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First Year Program

Math Placement

The Department of Mathematical Sciences makes all initial math placements based on the student's ACT or SAT score.  We have found that these scores are a reliable indicator of the student success.

Placement in an appropriate math course is crucial to your success at Michigan Tech.  We plan initial placement in an entry-level math course for all entering freshmen based on the following department recommendations:

ACT Math Score

SAT Math Score   


below 19

below 500

MA1030 College Algebra 1 (3 cr.)



MA1032 Data, Functions, and Graphs Plus (4 cr.)



MA1135 Calculus for Life Sciences (4 cr.)  -or-

MA1161 Calculus Plus with Technology I (5 cr.)

29 and above

650 and above

MA1135 Calculus for Life Sciences (4 cr.)  -or-

MA1160 Calculus with Technology I (4 cr.)

We realize however, that some students feel that they have not been placed into the correct course.  If a student wishes to challenge his or her placement, he or she may choose to take the math diagnostic test. If a student chooses to take this test, he or she is waiving the initial placements based on the ACT or SAT score, and will be placed according to the placement test results. The placement test is offered online in the Spring; letters are mailed to students informing them of the availability of this test. The test must be taken during the Spring testing window.
This is not a pass/fail test. It is designed to indicate the most appropriate first math course for you.  Students will not be given a test score, but rather a math placement, after the diagnostic test is taken.

This test is offered during orientation in August only for those students who enrolled at MTU after mid-May, and for students who experienced problems with the online test.  If problems are experienced during the online test, the student must contact the Director of First Year Math during the testing window.

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