Prerequisite Criteria for Math Placement
All students must meet one of the following prerequisites before they may enroll in Math 2, 3C, 4C, 10A, 10B, 10C, 11, 18, 20A, 20B, or 20C at UC San Diego:
Preparatory Math Classes
Math 2 | Qualifying placement on the UCSD Math Placement Exam (MPE) |
Math 3C |
Qualifying placement on the UCSD Math Placement Exam (MPE) |
Math 4C |
AP Calculus AB (or BC for 2020) Exam score 2 OR SAT Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test score 600 or better OR Grade of C- or better in Math 3C OR Qualifying placement on the UCSD Math Placement Exam (MPE) |
Taking the Math Placement Exam (MPE) is mandatory if none of the above criteria are met. As of Winter 2022 after the MPE has been received and processed, the Math Testing and Placement team may consider SAT I and ACT scores to inform students' placement.
Calculus 10 Series
Math 10A |
AP Calculus AB, AB Subscore (or BC for 2020) Exam score 2 OR SAT Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test score 600 or higher OR Grade of C- or better in Math 3C or Math 4C OR Qualifying placement on the UCSD Math Placement Exam (MPE) |
Math 10B |
AP Calculus AB Exam score 3 or higher OR Grade of C- or better in MATH 10A |
Math 10C |
AP Calculus BC Exam score 3 or higher OR IB Mathematics Analyses & Approaches Higher Level score 5 or higher OR Grade of C- or better in MATH 10B Note: The IB Math AI HL is not UC transferable; therefore, it cannot be used as a prerequisite for UCSD Math course enrollment. Students who do not meet other prerequisites will need to take the MPE. |
Calculus 20 Series
Math 20A |
AP Calculus AB Exam score 3 OR SAT Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test score 650 or higher OR Grade of C- or better in Math 4C OR Qualifying placement on the UCSD Math Placement Exam (MPE) |
Math 20B |
AP Calculus AB Exam score 4 or higher OR AP Calculus BC Exam score 3 OR IB Mathematics Analyses & Approaches Higher Level score 5 or higher OR Grade of C- or better in Math 20A or 10B or 10C Note: The IB Math AI HL is not UC transferable; therefore, it cannot be used as a prerequisite for UCSD Math course enrollment. Students who do not meet other prerequisites will need to take the MPE. |
Math 20C |
AP Calculus BC Exam score 4 or higher OR Grade of C- or better in Math 20B |
Math 11 and Math 18
Math 11 |
AP Calculus BC Exam score 3 or higher IB Mathematics Analyses & Approaches Higher Level score 5 or higher OR Grade of C- or better in Math 10B Note: The IB Math AI HL is not UC transferable; therefore, it cannot be used as a prerequisite for UCSD Math course enrollment. Students who do not meet other prerequisites will need to take the MPE. |
Math 18 |
AP Calculus AB Exam score 3 or higher OR AP Calculus BC Exam score 3 or higher OR SAT Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test score 650 or higher OR IB Mathematics Analyses & Approaches Higher Level score 5 or higher OR Grade of C- or better in Math 4C or 10A OR Qualifying placement on the UCSD Math Placement Exam (MPE) Note: The IB Math AI HL is not UC transferable; therefore, it cannot be used as a prerequisite for UCSD Math course enrollment. Students who do not meet other prerequisites will need to take the MPE. |
Equivalent Credit
Students with the following course credits will earn equivalent credit and will be able to enroll in the next level course in the sequence.
- AP Calculus exam scores of 3 or higher
- IB Mathematics Analyses & Approaches Higher Level score 5 or higher
- Course credit grade of C- or better in an approved calculus course from another college or university
- Foreign credit by exam for High Level Mathematics (e.g., GCE); contact us for more information
Note: The IB Math AI HL is not UC transferable; therefore, it cannot be used as a prerequisite for UCSD Math course enrollment. Students who do not meet other prerequisites will need to take the MPE.
Expiration for Placement
- The scores for the SAT Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test are valid for math placement for 2 years.
- AP Calculus AB (or BC for 2020) score of a "2" is valid for math placement for 2 years.
- The Math Placement Exam (MPE) is valid for one year.
- AP Calculus scores of (3,4,5) and the IB HL 5 or higher do not expire for earning credit.