Course Placement

LSU offers opportunities to receive course credit and placement based on work completed in high school.

  • Official SAT/ACT scores: Advanced-standing credit may be granted in required composition courses based on your SAT writing and language score (new SAT), SAT verbal score (old SAT), or your ACT English area score and composite score. Credit in college algebra (MATH 1021) may be earned based on your ACT math score (M-ACT) or quantitative SAT (Q-SAT) score. MATH 1029 and 1100 have no prerequisites; placement into MATH 1021, 1022, 1023, and 1431 may be based on M-ACT or Q-SAT scores; placement into MATH 1550 and 1551 is based exclusively on the ALEKS “Preparation for Calculus” test, which, in order to count, must be taken through the ALEKS link found under the Student Services tab in the student’s myLSU account. Visit math.lsu.edu/ugrad/ALEKS and math.lsu.edu/ugrad/placementcredit for further information.
  • If you have taken the ACT or SAT more than once, have the scores from all of these tests sent to LSU. We will use the highest math and English ACT/SAT scores to award credit and the highest composite score for admission purposes.  
  • College Board, AP Exams, CLEP subject exams, and International Baccalaureate exams: Credit may be granted for satisfactory exam scores; contact the Office of Enrollment Management or visit lsu.edu/earlycredit for more information.

English Course Placement

Placement in English is determined by your SAT or ACT English and composite scores using the placement chart below. Initial placement in writing classes will be based on the best English ACT score and the best composite score from different ACT test dates if that gives a student better placement. LSU does not super score. Strong performance on the AP English Language and Composition or AP English Literature examination can also be used for placement into English.

Students awarded placement in ENGL 2000 will receive credit for ENGL 1001. Students who receive a CLEP score of 50 or above may receive credit for ENGL 1001. Students who place out of ENGL 1001 may take an English Literature elective, but they may not take ENGL 2000 until they have earned 39 hours usually the second semester of their sophomore year.  The proper sequence is ENGL 1001, then General Education 2000-level ENGL Literature elective (if needed), then ENGL 2000.

If you are an international student whose first language is not English and you did not graduate from an American high school, you will be placed into English 0004 (not for degree credit), 1004 (equivalent to 1001), or 1005 (equivalent to 2000), according the scores on the Michigan test.

Initial English Placement Based on ACT Scores

  ACT English Score       ACT English + ACT Composite Scores     English Course Placement  
18 or above AND 38 minimum Placement in ENGL 1001
26 or above AND 53 minimum Placement in ENGL 2000
32 or above AND 65 minimum EXEMPT


Initial English Placement Based on SAT Scores

  Old SAT Critical Reading Score     New Evidence Based Reading and Writing Scores     English Course Placement  
450-589 200-600 Placement in ENGL 1001
590-719 620 Placement in ENGL 2000
720 or higher 680+ EXEMPT


Initial Placement and/or Course Credit Based on AP Scores

  AP English Language Score     English Course Placement and/or Credit  
3 Credit for ENGL 1001 and Placement in ENGL 2000
5 Credit for ENGL 1001 and 2000
   
AP English Literature Score  
4 Credit for ENGL either 2123, 2025, 2027, or 2029

Mathematics Course Placement

Placement in mathematics courses is based on your quantitative SAT (Q-SAT) score or math ACT (M-ACT) score or ALEKS placement score (see math.lsu.edu/ugrad/ALEKS  and math.lsu.edu/ugrad/PlacementCredit). You may also use your score on the LSU Department of Mathematics placement/credit exam or your score on the AP, CLEP, or IB exams to improve on your initial placement and to possibly earn advanced-standing credit in math. The charts on the previous page explain initial placement.

Placement Into Math 1021, 1022, 1023, 1029, 1100, and 1431, and Credit in Math 1021, by MACT or QSAT Scores 

MACT Score Old QSAT Score New QSAT Score Credit Placement
25 or higher 570 or higher 590 or higher Math 10211 Math 1022, 1029, 1100, or 1431
23-24 540-569 570-589   Math 1021, 1023,2 1029, or 1100
19-22 460-539 500-569   Math 1021, 1029, or 1100
1 In order for a student to receive credit in Math 1021 based on the MACT or QSAT score, the score must be no more than 24 months old as of the student's first day of classes at LSU. 2 Math 1023 fulfills 5 hours of the 6-hour General Education "Analytical Reasoning" requirement; a second Analytical Reasoning course will still be required; see Catalog.

Spanish Course Placement

Students who have two years of previous experience in learning Spanish (in high school or elsewhere) will be automatically placed in SPAN 1152. Students who have less than two years of previous experience learning Spanish (in high school or elsewhere) will be automatically placed in SPAN 1101.  It is strongly recommended that students who have taken at least two years of Spanish in high school take the Spanish credit exam in the Office of Assessment & Evaluation. A student may only benefit by taking the Spanish credit exam. Specifically, students have the opportunity to earn up to four semesters (i.e., 14 semester hours) of credit in the introductory Spanish language courses via the Spanish credit exam. These semester hours may count toward a student’s foreign language requirement and/or their general education humanities requirement as appropriate. 

Any student who, after taking the Spanish credit exam, places into SPAN 2101 or SPAN 2102 will be awarded advanced standing credit based on their credit exam score. Students placing into SPAN 1152 will be awarded credit for SPAN 1101 only after successfully completing SPAN 1152 (i.e., getting a “C-“ or better).

Students who believe that their placement in any introductory Spanish course is not accurate should consult with Dr. Dorian Dorado, undergraduate advisor for Spanish levels 1101-2102, at ddorado@lsu.edu.

Other Opportunities for Placement and Advance-Standing Credit 

The Office of Assessment & Evaluation offers advanced-standing examinations to incoming students.  Examinations are offered in the following disciplines:  Calculus, French, German, Latin, Spanish and Trigonometry.  

For more information, contact the Office of Assessment & Evaluation at 225-578-1145.