluation System (TES) database to see if any of the Calculus-sequence coursework that you successfully completed at your previous institution(s) has already been evaluated by the Math/Stat Department. If none have been evaluated, begin the Course Description Review process for those courses immediately. While you are waiting for an official evaluation, you may wish to take the Math Placement Assessment in order to have a baseline Math aptitude documented so that you can have as complete a schedule as possible when you leave O&CS Day. As with students with pending AP/IB/CLEP test scores, UMBC will allow you to use the highest qualification.

If you feel that your previous Math coursework does not accurately reflect your skills in Algebra or Calculus, or if you have Calculus-based coursework left to complete and your most recent Calculus-sequence course was completed more than one year ago, you may wish to take the Math Placement Assessment in order to ascertain your present skill level.

In other words, when in doubt, TAKE THE MATH PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT! You can register to take the Math Placement Assessment through the Orientation and Placement Testing Reservation System. For more detailed information about the topics covered in each section of the test (and a set of sample questions), see the Learning Resource Center’s (LRC) Placement Testing information page.