Placement Using BC Calculus Scores

Our math placement information for freshmen will be reviewed and updated in July 2017. We anticipate no big changes beyond minor adjustments based on the revised SAT exam and inclusion of recommendations based on ACT scores.

Warning: Placement based solely on these test scores is not reliable. To use these guidelines successfully it is important to consider other common issues beyond test scores as you make your initial decision, and then adjust after the first few classes if necessary.

For an BC score of 3 or less:

Look at your AB subscore. Although we do not use it to award AP credit, you can use the AB placement recommendations as a rough guide in deciding whether to take MAT103 or MAT104.

BC Score of 4:

You are eligible for 1 unit of AP credit for MAT103.  Likely comparable to a C in MAT103. If you continue with calculus, we recommend either MAT104 or MAT175.

  • SAT math < 650: Consider MAT103. Forfeit 1 unit of AP credit to build up your calculus and precalculus foundations to prepare for higher math courses should you need them.

BC Score of 5:

Likely comparable to a C in MAT104. You are eligible for 2 units of AP credit for MAT103/104. If you continue with calculus, you can take MAT201 or MAT175.

  • SAT math < 700 and you need to go on to take MAT201 and/or MAT202 for your future major:  you might consider starting in MAT104 (and forfeit 1 unit of AP credit) to build up your calculus and precalculus foundations.  This is especially wise if your calculus is a bit rusty or if you will be taking a very demanding physics course in the same semester.  If you opt to start in MAT201, keep MAT104 in mind as a possible fall-back option.
  • SAT math < 700:  Consider MAT175 if this is an option for your future major.  It will give you a gentler introduction to some topics in multivariable mathematics as an alternative to the MAT201/202 sequence.
  • SAT math > 750: Consider MAT203, especially if you may want to major in physics or you have a strong interest in applied math.
  • SAT math > 750 and a strong interest in math as a major:  you should consider an introductory proof-based course like MAT214 (Number Theory) or MAT215 (Honors Analysis I). Be warned that these courses are considered extremely challenging and they will introduce you to a new way of doing mathematics. Check out the sample problems on the course web pages to see if these questions seem intriguing to you. Consultation with math placement officer is advised. Sitting in on the first few classes of MAT203 might also be a good idea, especially if you are torn between math and physics as a major.
  • SAT math >750, a strong interest in math as a major, and substantial prior experience with university-level proof courses: consider MAT216, the first semester of the Accelerated Honors Analysis sequence.  It is very easy to switch between MAT215 and MAT216 during drop/add and your instructor will help you decide if you are unsure.  


Undergraduate Placement Officer