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Math Placement

Students at Augustana take mathematics courses for a variety of reasons: to satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning requirement, to meet a major requirement, or simply because they enjoy math. Mathematics courses can build reasoning and analytical skills important for all fields of study.

For students who will take mathematics at Augustana, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science has developed a math placement system to match students to the mathematics course that will give them the greatest opportunity for success. A student's Math Index Score determines if they will begin with Calculus or take a preparatory course(s) before enrolling in Calculus. It's very important that you begin your college mathematics coursework at the appropriate level.

The Math Index Score is based on a student's high school GPA and their ACT/SAT math score. The scoring system was determined based on five years' worth of data comparing past students' scores and their eventual performance in Pre-calculus and Calculus.

Every incoming student (first-year and transfer) will receive a letter from the Director of First-Year Advising before they attend a Connection event indicating their Math Index Score and their math course placement. Students who will take Calculus should read this letter carefully to be sure they understand how this score will affect placement in their first math course and their course schedule in the first term. Calculus is a required course for students pursuing the following fields of study: biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, geology, math, math education, physics, pre-dental, pre-engineering, pre-medicine, pre-optometry, pre-occupational therapy, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy and pre-vet.

Students who do not have a high school GPA on record at Augustana or have not taken the ACT or SAT will not have a Math Index Score. These students will demonstrate their math proficiency through a skills assessment. This includes some transfer students for whom we do not have high school transcripts and ACT/SAT scores. To find out if you are in this group, please contact Mary Windeknecht at or at 309-794-8290.

Students who are not satisfied with their math placement can enroll in an online ALEKS course to improve their math placement. For more information about this option, please click here.

Students who would like to refresh their skills before taking their first math course have the option of enrolling in an online ALEKS course as well. For more information about this option, please click here.

The table below shows placement ranges and explains how Advanced Placement (AP) credit affects math placement.

           Math Index Score

     For your first math course at Augustana, you may enroll in:



           920 and above


      Math 219:  Calculus I or Math 218: Pre-Calculus*





       Math 218:  Pre-Calculus



           839 and below



       Math 090: College Math Preparation**



*Students with a Math Index Score of 920 or above who have had a year of Calculus in high school with a B or better  may consult with a math professor at a Connection event this summer to determine if MATH219: Calculus I or MATH220: Calculus II is the most appropriate placement.

**Math 090:  College Math Preparation (three credits) does not count toward course or credit requirements for graduation. For Financial Aid purposes, it does count toward a student's attempted and completed credit hours. The grade earned in Math 090 is included in a student's GPA.

Students with Calculus AB Advanced Placement (AP) or transfer credit for Calculus I may enroll in Math 220:  Calculus II.

Students with Calculus BC Advanced Placement (AP) or transfer credit for Calculus II may enroll in Math 230: Discrete Mathematics (offered in the fall), Math 338: Differential Equations (offered in the winter), or Math 221: Calculus III (offered in the spring). Consult with a math professor at a Connection event this summer.