Course Placement

students in the accounting lab

The options below provide you with suggested courses based on coursework or testing you may have already done that may make you eligible to bypass some entry-level courses to be placed into advanced ones. You are encouraged to discuss placement in your one-to-one meeting with your academic advisor.

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Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB)

High school students may earn college credit by receiving satisfactory examination scores (3, 4, or 5) on the College Entrance and Examination Board Advanced Placement Program examination, or scores (of typically 5, 6, and 7) on the International Baccalaureate  examination.  Academic departments evaluate whether the material in the AP exam is substantially similar to that of an existing course, and if so, will award credits for that course. If the material is judged not to be substantially similar to an existing course, the academic department will assign general departmental credits. Academic departments may also provide an alternative method for evaluating proficiency in order to award academic credit. Here are the lists of approved AP and approved IB exams and the associated academic credit awards.

UMD Mathematics Placement

Students can be placed in a math course using multiple different ways that are outlined below. Each of these methods must be shared directly with UMD through their respective websites:

Mathematics Placement Tools

  • Submitted ACT/SAT scores
  • Completed college math course(s) through PSEO
  • Completed college math course(s) through CITS
  • Completed an accepted math through a previous institution
  • Submitted course credit via AP, CLEP, or IB
  • Accuplacer: If you have not earned course credit or taken a test to offer a means for math placement, you have the option to take Accuplacer. 
    • Please fill out this brief form to request an Accuplacer voucher provided for free by the Bulldog Resource Center. Within 24-48 hours you will receive an email with instructions about taking the assessment.
    • Practice assessments are available to help you prepare for your assessment. 
    • We highly recommend you take the assessment at least two weeks prior to your Orientation, Advisement & Registration experience so your advisor has the information when you register for classes.
    • If you have taken the Accuplacer at another school, you can visit this link to share your scores with UMD.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Students may earn college credit for successful completion of some CLEP examinations which have been reviewed by faculty and determined to assess the content of certain UMD courses.  Here is the list of approved CLEP exams.

Fine Arts Placement

Some fine arts courses require an individual evaluation to determine appropriate course placement. In addition, all Music majors and all BFA Theatre majors require an audition/interview prior to admission into those majors. Students should seek additional information from an advisor if they are interested in pursuing courses or a major or minor in one of the fine arts programs.

Music ensembles are open to all students, regardless of major, but some ensembles do require an audition in the first week of the semester. The courses that follow are open to any UMD student without audition:

  • MU 1501 - Concert Band
  • MU 1510 - Concert Chorale
  • MU 1541 - Marching Band
  • MU 1541 - Pep Band

World Language Placement

If you are brand new to a language, please enroll in 1101.

If you have previous experience in a world language, you may be closer to a minor or major than you think! Instead of a placement exam, WLC offers one-on-one placement so you can enroll in the perfect level of language class for you. Check out these placement guidelines and then email Prof. Jennifer Brady ([email protected]) to confirm your placement into the right level.

Science Placement

Science placement varies from college to college.  Find your college (below), and review its science placement protocols.


Select majors within CEHSP require BIOL 1011 (General Biology) and/or CHEM 1153/1154 (General Chemistry I/Lab). Other majors within the college allow students to choose their own science courses to fulfill the Natural Sciences Liberal Education requirement.

Please note: 

In order to enroll in BIOL 1011, students must have both:

  • One year of high school chemistry OR one semester of college chemistry
  • Math ACT score of 21 or MATH 1005 (College Algebra) or higher

During the fall semester, CHEM 1153/1154 is held for students in the Swenson College of Science and Engineering. CEHSP students may register for CHEM 1153/1154 in the spring semester if they have completed both of the following:

  • One year of high school chemistry
  • Math ACT score of 24 or higher or a grade of C- or better in MATH 1005  (College Algebra)


Majors within the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences allow students to choose their own science courses to fulfill the Natural Sciences requirement of the Liberal Education program.  Please note:

In order to enroll in BIOL 1011, General Biology you must have:

  • One year of high school chemistry OR one semester of college chemistry
  • Math ACT score of 21, or a C- or better in MATH 1005 - College Algebra

In order to enroll in CHEM 1153/1154 during the fall semester, students must be declared in a major in the Swenson College of Science and Engineering. Students in the other colleges may register for that course in the spring term, if they've completed:

  • One year of high school chemistry
  • One year of high school algebra
  • Math ACT score of 24 or higher or a grade of C- or better in MATH 1005 - College Algebra


For LSBE, there are no specific science placement guidelines/requirements other than those of the Liberal Education Program.  


Most Swenson College of Science and Engineering students will enroll in a mathematics course and a science course in their first term. The first math course is determined by the Accuplacer or those listed in the above Math Placement section. Enrollment in a science course is often determined by the math prerequisite and the major chosen. Work with an Academic Advisor to determine which is most appropriate given each student’s individualized plan.

If you are not sure you will choose a science or engineering major, consider starting with subjects outside of science. Some students choose to take their science course in the Spring semester.

  • BIOL 1011 - General Biology 1 (5 cr)
  • CHEM 1113 - Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry (5 cr) 
  • CHEM 1153/1154 - General Chemistry 1 Lecture/Lab (4/1 cr)
  • CHEM 1173/1174 - General Chemistry 1 Lecture/Lab (Chemistry majors) (4/1 cr)  
  • CS 1511 - Computer Science 1 (5 cr) or other CS course
  • GEOL 1110 - Geology and Earth Systems (4 cr)
  • PHYS 2013/2014 - General Physics 1 Lec/Lab (4/1 cr)

Writing Placement

WRIT 1120 - College Writing (or its equivalent) must be completed within the first two semesters of attendance at UMD as part of the UMD Liberal Education Program and the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.  Students may be exempt from taking WRIT 1120 for one of the following reasons:

  • Entering freshmen who score a 4 or above on either of the Educational Testing Service Advanced Placement (AP) examinations in English: Literature and Composition or Language and Composition are granted 3 credits for WRIT 1120.
  • Students scoring a 32 or above on the ACT English exam are exempt from WRIT 1120.