Document Your Aptitude in Mathematics

All entering CNMS majors are strongly encouraged to take the online Math Placement Assessment BEFORE their online orientation advising session regardless of any potential transfer coursework or AP/IB/CLEP credit. This will allow for actionable math placement and course recommendations on the student’s registration day.

Once the student has signed up for Orientation through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation, they will receive instructions for completing their placement test in their confirmation email. If the student’s math skills are not documented, they will be prevented from registering for any STEM courses during orientation advising.  While it is possible for students to adjust their schedule after orientation, the CNMS Advising Office recommends that students complete their Math Placement Assessment at least 24 hours prior to their orientation advising appointment to ensure an thorough orientation advising experience. 

Math placement can be determined through the options below —

The Math Placement Test determines placement into Math courses at UMBC which in turns affects Science course recommendations. Placement testing is available online (24 hours a day) March through August and November through January. Placement test instructions are included in Orientation confirmation emails. If you did not receive placement directions, please email

The ALEKS PPL Math Placement Test covers topics in numerical operations, algebraic operations, geometry, and trigonometry.  It is a 30 question adaptive test designed to accurately assess  Math ability and to determine which Math course is most appropriate to begin with. Students have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the ALEKS PPL Math Placement Test. Calculators and outside resources are not allowed on the exam. Scores will be available immediately once the test is completed.

Students with a documented disability may request reasonable accommodations for UMBC placement testing. Students with disabilities seeking accommodations must register with the Office of Student Disability Services and submit appropriate documentation to determine accommodation eligibility. Students are encouraged to complete the SDS registration process with a minimum of two weeks advance notice of the assigned placement testing date.

It may be possible to be exempted from the Math Placement Test. See exemption categories below for more information.

Students can produce a transcript showing that they have completed a direct-equivalent transferable (credit bearing) course with an grade of “C” or better in the Calculus sequence. Examples of qualifying courses include: College Algebra, Pre-Calculus (students with a two-part Pre-Calculus must have both parts complete), Calculus I, or higher.

To determine how your Maryland community college credits will transfer, please view the ARTSYS database.

For all other colleges and universities, please view the UMBC Course Articulation Database – Transfer Evaluation System.

Transfer students from out of state community colleges and some four year institutions may need to have their Calculus-sequence coursework evaluated by the Department of Mathematics & Statistics prior to enrolling in STEM courses. Students who are unsure about the transferability their math course and/or those waiting for evaluation of transfer credits are encouraged to complete the Math Placement Test.

Students can show proof through the following —

  • College Board score report documenting an AP Calculus AB or BC score of 3 or higher. *
  • IB score report documenting 5 or high on Math (higher level) or Math with Further Studies (higher level).
  • Documentation of CLEP Calculus 51 or higher or CLEP Precalculus score of 50 or higher.

See the Appendices of the Undergraduate Catalog for more details on qualifying scores for those exams. Although unofficial score reports are sufficient for placement during orientation, be sure to send official score reports to UMBC as soon as possible.

*Important note for students with pending AP Calculus scores – Please note that College Board AP scores for 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 must take the Math Placement Assessment prior to their Registration Day. Similar score reporting timelines exist for students who plan to use IB or CLEP scores in lieu of Math Placement.

Important Facts about the Math Placement —

  • If the student’s transfer coursework or AP/IB/CLEP scores change the courses originally recommend to them, the student will have the ability to adjust their schedule accordingly after orientation.
  • If the student’s Math Placement score and their AP/IB/CLEP scores or transfer coursework result in different levels of math course eligibility, UMBC will allow the student to use the better of those results.
  • Statistics coursework or AP Statistics cannot be used by CNMS majors as a substitute for Math Placement.
  • UMBC does not accept documented SAT or ACT scores as a substitute for the Math Placement Assessment.
  • You can retake your Math Placement exam if you feel that the score does not accurately depict your abilities.

For more detailed information about the Math Placement exam, please visit the Math Placement Website