All St. Edward’s students are required to complete a college math or quantitative reasoning course, at the level of Math for Liberal Arts (MATH 1312), College Algebra (MATH 1314), or above.  Most science and business majors additionally require Precalculus (MATH 2312) and/or Calculus (MATH 2413).  These and other mathematics courses require satisfactory placement, which can be achieved through SAT/ACT subscores or the ALEKS placement test. 

Incoming students will receive information about math placement through HillStart and New Student Orientation.  The online Math Placement Tool can help you determine your placement information, based on your intended major, SAT/ACT subscores, and any prior college credit.  If recommended or required, online access to the ALEKS placement test is provided through Hillstart, as part of New Student Orientation. 

Understand Your Placement

Course Prerequisite Placement Scores

Minimum SAT math subscore Minimum ACT math subscore

Minimum ALEKS Score

Course you are permitted to take

0 0 0 MATH 0309 Basic Mathematics
520 19 46 MATH 1312 Mathematics for the Liberal Arts or MATH 1314 College Algebra
570 23 61 MATH 2312 Precalculus
700 28 76 MATH 2413 Calculus I

What math courses are required for your degree plan?

Intended Major Likely courses

All Humanities Majors: literature, languages, communication, journalism, graphic design, religious studies, philosophy, visual and performing arts.

All Behavioral and Social Science majors: psychology, sociology, criminology, criminal justice, history, environmental science and policy, global studies.

Elementary Education

MATH 1312 Mathematics for the Liberal Arts 


MATH 1314 College Algebra

All Business majors: accounting, finance, business, international business, management, marketing, information technology, digital media management, interactive games management, interactive games studies, entrepreneurship, (economics requires calculus).

MATH 2312 Precalculus

All Natural Sciences majors: biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, chemistry, environmental chemistry, forensic chemistry, forensic science, math, math education, computer science, engineering, medical laboratory science. (computer information science requires precalculus) 

Secondary Education (high school, junior high, middle school) majors in science or mathematics.


MATH 2413 Calculus I


Improve Your Placement

You will not be permitted to take a course that is above your readiness level (even if you are only one point away). If you want to place into a higher-level course, you may use ALEKS learning modules to improve your skills and retake the assessment. You must qualify for a course before scheduling it.

You may retake the ALEKS assessment up to two more times after using the learning modules. The vast majority of students who use these learning modules improve their scores on each subsequent assessment, and 90% of students move up by at least one course. The third placement assessment is the final assessment available to you prior to the fall semester. 

You must wait 48 hours between assessments, and spend at least 5 hours using the learning modules before taking your second assessment, and an additional 5 hours using the learning modules before taking each additional assessment.  Students who spend at least 15 hours in a learning module show the most improvement in their scores.

To access the learning modules, return to the ALEKS Assessment through the link you were initially provided.

Need help deciding?

Your score is used to help you start in the course where you have the best chance to succeed. Students who are not successful in their first math course are highly unlikely to persist in engineering and science majors. If you need calculus, starting where you place is the best path to success.

New first-year students will work with an academic adviser to identify appropriate math courses at New Student Orientation. Questions about course selection will be addressed then.

Transfer students and continuing students should contact their assigned adviser with questions.


What is ALEKS?

ALEKS is a powerful artificial-intelligence based assessment tool that zeros in on the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s mathematical knowledge, reports its findings to the student, and then provides the student with a learning environment for improving this knowledge to an appropriate level for course placement.

The ALEKS Math Assessment ensures students’ readiness for particular mathematics courses at St. Edward's University. Since these courses are demanding, it is important for students to begin in the course most likely to lead to success. Students will not be permitted to take a course unless they have demonstrated readiness. After completing the initial assessment, students who wish to improve their skills may use the included learning modules.

Who must take ALEKS?

 If a student's degree plan requires Calculus or if a student has no SAT/ACT scores, he or she will be required to take the ALEKS placement exam.  Other students may elect to take the ALEKS placement exam if they would like to improve upon their SAT/ACT placement.

