Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am required to take a mathematics course for my proposed major at UCSD?

You should go to the General Catalog and choose the link titled Courses, Curricula and Programs of Instruction. From there you can select your potential major. Read the complete description of required and recommended courses to determine whether that major requires a math course. For a quick list of majors requiring math courses, click the Majors Requiring Math link on the left.

I do not have a math requirement for my major. Must I take the Math Placement Exam (MPE)?

You should check with your UCSD College academic advising office about mathematics requirements for your college or go to the college orientation web page.

I do have to take a math course at UCSD. Must I take the MPE?

See the Who Takes the Math Placement Exam or Enrollment Requirements links or continue down this FAQ page.

How do I register to take the MPE?

You must register for the Math Placement Exam. See Test Dates.

I took the AP Calculus exam but have not received my score. Should I take the MPE?

You only need to take the MPE if you think you did poorly (i.e. a score of 1) on the AP AB Calculus exam. See AP Credit.

I took the AP Statistics exam. Do I need to take the MPE?

Yes. The AP Statistics does not satisfy prerequisites for any calculus course.

I took the IB Mathematics Standard Level (SL) Exam. Do I need to take the MPE?

Yes. The IB Mathematics Standard Level (SL) Exam does not give you credit for a UCSD math course, no matter what score you make. Only the IB Mathematics Higher Level (HL) and Further Mathematics exams can earn math credit (scores of 5, 6, or 7 only).

I took calculus through a community college while still in high school. Do I need to take the MPE?

If you passed the course with a C- or better you may enroll directly into the next level calculus course without taking the MPE. Be sure to request that the community college send your transcript to UCSD.

I took AP Calculus in high school calculus class but I did not take the AP exam and I did not receive college credit. Must I take the MPE?

Yes, high school credit for a high school AP Calculus course does not satisfy any math prerequisite.

Do I have to retake the MPE if I took it over a year ago?

Yes, your placement results are good for only one year.

I qualified for Math 20A (or 10A) but now the registration system says I do not have the prerequisite and will not allow me to register for any section. What should I do?

Contact the Math Testing and Placement Office,, and we will check your record and clear you for registration.

I took precalculus at a community college. Am I exempt from taking the MPE?

No, you must still take the MPE to qualify for enrollment in either Math10A or 20A.
If you still have unanswered questions about math placement or the Math Placement Exam you may email your question to