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Math Placement

Choosing First Math Class for Engineering

Starting in the appropriate math class for your current skill level will help you establish a solid mathematical foundation that is crucial for your success in engineering. In the first semester, our 4-year engineering degree plans begin with MATH 1060, Calculus of One Variable I.

Core mathematics courses for engineering students

  • MATH 1060: Calculus of One Variable I
  • MATH 1080: Calculus of One Variable II
  • MATH 2060: Calculus of Several Variables
  • MATH 2080: Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations (or MATH 3110 Linear Algebra for Industrial Engineering)
  • Additional courses may be required depending on the engineering major

Students not ready for MATH 1060 will take one of the following courses: MATH 1040, MATH 1030, MATH 1050, or ENG 1010. Review the information below to determine your initial math placement and learn about the different math pathways.

Determining Math Placement

Math placement is based on AP Calculus or IB Higher Level Math scores, Cambridge International A Level math credit, previously earned college credit for math, SAT and ACT math scores, and the Clemson Math Placement test. We need official college transcripts for at least one of these placement methods. Please provide Clemson with the supporting documents to place you into the highest math course you are eligible to take in your first semester. Your initial math placement will be based on the scores and credit we have received at the time of orientation advising and registration.

It may benefit you to take the optional Clemson Math Placement test.

Your First Math Class for Engineering

You can use the table below to look up your potential math placement based on your scores or math transfer credit. The table is listed from lowest to highest level math courses. Locate the test you took and find the range in which your score falls or locate your highest math transfer course. Follow across the grid to find the course in which you have placed. If your scores place you in more than one math class, you are eligible to enroll in any of the courses for which you meet the requirements. You should discuss your math placement with the academic advisor collaborating with you as part of the New Student Orientation process. You may need, or want, to start in a lower course to increase strength and confidence in math.

NOTE: ENGR 1010 - Survey of Mathematical Topics as Applied to Engineering Problems requires no placement scores, but you must be enrolled in the General Engineering Learning Community (GELC).

Math Placement based off of previous test scores
MATH PLACEMENT ACT MATH SAT MATH AP CALCULUS IB MATHEMATICS
Analysis and Approaches
CMPT TRANSFER CREDIT
MATH 1050 NONE NONE NONE NONE
MATH 1030 21-26 540-630 50-64 ANY MATH or STAT
MATH 1040 27-28 640-670 65-79 ANY MATH or STAT
MATH 1060 29+ 680+ BC 3 & AB subscore 3-4
or AB 3-4
80+ NONE
MATH 1080 BC 3 & AB subscore 5
or AB 5
IB 4-7 MATH 1060
MATH 2060 BC 4-5 MATH 1080

Math Pathways

Multiple pathways can prepare you for the calculus sequence needed for engineering. Below are the course sequences at Clemson that will result in the completion of Calculus of One Variable I and II. The four-year curriculum is based on students beginning in MATH 1060. Students placing into MATH 2060 or MATH 1080 are ahead in the curriculum. Students starting in MATH 1040, MATH 1030, MATH 1050, or ENGR 1010 may need to take summer classes to stay on track to graduate and declare their major within a year.

MATH 1050 is Precalculus and will provide the necessary instruction to prepare you for calculus. MATH 1050 is a 5-credit course that is pass/no pass and does not impact GPA. Students in this pathway will take their first general engineering course in their second semester. Starting in this sequence may require summer work to stay on track.

First-year students placing into MATH 1050 have the option to begin their engineering coursework in the Fall semester through participation in the General Engineering Learning Community (GELC).

Classes each semester for Math 1050 Pathway
FIRST SEMESTER SECOND SEMESTER THIRD SEMESTER
MATH 1050 (5) MATH 1060 (4) MATH 1080 (4)
N/A ENGR 1020 (3) ENGR 1410 (3)

MATH 1030 is Elementary Functions and covers topics chosen to prepare students for the study of calculus. MATH 1030 is a 4-credit graded course. Students in this pathway will take their first general engineering course in their second semester. Starting in this sequence may require summer work to stay on track.