When do students take ALEKS?

Students beginning classes in the Fall semester may begin the assessment May 1 and are required to complete their first assessment one week prior to orientation, or by July 1, whichever date comes first.  Students may still work within the learning modules after pre-registration to attempt to place into a higher-level course, up until the end of the add-drop period (usually Friday of the first week of classes).  Students beginning classes in the Spring semester may begin the assessment November 1 and are required to complete their first assessment one week prior to orientation, or by January 1, whichever date comes first. 

How long will the assessment take?

The assessment will ask up to 30 questions. You should plan to complete the assessment in one 2-3 hour sitting. If you do not complete the assessment in one sitting, you will have 48 hours to complete it before the assessment is reset.

Academic integrity

The only purpose of the assessment is to give an accurate measure of your current mathematical skills so that you will have a better opportunity to be successful in your courses. There is no benefit to inflating or deflating your abilities on the assessment. Taking a class that is not appropriate for your current level of mathematical knowledge could delay your graduation. Therefore, while you are taking the assessment, do not consult any other source for help (friends, family, internet searches, textbooks, etc.), and do your honest best.

What you need

If recommended or required, online access to the ALEKS placement test is provided through Hillstart, as part of New Student Orientation. 

Your SEU user id and password
A pencil and paper
A reliable internet connection
2-3 hours of time
A space conducive to doing your best work

All other resources are provided by ALEKS

You should NOT use your own calculator. If one is needed to answer a question, ALEKS will provide one automatically for that question.

You should NOT use other resources such as textbooks, websites, or friends. Use of non-permitted resources may result in you being required to take a course for which you are not prepared.

What to expect

This is a free response assessment; there are no multiple choice questions. Before you take the assessment, ALEKS will present a short tutorial on how to enter answers, how to use the graphing utilities, and how to use the built in calculator that will be offered when appropriate. TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS TUTORIAL AND BE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND HOW THESE FEATURES WORK.

Dates and Deadlines

Complete the ALEKS placement test between May 1 and one week prior to your scheduled orientation date, but no later than July 1.  Access to ALEKS learning modules expires 6 months from the date of first access.  Access to ALEKS assessments expires April 30 of the following year, provided the student has completed all necessary access in the learning modules.  Course registration will not be adjusted based on assessments completed after the drop/add period. 

Transfer Credit and Credit by Exam

Transfer Credit may be awarded for college-level math credits with an earned grade of C or better. 

No student will be placed into a mathematics course on the basis of high school transcripts.

Credit by Exam equivalencies for APT (Advanced Placement) and CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) may be found here:

Advanced Placement credit is awarded for MATH 2413 (Calculus I) for scores of 4,5 on the Calculus AB exam, and for scores of 3,4,5 on the Calculus BC exam.  Additionally, credit for MATH 2314 (Calculus II) is awarded for scores of 4,5 on the Calculus BC exam.  If incoming students are registering for classes while awaiting AP scores, it is advised to use the ACT/SAT scores or take the ALEKS placement exam in the meantime. 

Disability Accommodations

ALEKS is not a timed test. The assessment will ask up to 30 questions. You may take as long as you need to answer the questions, as long as the assessment is completed within 48 hours of starting.

If you need accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services Office at St. Edward’s University

Hours (Central Time): Monday – Friday, 8am – 5 pm
Campus Location: Moody Hall, Suite 155
Contact: SDS [at] or (512) 448-8561


If you encounter an issue logging into Canvas or myHilltop, contact the SEU IT Support desk: support [at] or 512-448-8443.

If you encounter a technical issue within ALEKS, contact ALEKS Higher Education Customer Support:

Hours (Eastern Time):
Sunday, 4:00pm to 1:00am
Monday – Thursday, 7:00am to 1:00am
Friday, 7:00am to 9:00pm

Telephone: (714) 619-7090

If you have general questions about math placement at St. Edward's University, send an email with your full name, ID number, and question to mathplacement [at]