Math Placement

Mathematics Placement & Exams Information

Placement into a math class at Seattle U. depends on your intended major as well as your ACT/SAT test scores. If you are not content with your placement based on these scores, you may take the Math Dept. placement tests to attempt to qualify for a higher level math class. You may also take our placement tests if you do not have ACT/SAT scores. A student who places into a mathematics course may choose to take a course with a lower number, but will not be allowed to take a course higher than placed.

There are two math placement exams, a 30-question algebra test and a 9-question trigonometry test. You may take either or both, as is appropriate. These are online tests that can be taken at your convenience. Both exams have a time limit (the algebra test is 60 minutes, the trig test 30 minutes), but are not proctored. To be registered for our placement exams, students should call the Math Department at 206-296-5930 or email teegardj@seattleu.edu

You can find out more about the math placement exams in our Frequently Asked Questions document: Math Placement Test FAQ document

Scores Required for Entry into the Following Math Classes:

Course   ACT ScoreSAT ScoreMinimum S.U. Placement Score
MATH 1000 18-22 490-550 Algebra score 4     
MATH 1010 23-27 560-650 Algebra score 15
MATH 1021 23-27 560-650 Algebra score 15
MATH 1022 27-36 640-800 Algebra score 23
MATH 1130 27-36 640-800 Algebra score 23
MATH 1210 27-36 640-800 Algebra score 23
MATH 1230 27-36 & Trig test score of 4* 640-800 & Trig test score of 4* Algebra score of 23 & either MATH 1022 taken concurrently or Trig. score of 4
MATH 1334 28-36 & Trig. test score of 6* 660-800 & Trig. test score of 6* Algebra score of 25 & either MATH 1022 taken concurrently or Trig. score of 6

*The corequisite for MATH 1230 & 1334 is MATH 1022 or the indicated score on the Trig placement exam

AP/Advanced Placement

A student who has taken the AP Calculus Exam (AB or BC), and has a score of 3 or better will receive 5 credits for one or more calculus courses. Guidelines are given below. Contact the Office of the Registrar or the Mathematics Dept. for more information.

Advanced Placement AB Calculus Exam:

ScoreCredit Granted: 
3 MATH 1130/Calculus for Business or MATH 1230/Calculus for Life Sciences                    
4 MATH 1334/Calculus I
5 MATH 1334/Calculus I & MATH 1335/Calculus II

Advanced Placement BC Calculus Exam:

Score Credit Granted:                                                                                                     
3 MATH 1334/Calculus I
4 MATH 1334/Calculus I, MATH 1335/Calculus II
5 MATH 1334/Calculus I, MATH 1335/Calculus II & possibly MATH 1336/Calculus III*

* Credit for MATH 1336 may be granted after consultation with the Mathematics Department Chair.

A student can elect to be evaluated through a departmental examination for a requirement waiver or credit for one or more courses.  If the waiver or credit is granted, the Mathematics Department will file a Petition for Exception to policy.  The following departmental examinations are offered:

  • Entering students who pass the department's calculus advanced placement examination for MATH 1334 with a grade of B or better and who then complete MATH 1335 with a C or better will be allowed advanced placement credit for MATH 1334 via a petition initiated by the mathematics department chairperson.
  • Entering students who pass the department's calculus advanced placement examination for MATH 1334 and MATH 1335 with a grade of B or better and who then complete MATH 1336 with a C or better will be allowed advanced placement credit for MATH 1334 and 1335 via a petition initiated by the mathematics department chairperson.

Major-Specific Placement Info

To begin, find the track below that best describes your interests and major.

NOTE: This major-specific information is not meant to substitute for the recommendations of an advisor. It reflects the Math Department's understanding as of January 2017, but please consult with an advisor in your major field regarding the most current requirements.

Biology & Life Sciences

First year students without AP calculus credit or previous college mathematics credits will place into one or more of the following mathematics courses:

  • MATH 1000 Functions & Algebraic Methods
  • MATH 1021 Precalculus: Algebra 
  • MATH 1022 Precalculus: Trigonometry 
  • MATH 1230 Calculus for Life Sciences (Winter & Spring only)

Business

(except graduate-school-bound economics majors)

First year students without AP calculus credit or previous college mathematics credits will place into one or more of the following mathematics courses. Note: Economics majors interested in having a strong quantitative background should prepare to take the full Calculus sequence.

    • MATH 1000 Functions & Algebraic Methods 
    • MATH 1010 College Algebra for Business 
    • MATH 1130 Calculus for Business 

Humanities & the Social Sciences

If your major is in the College of Arts and Sciences, then you will likely only need to take UCOR 1200 unless you choose to take higher mathematics. UCOR 1200 does not have a prerequisite other than undergraduate admission to Seattle University. UCOR 1200 does not qualify you to take additional math classes. UCOR 1200 is regularly offered with the following thematic variations:

  • Epidemic Modeling (Cole, Oliveras)
  • Mathematical Reasoning (Bahuaud, Stewart)
  • Multicultural Mathematics (Humphreys)
  • Quantitative Literacy & Social Justice (Bahuaud, Henrich, Robertson)

Nursing Majors

First year students interested in Nursing must take MATH 1010 or higher. Transfer students interested in Nursing must complete their math requirement before entering SU. Please contact the College of Nursing for more details. The following courses may be of interest:

  • MATH 1010 College Algebra for Business 
  • MATH 1021 Precalculus: Algebra 

STEM Majors

(including graduate-school-bound economics majors)

 First year students without Advanced Placement calculus credit or previous college mathematics credits will place into one or more of the following mathematics courses:

  • MATH 1000 Functions & Algebraic Methods 
  • MATH 1021 Precalculus: Algebra 
  • MATH 1022 Precalculus: Trigonometry 
  • MATH 1334 Calculus I 

Course Flow Chart

The following downloadable chart provides a guide to the appropriate sequencing of Seattle University math classes. Each of the four sections roughly approximates an undergraduate college year. Prerequisites are noted where applicable, as well as when these classes are usually taught. Students with questions about specific classes and requirements should consult their advisors.

Download the course flow chart