First-year students placing into MATH 1030 have the option to begin their engineering coursework in the Fall semester through participation in the General Engineering Learning Community (GELC).

Classes each semester for Math 1030 Pathway
FIRST SEMESTER SECOND SEMESTER THIRD SEMESTER
MATH 1030 (4) MATH 1060 (4) MATH 1080 (4)
N/A ENGR 1020 (3) ENGR 1410 (3)

As a GELC student, you will take an alternative sequence of the first-year curriculum extended across three terms. This extra time allows you to build confidence in your academic abilities and absorb complex math and engineering concepts beginning in ENGR 1010. Advancement to MATH 1060 requires students to earn a score of 80 or higher on the Clemson Math Placement test at the end of the first semester. The GELC program includes a plan for summer enrollment.

Classes each semester for ENGR 1010 Pathway
FIRST SEMESTER SECOND SEMESTER THIRD SEMESTER
ENGR 1010 (3) MATH 1060 (4) MATH 1080 (4)
ENGR 1510 (3) ENGR 1520 (3) ENGR 1640 (3)

During the 2nd semester, you may apply to be a BOYD Scholar. If selected, you will receive an award to cover the summer tuition and fees for the on-campus courses, summer housing, and summer meal plan.

Learn More About GELC

MATH 1040 is the first course in a yearlong sequence of Calculus I. Upon receiving a passing grade in MATH 1040, you would take MATH 1070 in your second semester. If you earn a C grade or higher in MATH 1070, you will be ready to take MATH 1080 Calculus of One Variable II in the summer or in your third semester. Students in this sequence are eligible to begin their general engineering classes in their first term. Starting in this sequence may require summer work to stay on track.

Classes each semester for Math 1040 Pathway
FIRST SEMESTER SECOND SEMESTER THIRD SEMESTER
MATH 1040 (4) MATH 1070 (4) MATH 1080 (4)
ENGR 1020 (3) ENGR 1410 (3) N/A

MATH 1060 is traditionally the first class in the Calculus sequence. Students in this sequence are eligible to begin their general engineering classes in their first term.

Classes each semester for Math 1060 Pathway
FIRST SEMESTER SECOND SEMESTER
MATH 1060 (4) MATH 1080 (4)
ENGR 1020 (3) ENGR 1410 (3)

Ways to Improve Math Placement

If you would like to be placed in a higher math course than initially placed, you can take the Math Placement Test or enroll in a class during the summer before the start of your first year.

Take the Clemson Math Placement Test (CMPT)

Online Math Placement: The CMPT is an online adaptive placement exam using ALEKS that consists of approximately 25 - 35 questions. Upon completion of the CMPT, you can access the ALEKS Learning Modules to practice skills and improve your knowledge. Your CMPT score can place you into MATH 1030, 1040, or 1060.

You should consider taking the Clemson Math Placement Test (CMPT) if:

  • Your initial math placement is not in MATH 1060, MATH 1080, or MATH 2060
  • You have not received your AP Calculus scores yet. If you later find that your AP scores place you in a higher math course, you can adjust your registration before classes begin.
  • You were placed into MATH 1060, but it has been two or more years since you took a precalculus or calculus class.

Enroll in a Math or Statistics course before your first semester

Summer Classes at Clemson: If you are starting in the fall, you can see if Clemson is offering MATH 1030 or MATH 1050 in the summer, which would prepare you to take MATH 1060 in the Fall. Students admitted to Fall may opt into the Summer term if they choose. You can change your entry term to Summer through the Admitted Student Portal.

Transfer Credits to Clemson: You also can take a college-level math course, like Precalculus, or a statistic course before enrolling at Clemson. If you receive a C grade or higher in the class at an accredited institution, you can begin MATH 1040 in your first semester.